Arsenal bested Brentford 1-0 at the Gtech Community Stadium to advance to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup. It was an excellent performance from a rotated Gunners side. They worked hard, played as a unit, and defended really well en route to the victory.
Reiss Nelson scored the lone goal of the match, calmly slotting the ball low to the near post after Eddie Nketiah had intercepted a poor pass from Mathias Jørgensen, who goes by Zanka. It was a quintessential Nketiah chasing goal. So often it seems as if he’s running for nothing, but every few matches, he’ll nick the ball off the keeper or a defender and be rewarded with a goal for his effort.
Nelson should also be praised for his defensive work. He tracked all the way back several times to defend his flank and win the ball. The same goes for Kai Havertz, who may have had the most defensive headed clearances of anybody in an Arsenal shirt. Takehiro Tomiyasu was excellent. Gabriel Magalhaes was his usual, solid self. Jakub Kiwior made a fantastic block off the line and nearly created an Arsenal goal with a wonderful long ball for Kai Havertz — Reiss Nelson fired just wide at the end of the move.
It was a team win from the Gunners. Everybody worked really hard and defended their area of the pitch relentlessly. Aaron Ramsdale, starting for the first time since being dropped for David Raya, made the saves he had to make, including an incredible diving save to push a Yoanna Wissa shot onto the post. And in typical Aaron Ramsdale style, he gave a bit back to the Brentford home supporters behind the goal who were heckling him all match.
Emile Smith Rowe had a solid outing, too. He showed flashes of the combination passing and runs into the box that made him so good two seasons ago. He forced a really good save from Mark Flekken in the first half after slashing through the box on the ball. He faded as the match went on, which is likely down to fitness. He never was a 90-minute player, anyway.
Arsenal remained unbeaten in all competitions this season, 7 wins and 2 draws. The Carabao Cup fourth round draw takes place later this evening, with matches to be played the week of October 30th.