Aaron Ramsdale has the last laugh and sends Arsenal through for fourth-round tie at West Ham

Aaron Ramsdale sticks his tongue out at the Brentford fans
Aaron Ramsdale hits back at the Brentford fans after Arsenal's Carabao Cup victory - REUTERS/Tony O'Brien

For some footballers at the highest level, the early rounds of the League Cup can represent something of a chore. This time last season, that might have been the case for Aaron Ramsdale. This year, though, a midweek trip to Brentford represented an enormous opportunity for the England goalkeeper.

Having lost his place to David Raya in recent weeks, here was Ramsdale’s chance to remind the world – and, indeed, Mikel Arteta  of his class. It was a chance he seized with both of those gloved hands, as the 25-year-old produced a performance of the highest quality between the posts.

If Arteta’s plan was to fire up Ramsdale’s competitive spirit by dropping him for Raya, it seems to have worked. The Englishman was at his best in this narrow victory, playing as important a role as anyone on the pitch in Arsenal’s victory, which was secured by Reiss Nelson’s early strike.

Only time will tell whether Ramsdale’s performance, which included a truly magnificent save to deny Brentford a second-half equaliser, will be enough for him to regain his place in the Premier League team. At the very least, though, it proved that he is up for the fight.

A run of five matches without a victory, coupled with a few untimely injuries, meant that Brentford either would not or could not make wholesale changes for this game. It has not been the most straightforward start to the season for Thomas Frank and he chose a stronger lineup than Arsenal might have been expecting.

The north Londoners, by contrast, made eight changes as Arteta used this fixture as a chance to provide opportunities to those who have not featured regularly so far this season. In came some of the fringe players, such as Nelson and Takehiro Tomiyasu, and there was also space for an unfamiliar face: Charles Sagoe Jr.

Another product of the Arsenal academy, Sagoe Jr is a 19-year-old winger who lined up in attack here alongside Nelson and Eddie Nketiah, two other graduates of the youth ranks. A tidy player, he showed impressive footwork at times in the first half, in which Arsenal took the lead through Nelson’s precise finish.

Arsenal's Reiss Nelson celebrates scoring their first goal with Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah
Arsenal take the lead at Brentford - REUTERS/Tony O'Brien

The goal came from a Brentford error, with defender Zanka playing the ball to Nketiah inside the home side’s penalty area. Nketiah then found Nelson, who stayed calm at the critical moment. Arsenal also went close through Emile Smith Rowe, making his first start for 499 days, before Yoane Wissa fired wide for Brentford before the break.

It was Wissa who went closest after the break, too, as he fired powerfully towards Ramsdale’s corner. The Arsenal goalkeeper had been receiving plenty of barbed comments from the home fans following his recent demotion, and he made sure to fully enjoy the moment as he flung himself to the ground and pushed Wissa’s shot against the post.

With the ball still in play, Ramsdale turned to the Brentford supporters and offered a few words of his own. It was the closest Brentford came to finding an equaliser

Match details

Brentford (5-3-2)  Flekken; Roerslev (Ghoddos 63), Collins, Pinnock, Zanka (Ajer 82), Hickey (Olakigbe 77); Onyeka (Lewis-Potter 77), Norgaard (Jensen 63), Janelt; Mbeumo, Wissa. Booked Wissa.
Substitutes Strakosha (g), Balcombe, Yarmoliuk, Brierley.

Arsenal (4-3-3)  Ramsdale; White (Zinchenko 69), Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Kiwior; Smith Rowe (Odegaard 82), Jorginho, Havertz; Sagoe Jr (Jesus 69), Nketiah (Soares, 87), Nelson (Elneny 82).
Substitutes  Hein (g), Cozier-Duberry, Sweet, Walters. Booked  White, Nketiah.

Referee  Peter Bankes (Wirral)


Brentford 0 Arsenal 1 and fourth-round draw: as it happened


10:35 PM BST

Ties to be played week beginning 30/10

Mansfield vs Port Vale

Ipswich Town vs Fulham

Manchester Utd vs Newcastle Utd

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Chelsea vs Blackburn Rovers

West Ham United vs Arsenal

Everton vs Burnley

Exeter vs Middlesbrough

We have last year’s final, the Dyche derby, League Two vs League One, a London derby and a marathon journey for Boro.


10:32 PM BST

Tie 8

Exeter vs Middlesbrough


10:31 PM BST

Tie 7

Everton vs Burnley


10:31 PM BST

Tie 6

West Ham United vs Arsenal


10:31 PM BST

Tie 5

Chelsea vs Blackburn Rovers


10:30 PM BST

Tie 4

Bournemouth vs Liverpool


10:30 PM BST

Tie 3

Manchester Utd vs Newcastle Utd


10:29 PM BST

Tie 2

Ipswich Town vs Fulham


10:29 PM BST

Tie 1

Mansfield vs Port Vale


10:28 PM BST

At last ...

Don Goodman and Neil Lennon will make the draw. But first ... some introductions and the ball numbers.


10:26 PM BST

And after the break ...

A ‘quick’ run through the third-round results. Get on with it.


10:22 PM BST

We have kept you waiting too long ...

Says Sky ... “so we will get to the draw after this short break” – shameless.


10:19 PM BST

Sky is spinning this out

A post-match chat with Eddie Howe precedes the draw. Shouldn’t be much longer now.


10:10 PM BST

Arteta on Ramsdale's reception by Arsenal fans


10:07 PM BST

The clubs in the last 16

Middlesbrough

Exeter City

Ipswich Town

Mansfield Town

Port Vale

Burnley

Manchester United

Everton

Blackburn Rovers

Bournemouth

Arsenal

Chelsea

Fulham

West Ham United

Liverpool

Newcastle United

The draw is due to take place at 22.15 BST.


09:41 PM BST

Full time: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford hit the bar when the flag was already up and the referee blows for time. Brentford were very good in the second half and rattled Arsenal with their long throws and the intelligent running of Mbeumo and Wissa. Their execution was off and ultimately it cost them. Arsenal played some slick stuff in the first half but faded badly in the second. Still, they clung on and go into the hat.


09:39 PM BST

90+4 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Flekken goes up for a Jensen long throw but Ramsdale swallows Wissa’s loopy header and he has to turn tail and head back.


09:38 PM BST

90+3 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Arsenal eat up a bit of time with the corner, hanging on to the ball by the flag. Cedric recovers the ball when the cross eventually comes but his return across the box is hustled out for an Arsenal throw.


09:36 PM BST

90+1 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

The first of five minutes of stoppage time begin with Odegaard letting fly after a counter-attack led by Havertz and his shot is deflected behind for a corner.


09:35 PM BST

89 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Wissa is squeezed out after winning a header in the box from a 40-yard pass but Arsenal ultimately see it into touch. Jensen has another long-throw opportunity, catapulting it into the box and Arsenal scramble it away.


09:32 PM BST

87 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Zinchenko patiently probes down the left and then injects some drama and pace by picking out Elneny with the cut-back and the Egypt midfielder leathers a 22-yard shot that whistles past the left post.

Cedric ⇢ Nketiah.


09:31 PM BST

85 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Another opening for Wissa as he cuts in from the left on to his right and blazes a vicious shot over the bar. His movement ahs confounded Arsenal but his finishing has let them off the hook.


09:28 PM BST

83 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Ajer also comes on, for Jorgensen. AN Other, it turns out, was Hickey.

Kiwior slides in to stop Lewis-Potter’s shot on the line and it falls kindly for Ramsdale. .


09:27 PM BST

81 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

More changes Lewis-Potter and Olakigbe are on for Onyeka and AN Other. Smith Rowe heads off and Odegaard replaces him. Elneny is on, too, for Nelson.


09:25 PM BST

79 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford have the ball in the back of the net but are adjudged, without VAR, to have been caught offside when the ball was chipped back into the box. Collins did look marginally offside but Thomas Frank isn’t pleased.


09:23 PM BST

77 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Collins launches a pass 60 yards, diagonally to the right of the D. Wissa nods it back and Onyeka hammers a 20-yard half-volley that Ramsdale turns away.


09:21 PM BST

75 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Jesus wins a header from a long pass and Arsenal work an opening down the left for him after he exchanges passes with Zinchenko and Havertz. Jesus slips a pass into the box and Nketiah, who gave Collins a start, burns past him to get there and shoot from an angle of about 45 degrees. Flekken saves with his feet.


09:17 PM BST

72 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Zinchenko misplaces his pass infield intended for Jorginho. Wissa steals in and tees up Janelt to shoot from 20 yards but he hammers it over.


09:16 PM BST

70 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Jesus is on the left and Nelson on the right, Kiwior to centre-back with Zinchenko at left-back. Zinchenko sweeps a long pass up the left for Havertz who takes it in his stride then pulls a pass across the 18-yard line for Nelson who slides a left-foot shot a foot past the right post.


09:14 PM BST

69 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Double Arsenal change:

Jesus ⇢ Sagoe Jnr

Zinchenko ⇢ White.


09:12 PM BST

67 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Arsenal properly under the cosh now. Janelt seems to have cloned himself and is everywhere in midfield and Wissa and Mbeumo are sprightly and spritely.


09:11 PM BST

65 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Ghoddos’s thunderous shot from a long Jensen throw is blocked by Gabriel.

Brentford are a different side, more like their old selves after the half.

Ramsdale denies Wissa with a wonderful save, turning the fierce daisy-cutter on to the right post when diving at full stretch. It came from another Jensen long throw that was won and then the ball fizzed across the box.


09:09 PM BST

64 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Double Brentford substitution:

Jensen ⇢ Norgaard

Ghoddos ⇢ Roerslev


09:08 PM BST

63 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Hickey piles forward down the left after some zipping passes from left to right and back again. He hits his bending shot very sweetly but into White’s knee.


09:06 PM BST

61 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford have been much better this half, using balls over the top to target Gabriel. Twice in a minute they test the Brazilian centre-back but he manages to deal with it even when isolated by Mbeumo and then Wissa.


09:04 PM BST

59 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Wissa chases a pass from Norgaard all the way to the byline and hooks back a cross on the whitewash. Gabriel cuts it out, dallies and is blindsided by Wissa who wins it back and then crosses towards the right of the penalty spot. Onyeka, lacking space, tries to improvise a volley by leaping off both feet but after such an ungainly attempt it’s little wonder his shanks it.


09:02 PM BST

57 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Now Kiwior strongarms Roerslev over the touchline but isn’t booked. Brentford free-kick, 20 yards out, wide right. Havertz heads it out to the left and, when Roerslev chips it back in, Tomiyasu makes the clearance.


09:00 PM BST

56 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Nketiah bulldozes Roerslev from behind as he shielded the ball and is booked.


08:59 PM BST

55 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Sagoe has been tidy but has had a couple of chances to face up Hickey and run at him but, so far, has laid it off.


08:58 PM BST

53 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Nketiah’s movement is hard to track for Brentford. This time he pops up on the left to blaze a shot over as he went for a curler into the top right corner.


08:56 PM BST

51 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

After the throw-in is worked infield to Norgaard, his shot hits Wissa in an offside position and, although he controls it and thinks he has an opportunity to get his own shot away, up goes the flag.


08:55 PM BST

50 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford should have done much better than a throw-in after a quickfire break by Janelt, Mbeumo and Wissa. Good work from Kiwior sees them off.


08:53 PM BST

48 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Nketiah is penalised for nudging ahead of Collins to meet Ramsdale’s long kick. Nketiah protests but Collins wants a card as well, claiming he was elbowed. The referee isn’t persuaded.


08:51 PM BST

46 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

No half-time changes. Flekken launches it long from Brentford’s kick-off but Tomiyasu sweeps up and knocks it back to Ramsdale.


08:34 PM BST

Half-time: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Arsenal have had all the poise and Jorginho has got back on the horse after his spectacular ‘fall’ in the derby and is dictating the tempo. Smith Rowe’s change of pace in the No10 role offers Arsenal a proper alternative to Havertz or Odegaard or Jesus. Brentford need more precision on the break and need to make more of Mbeumo.


08:32 PM BST

45+1 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Nketiah wriggles free in the box and almost swoops on to the ball after Tomiyasu played it up to Nelson who spun a centre to the centre-forward. He can’t get a clean cushion on the pass and Brentford scramble it away after a bout of pinball.


08:30 PM BST

44 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Gabriel hooks a long left-foot pass on the half-volley up the middle for Nelson to chase. Roerslev comes over from the right to the middle to try to deal with it but he is beaten by Nelson. Pinnock helps him out and Havertz can’t nip in.


08:27 PM BST

42 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

White is booked for taking too long over a throw-in for the second, possibly third time.


08:27 PM BST

41 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

A mistake by Ramsdale, dithering, goes unpunished when Wissa’s attempt to dispossess him bounces off the keeper’s shins. Havertz put the keeper under undue pressure with a shonky back-pass.


08:25 PM BST

39 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Jorginho plays some tiki-taka passes 30 yards out, looking for the opening, then dinks Nketiah in down the inside right when he gets it back from Smith Rowe. Nketiah hits the gas, accelerates past Jorgensen but before he can shoot, Pinnock gets his foot in with perfect precision.


08:23 PM BST

37 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Kiwior owes Nelson a pint after all his defensive work recently.


08:22 PM BST

35 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford should be level after excellent work down the right by Norgaard to shred Kiwior and cut back a cross to the penalty spot. Wissa was clear but swept his shot wide. Sliced it almost. He had all the time in the world there to trap it but went first time and may have slipped.


08:20 PM BST

33 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Arsenal are dominating with Nelson working some space with a cute pass to Havertz who brings it in the left of the box on to his right to shoot ... straight into the nearest defender.


08:19 PM BST

31 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Fine save by Flekken almost doing the splits to stop Smith Rowe’s shot with his left foot. Smith Rowe had made one of those Dele style gliding runs (Dele circa 2017) into the box when fed by Jorginho after patient probing down the left with Nketiah and Nelson combining.

Smith Rowe took it by the right of the D, shifted it on to his left and opened his body to sweep a shot with his instep but Flekken saved the day.

Emile Smith Rowe looks frustrated
Emile Smith Rowe sees his effort saved - David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

08:16 PM BST

29 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Extended rally of head tennis down the Arsenal left until they get it down and sweep it over to Tomiyasu on the other wing. The rain is thickening and the ball is zipping around.


08:15 PM BST

27 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford corner after Onyeka races up the right to try to reach Roerslev’s pass. Gabriel came over to tackle but the ball rebounded off the centre-half and behind.

The corner is flicked on by Wissa and his eyebrows at the near post and Nelson belts it clear.


08:12 PM BST

24 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

White does look a little shaky back in his original position. Wissa has a good shout for a free-kick about 25 yards out when he tries to shield the ball. Gabriel seems to give him a little shove when he received Hickey’s pass after the left wing-back beat three or four Arsenal players as he cut in from outside- to inside-left.


08:10 PM BST

22 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Roerslev causes some panic in the Arsenal box as they let the cross bounce but Wissa and then Mbeumo cannot make the most of it.


08:08 PM BST

21 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Tomiyasu to the rescue, blocking Janelt’s shot after White made a hash of Onyeka’s cross under pressure from Wissa.

Vitaly Janelt shoots
Janelt lets fly - JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

08:07 PM BST

19 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

White tries a long ball over the top for Smith Rowe to run through and collect after Sagoe Jnr dropped off short but there was too much on it and the slick pitch helps it skid out for a goal-kick.


08:05 PM BST

17 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford look disjointed and can’t string passes together in midfield. They usually find a way but they are struggling so far tonight.


08:03 PM BST

15 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Smith Rowe takes another corner for Arsenal but after some scuffling in the box, the ref gives Brentford a free-kick before Arsenal can do anything with it.


08:00 PM BST

13 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Hickey’s defensive header form that Kiwior cross stopped it reaching Sagoe. Mbeumo picks off Smith Rowe’s corner and plays a pass just behind Wissa. He has to wait and collect then bombs forward but Arsenal keep pretty good pace with him and he runs out of room on the counter when his pass also isn’t put into Janelt’s stride. Nelson, back on the cover, buys a cheap free-kick off Janelt.


07:58 PM BST

11 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 1

Brentford are roocking after conceding so sloppily and Kiwior’s whipped cross into the box is put behind for the first corner of the match.


07:55 PM BST

GOAL!

Brentford 0 Arsenal 1 (Nelson)  Horrendous mistake when Nketiah pounces on Jorgensen’s rotten back pass, under no pressure. He works the ball, just about, to Nelson who sidefoots it home.

Arsenal's Reiss Nelson scores their first goal
Nelson slots in an easy chance after Jorgensen's error - REUTERS/Tony O'Brien

07:54 PM BST

9 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 0

Thomas Frank waves to the crowd
Thomas Frank greets his public - Alex Pantling/Getty Images

07:53 PM BST

7 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 0

Brentford are forced back to Flekken whose long chip is one club too heavy for Mbeumo and skips out.


07:52 PM BST

6 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 0

White’s miscontrol gives Brentford a corner and they earn another when Jorginho stops Brentford making ground up the left.


07:51 PM BST

5 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 0

Hickey cuts out the ball over the top from Tomiyasu to Sagoe at the cost of a throw-in. Jorginho has had plenty of touches so far, acting as the hub with short passes.


07:50 PM BST

3 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal hog the ball on the right where Tomiyasu is indeed playing at centre-back. They shift it from right to left and back again. Sagoe Jr is on the right, too. Brentford hold them at halfway or thereabouts.


07:48 PM BST

1 min: Brentford 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal kick off and move it up the left after an early touch for Ramsdale. Nelson is brought down by Wissa and Arsenal have a free-kick.


07:44 PM BST

Out come the teams

Brentford in red, white and black. Arsenal in extraordinary high viz and black.


07:41 PM BST

Brentford begin with their usual night match light show

Hey Jude will be imminent. But not before the mascot takes a buzzy bow.


07:37 PM BST

499 days later Emile Smith Rowe starts a match for Arsenal

Here’s Sam Dean’s analysis of why it has taken so long for the fan’s favourite to earn a starting spot. Well worth your time.


07:19 PM BST

Your teams in black and white

Brentford  Flekken;, Collins, Pinnock, Jorgensen; Roerslev, Onyeka, Norgaard, Janelt, Hickey; Wissa, Mbeumo. 
Substitutes  Jensen, Ghoddos, Ajer, Strakosha, Lewis-Potter, Yarmolyuk, Olakigbe, Brierley, Balcombe. 

Arsenal  Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Gabriel, White, Kiwior; Havertz, Jorginho, Smith Rowe; Nelson, Nketiah, Sagoe Junior.
Substitutes Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus, Cedric, Elneny, Hein, Zinchenko, Lannin-Sweet, Cozier-Duberry, Walters. 

Referee Peter Bankes (Wirral)


07:07 PM BST

Charles Sagoe Jnr makes his Arsenal debut tonight

Adept on either wing for the U21s, the 19-year-old signed pro last year having joined the club from Fulham at the age of 11:


06:58 PM BST

Two changes for the Bees

Jorgensen and Onyeka come in for Jensen and Lewis-Potter.


06:56 PM BST

I make that eight changes for Arsenal

Raya, Saliba, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Rice, Vieira, Saka and Jesus are sitting this one out. Presume Tomiyasu at right-back and White at centre-half given the listing but perhaps it’s Kiwior at centre-back, Tomiyasu at left-back and White in his usual if not normal position.


06:52 PM BST

Brentford pick strongest side

Switching, it appears, to three at the back:


06:50 PM BST

Starts for Ramsdale and Smith Rowe


06:47 PM BST

Mikel Arteta on his absentees

It is a long list ... It is the situation that we have at the moment and we need players back, that’s for sure.

To change 11 or 12 players, it is not a possibility.

There are a lot of players that need minutes. Some players have not had many minutes and they are going to have that exposure tomorrow.


06:23 PM BST

Thomas Frank on his treatment room

Every team has injuries, and with Ivan Toney’s ban included, we have seven players out.

I still think I can put a very strong team out there every game, but maybe we can’t change it as much during the game because the depth is not as good.

I have big belief in our young players, but they need time to settle in.

I will put as strong as possible team out there. It’s very important that we do our best to see how far we can get. We would like to go on a cup run.


05:30 PM BST

Having a wager?


Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at these free bets and betting offers.


05:29 PM BST

Preview: Turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes

Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the Carabao Cup third-round tie between Brentford (whose furthest foray in this tournament was the semi-final in 2021) and Arsenal (winners in 1987 – ‘it’s Charlie!’ – and 1993). The Bees, who have won one and lost one of their Premier League home fixtures against the Gunners since promotion in 2021, made 10 changes for their second-round victory over League Two Newport County. Although they bossed the game, it took them 87 minutes to break the deadlock and then had to win a shootout after County equalised in stoppage time. Having lost their last two games and drawn three previous to those defeats by Newcastle and Everton, Thomas Frank may pick a stronger, more established starting XI even with Sunday’s trip to Forest looming.

Two years ago Mikel Arteta made eight changes for their seasonal Carabao Cup bow and beat West Brom 6-0 and 10 last year when Brighton went to the Emirates and won 3-1. It is hard to predict how seriously he takes this competition, despite his graduation from the Man City coaching finishing school which prizes this tournament, but I think it is safe to say there will be run-outs tonight for several of his serially bench-indentured squad: Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Mohamed Elneny and possibly even Cedric Soares.

If Smith Rowe Elneny and Eddie Nketiah get on tonight, it is odd to think that they will be the only survivors from the sole time these two met in the League Cup before, five years ago during Unai Emery’s first season at the Emirates, such has been the overhaul. But it has been even more extreme in Middlesex where Neal Maupay, back in his happy place after a rotten year at Everton, is the last Bee standing five years on. No better time to start his revival with Kevin Schade absent until the new year and Ivan Toney out, if he is coming back at all, until January 16.

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