Dele Alli scored a brilliant chip as Tottenham gained vengeance for their Premier League defeat at Arsenal earlier this month by claiming a 2-0 EFL Cup quarter-final win at Emirates Stadium.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team went down 4-2 when the sides met in a fiery north London derby on December 2, but Alli’s impudent finish in the 59th minute added to Son Heung-min’s opener to send Spurs into the final four for the first time since 2014-15.
A banana was thrown on the pitch after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a penalty in the teams’ previous encounter and on Wednesday Alli was hit by a bottle thrown from the stands, responding with a ‘2-0’ gesture to the fans.
Unai Emery – who left Mesut Ozil out entirely for “tactical reasons” – may step up his interest in defensive reinforcements after his makeshift backline was twice punished by clinical Tottenham counter-attacks in their second straight defeat.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was unable to beat Paulo Gazzaniga from 12 yards when one on one and Son punished him in the 20th minute, curling past Petr Cech after Granit Xhaka – deployed at centre-back – played him onside.
Moussa Sissoko contrived to blaze over at the end of a rapid Tottenham break that followed Lucas Moura’s tackle on Mkhitaryan, but Gazzaniga kept the visitors ahead by tipping Aaron Ramsey’s shot against the upright two minutes before the break on the Welshman’s 350th Arsenal appearance.
Emery switched to a back three with the introduction of Laurent Koscielny at half-time but the defender – still working his way back to full fitness after an Achilles rupture in May – was caught out and Alli poked a delightful finish past a stunned Cech.
Alexandre Lacazette hit the post soon after replacing Alex Iwobi, while Aubameyang saw a cross from the left hit the bar after Alli appeared to be struck by a bottle thrown from the crowd.
Arsenal were unable to find a way back into the game, with Gazzaniga not having to make another save before the final whistle.