Arsenal 2-1 Norwich (AET): 18-year-old Eddie Nketiah scores twice to send Gunners through
By Michael Hincks
Last Updated: 25/10/17 6:41am
Teenager Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to rescue Arsenal by scoring twice in a 2-1 extra-time victory over Norwich in the Carabao Cup fourth round.
The 18-year-old levelled (85) for Arsenal 15 seconds after being introduced before going on to head in a 96th-minute winner on his home debut at the Emirates.
Nketiah's heroics came after Josh Murphy's delightful dink (34) had Norwich's 8,800 travelling fans dreaming of a cup upset.
However, it was not to be for a valiant Norwich side - who had chances to put the game beyond Arsenal - as the London-born Nketiah announced himself to the football world.
Arsenal: Macey (6), Debuchy (6), Elneny (6), Holding (7), Nelson (7), Coquelin (6), Wilshere (7), Maitland-Niles (6), Walcott (4), Iwobi (4), Giroud (5)
Subs: Akpom (6), Nketiah (9), Da Silva (6), Willock (6)
Away Team: Gunn (8), Pinto (6), Zimmermann (7), Klose (7), Husband (7), Reed (6), Trybull (6), Vrancic (6), Maddison (7), Murphy (7), Oliveira (6)
Subs: Stiepermann (6), WIldschut (6), Hoolahan (6), Jerome (6)
Man of the match: Eddie Nketiah
Angus Gunn prevented Arsenal from breaking the deadlock 20 minutes in. The Norwich 'keeper produced a stunning reaction save from Rob Holding's header five yards out.
The visitors then took the lead when Maddison threaded through a delightful ball for Murphy, who lifted the ball over debutant Matt Macey.
With the wind in their sails, Norwich almost extended their lead, but Macey tipped away Nelson Oliveira's low effort which looked destined for the bottom corner.
Arsene Wenger made wholesale changes for Arsenal from the weekend, but fielded a similar outfit to their Europa League side last Thursday, with Matt Macey and Alex Iwobi coming in to replace Petr Cech and Joseph Willock.
Norwich made four changes to the side that beat rivals Ipswich on the weekend. In came James Husband, Mario Vrancic, Josh Murphy and Nelson Oliveira.
After the break, Muphy should have extended Norwich's advantage, but he could only loop the ball over Macey who found himself in no man's land.
Moments later, Mario Vrancic was in behind the Arsenal defence, but after cutting back onto this left foot, he could only fire wide from 10 yards out.
Nketiah's introduction then came in the 85th minute, and it paid off within 15 seconds as the youngster rushed into the box for an Arsenal corner. The striker found himself in the perfect place to latch onto Francis Coquelin's flick-on and send the tie to extra-time.
The 18-year-old then ensured it would be his name in the headlines, rising highest to meet a corner in the 96th minute.
Nketiah almost capped a memorable night with a hat-trick, but was denied by Gunn before firing another effort just wide of the far post.
Norwich had a late penalty shout, but referee Andy Madley waved away claims after James Husband went down under pressure from Mathieu Debuchy.
Man of the match - Eddie Nketiah
Who else? What a night for the young striker. Nketiah could hardly have believed his Emirates bow would have been as special as this.
It took the striker just 15 seconds to endear himself to the Arsenal faithful, who could be heard shouting "Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!" for the majority of extra-time after his dramatic winner.
It could have been a perfect 10 for Nketiah had he tucked away one of his late chances, but a standout showing in a second-string side will have Arsenal fans remembering his performance for some years.
Arsene Wenger: "[Nketiah] was decisive and overall he has the flare to anticipate when you are in the box. That's a quality you cannot give at that age anymore. You either have it or you don't. That's very positive for him."
Daniel Farke: "I'm very proud of my lads for this performance, especially coming 48 hours after a high intensity derby win, but we're very disappointed because we feel we deserve to be in the next round."
Arsenal will discover their quarter-final opponents when the draw takes place at 4pm on Thursday. The Gunners now turn their attention to a Premier League clash at home to Swansea on Saturday (3pm). Norwich meanwhile must bounce back from this disappointment when hosting Derby in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday, also at 3pm.