EFL Cup - Third Round
ArsenalArsenal1DoncasterDoncaster Rovers0

Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott's first-half goal was his first for Arsenal in 10 matches

Arsenal moved into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup as Theo Walcott's first-half goal saw off League One Doncaster Rovers at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners, who made 11 changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday, hit the crossbar early on through Olivier Giroud's overhead kick.

But Walcott put the hosts ahead when he collected Alexis Sanchez's cross-field pass and dinked a shot over Ian Lawlor.

Doncaster's Matty Blair headed against the bar late on, but Arsenal advanced.

Carabao Cup fourth-round draw
Ties to be played week commencing 23 October
Tottenham v West Ham
Bristol City v Crystal Palace
Swansea v Manchester United
Arsenal v Norwich
Chelsea v Everton
Manchester City v Wolves
Leicester v Leeds
Bournemouth v Middlesbrough

Arsene Wenger's side dominated throughout with 27 attempts, with Giroud heading over from Mohamed Elneny's cross and Walcott having a shot pushed over by Lawlor.

Doncaster, who are 19th in League One, came close to forcing extra time but Blair's header from Liam Mandeville's right-wing corner bounced off the bar.

Although they made 11 changes, the Arsenal starting XI was still strong with Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere, Giroud, Sanchez and Walcott all beginning the match.

Seventeen-year-old Reiss Nelson made his first start for the Gunners, before 18-year-olds Josh da Silva and Joe Willock made their first Arsenal appearances in the second half.

Doncaster were the lowest ranked team left in the competition and manager Darren Ferguson, son of former Manchester United boss Alex, can be proud of his side's dogged performance.

Arsenal have never won the League Cup during Arsene Wenger's 21 years at the club, but have lost in the final on two occasions - in 2007 and 2011.

'That was hard work' - what they said

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "Yes that was hard work, credit to Doncaster, they kept going. We started well in the first 35 minutes but we decreased slowly.

"We lost our collective game and couldn't score the second goal, it became more difficult. We wanted to score goals. We were just lacking. It was a typical cup game.

"I was concerned, they looked dangerous."

Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson said: "I'm so proud of the players this evening, we gave it a good go and we reacted quite well after going behind.

"We created a lot of chances in the second half, there was a point in the game where we really went for it.

"Our performances haven't been too bad and the games we have lost have majority been by one goal, we are not far off."

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 13Ospina
  • 21ChambersSubstituted forDa Silvaat 45'minutes
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 16Holding
  • 61NelsonSubstituted forWillockat 84'minutes
  • 35Elneny
  • 10Wilshere
  • 30Maitland-Niles
  • 14WalcottSubstituted forIwobiat 76'minutes
  • 7Sánchez
  • 12Giroud

Substitutes

  • 17Iwobi
  • 18Monreal
  • 32Akpom
  • 43Da Silva
  • 54Macey
  • 62Nketiah
  • 69Willock

Doncaster

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Lawlor
  • 17Blair
  • 15Wright
  • 6Butler
  • 8MasonBooked at 68mins
  • 10Rowe
  • 26CoppingerSubstituted forMandevilleat 62'minutes
  • 16HoughtonSubstituted forAlcockat 62'minutes
  • 12Whiteman
  • 7Kongolo
  • 19MaySubstituted forMarquisat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Alcock
  • 9Marquis
  • 11Williams
  • 13Marosi
  • 14Mandeville
  • 18Toffolo
  • 20Garratt
Referee:
Scott Duncan
Attendance:
44,064

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamDoncaster
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home27
Away7
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 1, Doncaster Rovers 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 1, Doncaster Rovers 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ian Lawlor.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alex Iwobi (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rob Holding (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Craig Alcock.

  7. Post update

    Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Benjamin Whiteman (Doncaster Rovers).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Matty Blair.

  11. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe Willock (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Andy Butler.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is just a bit too high.

  16. Post update

    Joe Willock (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Tommy Rowe (Doncaster Rovers).

  18. Post update

    Corner, Doncaster Rovers. Conceded by Joe Willock.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Matty Blair (Doncaster Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Doncaster Rovers. Conceded by Per Mertesacker.

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