Danny Welbeck Leads Arsenal Past West Ham United into Carabao Cup Semi-Final

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2017

Arsenal's Joe Willock, left, holds off the challenge of West Ham United's Domingos Quina during the English League Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates stadium in London, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Arsenal and West Ham United served up a drab affair during Tuesday's Carabao Cup action, but a single goal from Danny Welbeck won the Gunners a spot in the semi-finals.

The striker scored shortly before half-time, and West Ham never came close to an equaliser for the rest of the tie at the Emirates Stadium.

Here's a look at the teamsheet, via James Olley of the London Evening Standard:

James Olley @JamesOlley

At Emirates. #afc v #whufc teamsheet: https://t.co/a1o0Qu6Mz3

Arsenal's rotated squad took control early, and Welbeck threatened with a weak header after a good cross from Mathieu Debuchy.

The Gunners were comfortable in possession, but it became clear early on that their fringe players and back-ups were lacking rhythm and their passing was sloppy. Chances were rare, and when Welbeck did make a run into the box, Hammers goalkeeper Joe Hart easily intercepted his pass.

James Benge of the Evening Standard was not impressed:

James Benge @jamesbenge

West Ham vs Arsenal December 13: This is the worst West Ham vs Arsenal game ever Arsenal vs West Ham December 19: Hold my beer

Angelo Ogbonna did well to get in front of Olivier Giroud on a cross from Theo Walcott, who was Arsenal's most dynamic attacking force in the first 30 minutes.

Both teams had minor opportunities late in the half, with Ogbonna scuffing a header and Sead Kolasinac cutting inside but aiming his shot wide.

Walcott should have opened the scoring after 39 minutes, but the speedster somehow failed to hit the target with a wide-open header after a cross from Kolasinac. Three minutes later, Welbeck finally broke the deadlock, firing home after Debuchy nodded the ball across the face of goal.

Per Telegraph Football, it wasn't pretty:

Telegraph Football @TeleFootball

GOAL! Danny Welbeck puts Arsenal ahead with a scrappy finish from one yard out #ARSWHU https://t.co/az8kyIU4hi https://t.co/QSmxEE5RO0

Joe Willock could have doubled the advantage but blasted a shot over the crossbar before the match official called a halt to the half.

Per Arsenal's official Twitter account, an unusual substitution took place at half-time:

Arsenal FC @Arsenal

We're back underway here - and there's been a change at the break... but not one you'd expect Fourth official Chris Kavanagh is now running the line in place of Stuart Burt Follow it LIVE 👉 https://t.co/uEGmZkZBXu #AFCvWHU 🔴 1-0 ⚫ (48) https://t.co/r02hFJwEH2

The Gunners were happy to control the pace in the second half and, as the visitors were unable to create much, went looking for a second goal to kill the tie.

Giroud had a hopeful header blocked, while at the other end of the pitch, Aaron Cresswell wasted a free-kick from a great position when he curled a shot wide.

West Ham introduced Andy Carroll to try to turn the tide, and the striker clashed with Francis Coquelin soon after, leaving the latter in pain, per the Mirror's John Cross:

John Cross @johncrossmirror

Carroll's first act within 30 seconds: fouls Coquelin

Hart brought down Welbeck just outside the box, running into a yellow card and giving away a free-kick from a tricky position. Mohamed Elneny couldn't get the ball through the wall, however.

Carroll just failed to reach a tantalising cross, and Elneny ran out of time after a great run and pass from Willock. 

While West Ham needed a goal, the team barely tried to push forward in the final stages. It was a disappointing and uninspired effort from the visitors, while Arsenal lost little energy ahead of the Premier League game against Liverpool on Friday.