Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1
(Arsenal won 2-1 on aggregate)
Two fortuitous Arsenal goals meant Chelsea missed out on the Carabao Cup final.
Granit Xhaka’s close-range finish 14 minutes into the second half secured victory for the north London side, who will face Manchester City at Wembley.
Antonio Rudiger’s freak own goal had hauled them level soon after Eden Hazard gave Chelsea an early lead in an action-packed semi-final second leg at the Emirates Stadium, where Ross Barkley came on for his Blues debut after Willian went off injured.
Having had a goal disallowed after Pedro strayed marginally offside before heading in Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross, Chelsea took the lead on seven minutes.
Pedro collected N’Golo Kante’s pass and threaded the ball through to Hazard, who slotted past Arsenal keeper David Ospina.
Blues keeper Willy Caballero was then called into action, saving at the feet of Jack Wilshere.
But when Nacho’s Monreal’s header from Mesut Ozil’s left-wing corner ricocheted off the head of first Marcos Alonso and then Rudiger, the wrong-footed Caballero had no chance.
Willian missed a great chance to restore the lead when he dragged a left-footed shot wide after Hazard’s clever dummy meant Pedro’s ball into the box dropped to the Brazilian, who limped off on the half-hour mark and was replaced by recent signing Barkley.
Following an Arsenal counter-attack in the final seconds of the first half after Barkley had given the ball away, Ozil’s deflected shot bounced inches wide.
But there was no let-off for the visitors when Xhaka netted – and again Rudiger was unfortunate.
Alexandre Lacazette pulled the ball back from the right and it bounced off Rudiger to Xhaka, who took full advantage.
Chelsea: Caballero; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses (Zappacosta 72), Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian (Barkley 30), Hazard, Pedro (Batshuayi 64).
Subs not used: Eduardo, Cahill, Luiz, Drinkwater.