Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (2-1 on agg): Xhaka fires Gunners into Carabao Cup final

Arsenal will face Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup following their win over Chelsea.

Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (2-1 on agg): Xhaka fires Gunners into Carabao Cup final
Above: Granit Xhaka celebrating his goal in the 2-1 win over Chelsea | Photo: Getty Images/Matthew Ashton - AMA
ARSENAL
2 1
CHELSEA
ARSENAL : OSPINA, BELLERIN, KOSCIELNY, MUSTAFI, MONREAL, WILSHERE, ELNENY, XHAKA, OZIL, LACAZETTE (KOLASINAC, MIN. 84), IWOBI (RAMSEY, MIN. 84)
CHELSEA: CANALLERO, AZPILICUETA, CHRISTENSEN, RUDIGER, MOSES (ZAPPACOSTA, MIN. 72), KANTE, BAKAYOKO, ALONSO, WILLIAN (BARKLEY, MIN. 30), PEDRO (BATSHUAYI, MIN. 65), HAZARD
SCORE: 0-1, MIN. 7, HAZARD 1-1, MIN. 12, RUDIGER 2-1, MIN. 60, XHAKA
REFEREE: MICHAEL OLIVER BOOKED HAZARD (MIN. 17) WILSHERE (MIN. 31) MOSES (MIN. 62) MONREAL (MIN. 66)

It will be Arsenal that will take on Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup, as a second-half effort from Granit Xhaka managed to secure a narrow 2-1 win over London rivals Chelsea. 

The first 45 minutes had all the excitement and drama that the first-leg completely lacked with Eden Hazard giving The Blues an early lead, that advantage was quickly dashed by Nacho Monreal's deflected effort and Mesut Özil came close to taking the lead just before the end. 

Arsène Wenger's side turned the tie on it's head early into the second period with Xhaka's strike on the hour mark, decent chances for Alex Iwobi, Marco Alonso and Antonio Rüdiger towards the end but the ticket to the national stadium belonged to The Gunners.  

Showing cutting edge very early on 

The first-leg at Stamford Bridge failed to live up to the expectations that the Premier League draw provided weeks previous, but with a tie with Manchester City on the line it was The Blues that came flying out of the traps. 

They asserted themselves quickly with Pedro's disallowed goal five minutes in but they wouldn't have to wait long to take the lead, Pedro did well to stump the Arsenal defence who were still on the turn as the ball landed at the feet of Hazard and the Belgian proved a cool customer as he slotted past the onrushing David Ospina and into the bottom corner. ​

A lead that didn't last long 

That seemed to kick The Gunners into life and it would be fortune that would bring Arsenal level just five minutes after going behind, the weekend's hero struck again as Monreal got power behind his header and the deflection off both Alonso and Rüdiger took it beyond Willy Caballero. 

Arsenal nearly turned the whole tie around deep into first-half extra-time following good chances from Willian and Alexandre Lacazette, Jack Wilshere did well to slot it through to Özil but the German's deflected effort was within inches of nestling into the bottom corner.  

Edging them ahead 

The home side carried on where they left off as the second period got underway and were rewarded on the hour mark, it once again came from a mistake and once again it was Rüdiger who was the culprit as he turned Lacazette's hopeful cross into the path of Xhaka who managed to poke home. 

Pushing right to the death 

Arsenal's passage to Wembley was almost sealed with a little under 15 minutes to play, Özil was deadly down the right as squared it to Iwobi but Caballero did well to save with his toe to take it wide. 

The Blues instantly went up the other end on the counter attack as they looked to push extra-time, Alonso put a hopeful ball across the face of Ospina's goal but nobody was there to turn it home. 

Chelsea had one last throw of the dice eight minutes from the end as Rüdiger looked to make amends, he was on the end of Ross Barkley's corner as his header perplexed Ospina but his header looped onto the roof of the net.