Aaron Ramsdale was reduced to fist-pumps on the bench reacting to team-mate David Raya last weekend — but last night, a flurry of his quality saves spurred Arsenal to the Carabao Cup’s fourth round.
Mikel Arteta, as expected, rang out the changes, which included a start for Ramsdale. To the backdrop of ‘You’re just a s**t David Raya’ chants from behind the goal, the goalkeeper pulled out a sensational diving save on 66 minutes to deny Brenford’s Yoane Wissa.
The ball had been arrowing into the corner before his intervention. A fist-pump to those home supporters came out.
Minutes later, he parried away Frank Onyeka’s strike. It followed Reiss Nelson’s first-half strike after just eight minutes.
Emile Smith Rowe made his first start of the season — a 100th appearance for the club — while Charles Sagoe Jr was awarded his Arsenal debut.
The Gunners were in front after a catalogue of errors. Zanka, under pressure, blindly passed backwards into the path of Eddie Nketiah, who raced to the byline.
His cross went straight through Nathan Collins, who should’ve intercepted it, and Nelson coolly finished into the corner.
Wissa scuppered Brentford’s best chance of the first half, finding himself alone on the edge of the box from Christian Norgaard’s incisive low cross.
Wissa blasted it wide. He ought to have scored.
Smith Rowe showed glimpses of why fans have been calling for him to feature this campaign, dribbling past a couple of defenders before his shot was blocked by keeper Mark Flekken’s foot on the line.
Upon the restart, the Bees had improved. In fairness, they could not have been any flatter in the first period.
Yet in the second, they ignited. In the space of six minutes, three goalbound shots had been blocked away.
It was Wissa’s onRead on m.allfootballapp.com