Arsenal’s brilliant start to the season continued last night when they dumped Liverpool out of the Carabao cup via penalties after both teams fired blanks on the night at Anfield. With the victory, the Gunners have now won 5 of their games this season in all competitions and through to the quarter-finals of the competition but it does not get any easier as they have been pitched against holders, Manchester City.
Arsenal have had a rather tortuous journey in the Carabao Cup this season as they have had to negotiate tough duels away from home. First, it was against Leceister City at the King Power Stadium, a match they won by 2 goals to nil.
Then the trip to Anfield, the second visit in 4 days and yet again, they conquered though via penalties as they had to endure flurry of attacks from Liverpool. Mikel Arteta will take huge comfort from the fact that the same Arsenal team that conceded 3 goals just some days back was able to keep Jurgen Klopp’s men at bay for 90 mins before putting them to the sword in the spot kick contest.
Up next for Arsenal in the Carabao Cup are incumbent holders, Manchester City who are three times on the roll Champions of the Cup but the Gunners can take solace from the fact that the tie is going home to London instead of away at Manchester.
Home or away, it is definitely not going to be a stroll in the park for Arsenal. The last time both teams met in the competition was the final three seasons ago with City comfortable winners 3-0. Arteta faces a daunting task to stop City and reverse that order.
The last time Arsenal met City in a cup game was last season’s FA Cup where against all odds, they emerged victorious. That is enough motivation going into the game as it can help the Gunners Guardiola’s men as a great team but not invincible. If they have done it before, they could yet do it again.
Having conquered Leceister and Liverpool in previous rounds will serve the team in good stead. They need not fear Manchester City, they should only take them seriously and approach the game with the same defensive discipline that has seen them keep clean sheets in both previous games despite the absence of home comfort..
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown and to be the best, one must beat the best, Arsenal have already started on that road by beating Leicester City and Liverpool, adding Manchester City to the list of casualties puts them in good stead to be not just a winner but a worthy one.