Chelsea needed its third penalty shootout success of the season to overcome Southampton on Tuesday after the two sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time in the EFL Cup Round of 16. In the penalties, Chelsea won 4-3 as goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga starred for the London side with two crucial saves in the shootout and secured their path into the quarterfinals.
Reece James netted the penalty that sealed victory at Stamford Bridge. Kai Havertz’s opened the scoring for Chelsea with a header just before halftime. However, his efforts were cancelled out by Che Adams’ tap-in two minutes into the second half.
Meanwhile, Southampton saw Theo Walcott’s penalty saved by Arrizabalaga and Will Smallbone blasted his shot, while visiting goalkeeper Fraser Forster could only stop Mason Mount’s spot-kick.
Thomas Tuchel’s Premier League leaders had reached the fourth round by beating Aston Villa on penalties, having also started the season by winning the UEFA Super Cup in a shootout against Villarreal in August.
Minutes after the halftime break, as Emile Smith Rowe prepared to swing in a corner, Chambers rushed into the Leeds area after receiving the nod by Arteta to replace the injured Ben White in the 55th minute. The once pivotal cog in Arsenal’s defensive wheel is now a forgotten man, but on Tuesday night, after a few seconds of pinball from Smith Rowe’s corner, Chambers reacted the quickest to head the ball home and give Arsenal the lead.
Eddie Nketiah, who previously spent time on loan at Leeds, doubled Arsenal’s advantage. He latched onto a weak defensive header from Liam Cooper, rounded goalkeeper Illan Meslier and came close to missing a tap-in before being able to celebrate.
Arsenal have now won six of its last eight games in all competitions and is unbeaten since August but is 10th in the Premier League.
There will be a third-division team in the last eight after Sunderland beat second-tier Queens Park Rangers 3-1 on penalties after the game at Loftus Road in west London ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.
The quarterfinal lineup will be completed Wednesday when Manchester City continues its bid for a fifth straight League Cup against West Ham, Burnley hosts Tottenham, Leicester plays Brighton, Liverpool faces second-tier club Preston, and Brentford visits Stoke.
With inputs from the Associated Press