Arsenal 2-1 Norwich (AET): 18-year-old Eddie Nketiah comes off the bench to score twice as Gunners come from behind to reach Carabao Cup quarter-finals


If you don’t believe in fairytales, then this will surely change your mind. By the final whistle the Arsenal fans were chanting ‘Eddie, Eddie, Eddie’.
Right now you’ll be racking your brains thinking, ‘Eddie who?’ Eddie Nketiah, that’s who.
Hopefully the 18-year-old — known to his loved ones as ‘Little Eddie’ — goes on to fulfil his potential.
But even if he doesn’t, he’ll always have this night. The night he was Arsenal’s hero, the darling of the Emirates Stadium.
In only his second appearance as a senior professional, the youngster scored a dramatic late equaliser with his first touch after coming on as an 85th-minute substitute.
And as if that wasn’t romantic enough, Nketiah — who becomes the first Arsenal goalscorer born after Arsene Wenger took over in 1996 — notched the winner in extra-time. Utterly breathtaking.
‘I’m impressed that he wasn’t even conceived when I was already here,’ joked Wenger. ‘But life gives chances to young people. I can’t remember a time when a young player has made such an impact.
‘He has shown he has the quality, but we saw he also has the quality that, when your team needs you, you deliver.
‘That’s a quality you don’t know until you put them on the pitch. Let’s not be too quick (to talk Nketiah up), but he has top quality.’
Credit to Norwich, who were excellent. Had they taken their chances, Nketiah’s late leveller would have been mere consolation.
Canaries boss Daniel Farke pointed to the fact Mohamed Elneny escaped what looked a stonewall red card and being denied a late penalty after James Husband was brought down by Mathieu Debuchy as reasons why his side were left heartbroken.
There was further debate in the tunnel after the final whistle over whether Arsenal had broken EFL rules by introducing a fourth substitute in extra-time after only using two during regulation time.
But, in the end, Norwich didn’t stand a chance. This was fate, Nketiah’s date with destiny. The stadium announcer had unintentionally introduced Norwich as arch-rivals Ipswich in the lead-up to kick-off.
The slip of the tongue sparked roars of laughter from the home supporters. But it was Norwich fans who were smiling at the end of the first half.
It took Arsenal some time to get going. Norwich, without pulling up any trees, were more than holding their own, with Mario Vrancic firing wide from the edge of the box after a positive run. Angus Gunn made his first save of the night in the 20th minute, a reflex stop to deny Rob Holding.
But that was the best a lacklustre Arsenal had to show for their first-half display. Indeed, it got much worse as Daniel Farke’s men took a shock 34th-minute lead.
Tom Trybull robbed Alex Iwobi in midfield before James Maddison’s through ball found Josh Murphy who nonchalantly chipped over debutant Matt Macey to fire Norwich ahead.

Arsenal then had referee Andy Madley to thank for not sending off Elneny after the Egyptian brought down Nelson Oliveira in the 55th minute when the Canaries striker was through on goal.
The visiting bench were incensed when Madley brandished a yellow card.
Murphy and Vrancic missed three glorious chances for Norwich and the fear for Farke was that his side would be punished for their profligacy.
It proved to be the case as Nketiah embarked on a unforgettable night, first equalising in the 85th minute as Norwich failed to deal with Theo Walcott’s corner before heading home a euphoric winner six minutes into extra-time.


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