Arsenal succumbed to yet another early cup exit as West Ham achieved a well-deserved 3-1 victory over the Gunners at the London Stadium.
Arsenal were dominating the early stages of the first half, albeit without creating too many goalscoring chances, and it seemed inevitable that Mikel Arteta’s side would, at some stage, take the lead.
However, a Benjamin White own goal saw the Hammers take a surprise lead in the 16th minute, a lead that was still intact come the halftime whistle. Two more goals in the second half, from Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen respectively, sunk Arsenal before a late consolation goal from Martin Odegaard made the scoreline slightly more respectable for the visitors.
Here are three positives and negatives from the match.
3 positives and negatives as Arsenal get launched out of Carabao Cup
Positive #1: Reiss Nelson
Reiss Nelson was perhaps the one player who started the match that could hold his head high in the aftermath of the defeat. The 23-year-old was a bright spark throughout and looked our most dangerous player by a long stretch.
He had no goals or assists to show for his efforts, but Nelson certainly deserves credit for his performance in this match.
Negative #1: Another early exit
One of the biggest criticisms of this Arsenal side under Arteta has been our tendency to exit cup competitions far earlier than we would expect, and often as a result of losing to inferior sides.
In recent years, we have been eliminated by Nottingham Forest multiple times, Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League last season, and now West Ham in the Carabao Cup to name a few examples, and Arteta expressed his disappointment at yet another early exit from the cup after the game, saying:
"“I’m very disappointed. Obviously I’m responsible for that, we are out of the cup and we wanted to play a very different game, and especially we wanted to compete in a game like this, which we discussed for 48 hours, in a very different way to what we’ve done.”"
Yes, competitions such as the Premier League and Champions League are important, but trophies are critical and we need to start performing in these matches with more consistency.
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