Capital One Cup

January 12, 2011


Ipswich Town

1 - 0


Capital One Cup

19:45 +00:00, January 12, 2011

Portman Road, England

Referee: M Atkinson


    An excellent performance from an Ipswich side that were desperately short of form, but Arsenal were truly terrible. They need a much better display in the second leg. Thanks for following the game with us.

  • 95'

    FULL TIME! A wonderful result for Ipswich thanks to Tamas Priskin's well-taken goal in the second half, but we have the second leg to come at Emirates Stadium.

  • 94'

    Just seconds remaining...

  • 93'

    This will be only the second time Arsenal have lost to lower league opposition in 42 games under Arsene Wenger. What an achievement for Ipswich.

  • 93'

    Song scoops a pass over the Ipswich defence and into the path of Walcott, but he is guilty of a foul and Ipswich win the free kick.

  • 92'

    Fabregas embarks on a slaloming run and appeals for a penalty when being blocked of the ball, but is denied.

  • 91'

    We will have four minutes of added time.

  • 90'

    Priskin, the goalscorer, is replaced by Ronan Murray.

  • 89'

    Arsenal's defending from high balls has been absolutely horrible tonight. Horrible.

  • 88'

    Fulop is decisive when coming out to claim a cross. Ipswich launch a counter-attack when the goalkeeper boots clear and no one, absolutely no one, is marknig Edwards a he bears down on goal and forces Szczesny into a save.

  • 87'

    Delaney heads clear from a Fabregas cross as Arsenal continue to increase the pressure on the home side.

  • 85'

    Now Cesc Fabregas produces a glorious through-ball, Walcott again attempts to dink the ball over the goalkeeper and Fulop turns behind for a corner. Arsenal have upped the tempo.

  • 85'

    Fulop spills a shot from Chamakh but then gathers with Carlos Vela lurking.

  • 84'

    Arsenal swing in a corner from the right, Ipswich nod behind for a corner...

  • 83'

    Well it's not just Arsenal struggling - Liverpool have gone 2-1 down to a goal from Blackpool's DJ Campbell!

  • 83'

    It is hard to emphasise just how poor Arsenal have been. They have only really had one genuine chance. Ipswich have been superb of course.

  • 82'

    Priskin picks up a silly booking when sliding in on Koscielny as he cleared the ball.

  • 81'

    Arshavin, ineffectual again, is replaced by Carlos Vela, who has been told he can leave Arsenal on loan.

  • 80'

    Let me remind you once again that Arsenal have a second leg in which to rescue this situation, and Ipswich are likely to struggle at Emirates Stadium.

  • 79'

    Well, well, well. Arsenal escaped with a 1-1 draw against Leeds at the weekend and again they find themselves behind against a Championship club. However, on this occasion they have been thoroughly outplayed.

  • 78'

    The goal has been fully, fully deserved. Priskin just about beat the offside trap, latched onto a ball over the top and bent a shot past Szczesny and into the far corner. Lovely finish.

  • 78'

    GOAL! Priskin makes it Ipswich 1-0 Arsenal!

  • 76'

    How on earth did he miss that?? Gibbs swings in a cross from the left and drops into the path of Fabregas five yards out, but it bounces off the thigh of the midfielder and away. He appeared caught in two minds.

  • 76'

    Djourou races across to bring a Wickham run to a halt with a fine challenge. He needed to get that exactly right.

  • 74'

    A loose pass from Eboue almost allows Ipswich to get a shot in on goal. Arsenal have been so poor in possession tonight, which is unusual for them.

  • 72'

    Replays show that a minute ago Wojciech Szczesny could well have given away a free kick for catching the ball when just straying out his area. He didn't though.

  • 71'

    A great chance for the Gunners! Cesc Fabregas releases Walcott with a sumptuous little chip and Walcott's attempted lob is blocked by Fulop. That is their best chance of the game so far.

  • 70'

    Walcott twists and turns before firing in a shot, but Fulop clasps with ease.

  • 68'

    Two like-for-like changes then. Wilshere was decent, Bendtner not so much.

  • 68'

    Arsenal bring on Alex Song and Marouane Chamakh for Jack Wilshere and Nicklas Bendtner.

  • 67'

    Another long ball causes problems, as Djourou hesitates to play the ball back to Szczesny, who is hesitant to come off his line. Arsenal are not punished though.

  • 66'

    Nicklas Bendtner touches the ball - reminding everyone he is on the pitch. The striker is fond of telling anyone who will listen that he is one of the best around, you would imagine that at some point he will produce some performances to back that up, wouldn't you?

  • 65'

    Once again an Arsenal player loses possession, Djourou, and once again Priskin almost latches onto a long ball forward. Arsenal need to tighten up at the back.

  • 64'

    Now the ball pops into the path of Wickham on the edge of the box and the young man fires a shot wide. There is no doubt which side is in the ascendancy at present.

  • 63'

    Arsenal have looked vulnerable to long balls this season - see the away defeat at Braga - and this is something Wenger promised to eradicate a couple of years ago. He hasn't.

  • 62'

    What a chance for Ipswich! Priskin races onto a ball over the top and is clear on goal, but he takes far too long to pull the trigger, allowing Djourou to come across and stick his leg in, almost conceding an own goal in the process.

  • 62'

    The regularity with which Arsenal are losing possession is very uncharacteristic. Even Fabregas has been guilty.

  • 61'

    Arsenal continue to lack sharpness in the final third - this really has been a disappointing performance from a team that should be doing much better.

  • 59'

    Ipswich break from the corner and Priskin almost makes the most of a mistake from Eboue, but the Ivorian gets a block in to prevent his shot from testing Szczesny.

  • 59'

    Arsenal string together a lovely succession of passes but when Bendtner attempts to return the ball to Fabregas, an Ipswich boot deflects the ball for a corner.

  • 58'

    Wilshere apparently loses possession but then rescues the situation with a cute back heel for Fabregas, who attempts to play in Arshavin, only to see his pass roll out of play.

  • 57'

    Fabregas feeds the ball wide to Arshavin, who sees his cross taken by Fulop. That was a poor effort.

  • 55'

    Arsenal lose possession and an Ipswich player, I missed which one, attempts to score from all of 50-odd yards. However, Szczesny back-pedals to catch the ball.

  • 54'

    As Ipswich continue to press, Priskin directs a header off target and Wickham sees an effort blocked by Eboue. Arsenal look desperately unconvincing at present.

  • 53'

    Eboue bottles a challenge in the middle of midfield and Arsenal almost pay when Wickham charges forward and sees his cross blocked.

  • 52'

    The Frenchman is the man who heads clear from the delivery though.

  • 51'

    Koscielny brings down Carlos Edwards to concede a free kick in a dangerous position.

  • 51'

    Now Fabregas looks to set Arshavin free before the Russian is, incorrectly, given offside. Delaney was obviously playing him on and that is a poor decision.

  • 50'

    Arshavin collects a long ball over the top, takes it down and fires a half-volley over the bar. Not a bad effort, but it lacked direction.

  • 49'

    Walcott is guilty of a frankly rubbish square pass but Delaney makes a mess of his clearance and Ipswich just get the ball away.

  • 47'

    Walcott does well to jink away from two markers and slips over the ball in the box. Nothing doing from the ref's point of view.

  • 46'

    I am reminded of the fact that Arsenal have lost only once to lower league opposition in 40 games under Arsene Wenger, but Ipswich could nick a goal tonight, if they don't tire too much.

  • 46'



    We are closing in on the start of the second half. Remember, this is only the first leg and Ipswich still have to go to Emirates Stadium.


    Jack Wilshere and Carlos Edwards battle for the ball


    Arsenal fans clash with police and stewards.


    It should be said that Ipswich have been excellent, especially as the first half wore on. Committed in defence and enterprising in attack, they have outplayed the Gunners.


    Looking at the Arsenal bench, the only player who really looks capable of transforming the game is Marouane Chamakh, who has suffered a loss of form of late.


    Remember to check our our revamped Twitter account (@soccernet) now we have a 15-minute breather. The page can be found here.


    I don't mean to pick on Arshavin, but this game is a chance for him to demonstrate his ability and respond to recent criticism coming his way, but the first 45 minutes has passed him by. In fairness, Arsenal as an attacking unit are failing to make much of an impression.

  • 45'

    HALF TIME Ipswich finish the half in fine shape - they really gave Arsenal a few problems. The Gunners are yet to muster a decent chance, which will be a real concern to Wenger.

  • 44'

    Priskin vies with Koscielny.

  • 44'

    Darren O'Dea goes into the book for tripping Theo Walcott. The left back is walking a very precarious tightrope now with the Arsenal winger to deal with.

  • 43'

    Tamas Priskin puts the ball in the net with a glorious overhead kick, but he is rightly given offside. It was an outrageously good shot though. Ipswich are finishing the half very strongly.

  • 41'

    Ipswich's training-ground routine free from a free kick almost opens up the Arsenal defence but Koscielny, who has played well tonight, takes evasive action with Priskin lurking.

  • 40'

    Walcott surges into the box but is denied again by some resolute defending.

  • 39'

    Connor Wickham does superbly well to escape from Walcott and Eboue down the left and delivers a dangerous cross that only just fails to find a man. Wonderful from the 17-year-old.

  • 38'

    Fabregas' free kick smacks against the wall - his delivery has been disappointing so far tonight.

  • 37'

    Emmanuel Eboue embarrasses himself when throwing himself into Mark Kennedy, but it convinces the ref and Arsenal win a free kick.

  • 36'

    Arsenal really have struggled to carve out any meaningful chances so far, which indicates just what a good job Ipswich are doing of denying them space.

  • 34'

    Koscielny shows poise and calm when playing the ball back to Szczesny under pressure, not something that can always be said of the Frenchman, who joined the club from Lorient in the summer.

  • 33'

    Walcott finds himself in a central area and after collecting a pass, spins and fires in a low shot that Fulop saves.

  • 32'

    Walcott attempts to slide a pass to Fabregas and the box and Edwards slices his attempted clearance, forcing Marton Fulop to catch the ball under the bar.

  • 31'

    From the corner, Gareth McAuley heads over when the ball is played back into the box, and Szczesny was stranded as he attempted to come and clear. The Pole got away with that one.

  • 30'

    Priskin beats Djourou to a ball over the top and lays it off to Wickham, who sees his effort deflected wide for another corner.

  • 30'

    This has been a good spell for Ipswich, who have grown with confidence. However, Szczesny claims well from a corner.

  • 28'

    Eboue wins a free kick from Wickham but the delivery from Fabregas is poor.

  • 27'

    Over at Bloomfield, Blackpool have equalised against Liverpool! Gary Taylor-Fletcher with the goal.

  • 26'

    "We're the famous Arsenal and we're going to Wem-ber-ley" sing the away supporters, but they haven't made the breakthrough just yet.

  • 25'

    Kieran Gibbs lets a pass slip under his boot and out for a throw, to the delight of the fans at Portman Road. Arshavin did something similar against Leeds, and the reaction of the Arsenal fans was quite different.

  • 23'

    Johan Djourou is penalised for a foul as Fabregas delivers his corner though.

  • 23'

    Cesc Fabregas find Kieran Gibbs with a glorious pass in the box, and the left back wins a corner.

  • 23'

    Now Fabregas and Wilshere exchange passes before Ipswich clear their lines. Arsenal's build-up play has been decent, but in the final third they have not been sharp enough. You could say the same about their performances against Manchester City and Leeds last week.

  • 21'

    David Norris looks to be offside, but isn't, and only just fails to get on the end of a through-ball as Wojciech Szczesny comes out to clear. That will concern Arsenal.

  • 20'

    Ipswich launch another long throw into the Arsenal box. Clearly they think this is a productive avenue to explore, and in fairness it probably is. Arsenal have looked wretched against Stoke's long throws in the past.

  • 18'

    Meanwhile, at Bloomfield Road, Fernando Torres has given Liverpool the lead against Blackpool.

  • 17'

    A free kick from Arsenal falls to Koscielny but he cannot stab the ball on target and Ipswich clear.

  • 16'

    Fabregas and Arshavin exchange passes before a cross/shot from Walcott flies across the face of goal. Arsenal then attempt to prise open the home defence again, with no success.

  • 15'

    Ipswich go close as Tamas Priskin's stepovers see him find space away from Eboue, and his curling effort flies just wide of the post.

  • 15'

    Walcott exchanges passes with Fabregas before driving into the box, but loses his footing. After admitting diving against Leeds, he may not be getting any penalties for a while, not that he appealed for it.

  • 13'

    A long throw from Wickham causes Arsenal problems and when the ball rolls into the path of Edwards, his drive is blocked by Gibbs.

  • 12'

    Arshavin and Walcott both attempt to find space in the box but Ipswich stand firm and rob Arsenal of possession before clearing. It has been a decent start from the home side, though they look susceptible to being opened up.

  • 10'

    Delaney does superbly to throw himself in the way of a shot from Denilson. The Brazilian received a square pass from Fabregas and took aim from range. He is handy from outside the box.

  • 8'

    Fabregas sprays a free kick out towards Arshavin but his volley is poor. The Russian has to do something to transform prevailing opinion about him amongst Arsenal fans. It isn't favourable at present, despite his decent contribution in terms of goals and assists.

  • 7'

    Damien Delaney is penalised for a foul on Nicklas Bendtner, giving away a free kick some 35 yards from goal.

  • 6'

    Boy-wonder Connor Wickham appears to be playing down the left, with Tamas Priskin operating through the centre. The 17-year-old is one of the best talents outside of the Premier League.

  • 5'

    The commentator reminds us that Arsene Wenger is yet to win this competition. Arsenal reached the final in 2007 of course, only for a young team to lose to Chelsea.

  • 4'

    However, Edwards' delivery from the right side is headed clear.

  • 3'

    Laurent Koscielny turns a cross from Carlos Edwards behind to give Ipswich a corner.

  • 2'

    Nicklas Bendtner drives through the middle and slips a pass through to Theo Walcott, who loses control of the ball with Fabregas free square of him. Seconds later, the home defence is opened up again but Arshavin's pass is behind Fabregas. Ominous.

  • 1'

    Arsenal, as per usual, look to get foot on ball in the opening seconds, content to play the ball around. However, Marton Fulop is required to clasp a low cross from Jack Wilshere.

  • 1'



    The teams emerge from the tunnel and kick-off is moments away. This will be a long, hard night for Ipswich. After that Leeds game, you fancy Arsenal will be in the mood to secure a good result.


    Just before we get underway, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@soccernet). Our page can be found here.


    As for Ipswich, all eyes are trained on young striker Connor Wickham who has been strongly linked with Arsenal, as well as a great number of other clubs. The England youth international is still just 17.


    Apparently Arsene Wenger believes this is now a competition worth winning, having previously used it to blood his youngsters, and to excellent effect. The likes of Fabregas, Gael Clichy and Nicklas Bendtner have all come to prominence in the League Cup.


    In fact, the presence of Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Andrei Arshavin (who needs a good performance soon to get the fans off his back) demonstrates just how seriously Arsenal are taking this competition for once. It was not always thus, of course.


    Jewell was the manager when Wigan shocked Arsenal at this stage in 2006 to reach the final. An omen? Probably not as he won't be having any influence tonight. Also, Arsenal have a very strong team out.


    Ipswich disposed of Roy Keane prior to this tie, denying him a friendly reunion with Arsenal supporters, but new man Paul Jewell will not take charge until after this game, so Ian McParland is in charge tonight.


    So relegation-threatened Championship side Ipswich against title-chasing Premier League giants Arsenal, it's a done deal, right? Well, maybe, but Arsenal did only just avoid a giant-killing at the hands of Leeds in the FA Cup at the weekend.


    Hello there, and welcome to our coverage of Arsenal's Carling Cup semi-final, first leg against Championship side Ipswich Town. My name is Tom Adams, and I'll be guiding you through events at Portman Road.


    Live updates will appear here from 1930 GMT.


    Arsenal nearly had a nasty shock in the FA Cup against Leeds, can they avoid more drama in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final tie against Ipswich? Nick Bendtner hopes the competition will be a springboard to success.