Wenger counts wounded after Arsenal are put to the sword
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 3 ARSENAL 0 Arsenal were unceremoniously dumped out of the Capital One Cup on a damaging night as Sheffield Wednesday blew them away with a stunning 3-0 victory at Hillsborough.
The Gunners, who beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Everton to briefly go top of the Barclays Premier League in the last seven days, were brought back down to earth by the Sky Bet Championship outfit, who deservedly progressed to the quarter-finals.
But what may come as a bigger cost to Wenger on a damaging night is injuries suffered to Alex OxladeChamberlain and Theo Walcott, who both went off in the opening stages.
Those changes meant the Gunners struggled for any fluency and - after neutralising any early threat - Wednesday took a 27th-minute lead with a fine goal. The Owls worked the ball superbly down the left and Daniel Pudil, set free by Barry Bannan, pulled back a superb cross to Ross Wallace on the edge of the area and the former Scotland international drilled a firsttime effort into the bottom corner.
After making an impressive save to keep out Jeremy Helan’s effort, Petr Cech was rooted to the spot again as Wednesday made it two in the 40th minute. The resulting corner from Helan’s effort was played short to Wallace and he sent in a cross which an unmarked Lucas Joao climbed highest to and headed in.
The Gunners were back out after the interval well before their hosts, clearly keen to stage a second-half comeback, but any such hopes were crushed six minutes after the restart as Sam Hutchinson made it three.
Bannan clipped a free-kick to the far post where Tom Lees was unmarked and his ball back across goal was too easy for Hutchinson to scoop home.
OUT OF REACH: Lucas Joao rises to put Sheffield Wednesday’s second past Petr Cech, right, in nets for Arsenal