1-0 Alexis Sanchez 14'
1-1 Dusan Tadic 20' (pen)
1-2 Nathaniel Clyne 39'
For the past several years in particular, the Capital One Cup -- or the League Cup, or the Carling Cup, or the Milk Cup, or whatever -- for Arsenal has been used mainly to give young players a shot in the first team. It's a different atmosphere than playing in the reserves, especially when you're at the Emirates Stadium, and especially when you're playing against Premier League opposition. It's great experience, and since few take the competition particularly seriously, it doesn't really hurt the club any.
This is pretty much the opinion I've had since I learned what the League Cup was. It's not the FA Cup, it's not the Premier League, it's not the Champions League. It's just not on that level. A lot of the time it can just get in the way of things you'd rather be doing. But once the game starts, you want to win. We're fans, rationality doesn't matter. The fact that even winning this competition would be a second-rate accomplishment doesn't matter. Losing sucks when it's happening to you.
And yeah, Arsenal lost yesterday. It was mostly a reserve side. For heaven's sake, Francis Coquelin started. Against a pretty good Premier League team (despite the sales they made this summer, Southampton and Ronald Koeman did a great job of adding to the squad, aside from spending £12 million on Shane Long), in the end even magic from Alexis Sanchez wasn't enough to win -- not when Nathaniel Clyne can answer like this.
So yeah, we can only win the treble this year, no quadruple. Jokes aside, it stings a little to go out this early. But in reality, all that's actually lost is an opportunity to get the kids and Lukas Podolski some playing time without risking anything in competitions that matter. The sting will fade, and in the long run this season, we're probably a little better off for having lost. This is probably the last time this season we can say this; I plan to savor it.
Song of the game: "The Greater Good," by Nine Inch Nails