Arsenal are on their way to Wembley after coming from behind to dump London rivals Chelsea out of the Carabao Cup.
Eden Hazard gave the Blues an early lead at the Emirates before an Antonio Rudiger own goal and a second-half Granit Xhaka strike turned the tables.
It means Arsene Wenger will once again lead the Gunners out for a cup final when they take on Pep Guardiola’s mighty Manchester City under the arch in February.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was in attendance in north London but a brief cameo for Manchester United earlier in the competition rendered him ineligible to make his Arsenal debut.
Michy Batshuayi’s days at Stamford Bridge look numbered with the Belgian still not given the nod despite first-choice Alvaro Morata being ruled out through injury.
Roma striker Edin Dzeko appears to be his replacement and Batshuayi will be allowed to leave on loan in search of first-team football once the Bosnian is signed.
Willy Caballero made a surprise start between the sticks as Batshuayi’s international team-mate, Thibaut Courtois, failed to overcome a niggling ankle problem.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte decided to use Eden Hazard as a false nine alongside Pedro and Willian in attack.
It looked a smart move after seven minutes as Hazard put the away side in front with a smart finish after latching onto Pedro’s intelligent through ball.
The lead didn’t last long and Arsenal got themselves back on level terms thanks to more than a touch of good fortune.
Nacho Monreal’s harmless header first deflected off Marcos Alonso and then ricocheted home via the head of despairing German centre-half Rudiger.
Conte could do without a number injury problem given Chelsea’s already large queue for the treatment table but Willian’s early withdrawal adds another name to the list.
Ross Barkley was beckoned over and briefed by the Italian coach before being thrown on for his Blues debut following his winter transfer from Everton.
Chelsea enjoyed long spells of possession at the Emirates but failed to make it count in the first half as the two sides went in level, albeit with the Blues boasting an away goal.
For Arsenal and Wenger it was simple. Score in the second half or face elimination with the score deadlocked after extra time.
Despite that clear remit, the Gunners didn’t really force the issue after the restart and kept calm as they waited patiently for an opening, which would eventually come on the hour.
Alexandre Lacazette had endured a difficult night leading the line, yet he kept plugging away and his deflected cross found its way to Xhaka and he slammed home the loose ball.
Conte called for Batshuayi, who came on in place of Pedro, with the visitors needing to turn back the tide.
But there was to be no Batsman to the rescue for the Blues this time as Arsenal took full control and grew into the match.
It became an impressive second 45 minutes from Wenger’s team, particularly in midfield areas, but they know they will need to raise their game to keep the trophy out of City’s hands next month.
Source: Matt Lewis|| Yahoo