Arsenal advanced to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup for the fourth time in five seasons with a 2-0 home triumph over fellow Premier League side Leeds United.
A rare goal for second-half substitute Callum Chambers and another from former Leeds loanee Eddie Nketiah turned out to be the difference between the two sides on the evening at the Emirates Stadium.
This result means that the Gunners are now unbeaten in their last 10 meetings against the Whites – with eight of them being wins.
Mikel Arteta’s side went close to breaking the deadlock with 10 minutes on the clock when the ball fell to Sead Kolasinac whose low left-footed strike was just about kept out by Illan Meslier at the near post.
Gunners’ defender Ben White nearly played in Nicholas Pepe with a long ball but it was just about headed out for a corner by Stuart Dallas.
It was the West Yorkshire side’s turn to very nearly take the lead when Diego Llorente pinged an accurate ball to Daniel James, but the Welshman failed to control as it trickled through to Bernd Leno.
Jack Harrison cut in from the right-hand side and threatened to put in a dangerous cross with his left foot, but it went harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick.
Roberts was booked for a foul on White in the middle of the park.
Llorente’s miscued clearance fell to Pepe on the edge of the 18-yard box but his left-footed shot was deflected wide of the goal.
The Whites almost opened the scoring with just over 25 minutes played when Harrison’s left-footed attempt had to be pushed away from goalkeeper Leno.
The ball then fell to James on the edge of the penalty area whose strike took a deflection and was comfortably gathered by Leno.
Leeds then had a swift counter-attack which ended with the ball falling to Roberts who curled his right-footed effort well wide of the far post.
Harrison then played a through ball to Rodrigo; however, Leno quickly came off his line to gather and prevent the danger.
It was Harrison who was involved in the action again when he whipped in a dangerous ball towards Roberts which was headed wide of the goal.
It was the North London side’s turn to have an opportunity when the ball fell to Emile Smith Rowe but he sliced his left-footed effort harmlessly off target as the scoreline remained goalless heading into the interval.
Marcelo Bielsa made a half-time substitution bringing on Mateusz Klich to replace Adam Forshaw.
The visitors made another change just eight minutes into the second period when Joe Gelhardt was then bought on to replace Roberts.
The Gunners were then forced to make a change their selves when the injured White was replaced by fellow defender Callum Chambers.
Astonishingly, seconds later, Chambers opened the scoring with his very first touch of the game after Pepe headed the ball across to him, the defender’s header looked as though it was kept out by Meslier, but the ball had crossed the line by the time he saved it.
This was the 26-year-old’s first goal for the club since September 2019.
The Whites’ club captain Liam Cooper was then bought on to replace Llorente with just under an hour played.
Cedric Soares was booked for a cynical foul on Stuart Dallas in the middle of the park.
The Gunners doubled their advantage with just over 20 minutes remaining when Cooper’s weak header back towards Meslier was capitalised upon by Nketiah who got their first, took the ball around the goalkeeper and simply slotted into the back of the net against his former club.
This was the Englishman’s seventh goal in eight career appearances in the Carabao Cup.
The visitors then made a double change with Crysencio Summerville and Sam Greenwood coming on to replace James and Rodrigo.
The Gunners then made a double change themselves with Albert Sambi Lokonga and Alexandre Lacazette coming on to replace Mohamed Elneny and Smith Rowe.
A few minutes later, Nuno Tavares was bought on to replace fellow defender Rob Holding.
The Gunners had a chance to add a third just before the end of the game when Lacazette took the ball off Kalvin Phillips before moving forward and eventually striking it wide of the goal as the encounter would go on to finish 2-0 to the hosts who advanced to the last eight.
ARSENAL: Bernd Leno; Cedric Soares (booked 60’), Ben White (Callum Chambers 55’), Rob Holding (Nuno Tavares 76’), Sead Kolasinac; Mohamed Elneny (Albert Sambi Lokonga 72’), Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Nicholas Pepe, Emile Smith Rowe (Alexandre Lacazette 72’); Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah. SUBS (not used): Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Folarin Balogun,
GOALS: Callum Chambers (55’), Eddie Nketiah (69’).
LEEDS: Illan Meslier; Cody Drameh, Pascal Struijk, Diego Llorente (Liam Cooper 59’), Stuart Dallas; Kalvin Phillips, Adam Forshaw (Mateusz Klich 46’), Daniel James (Crysencio Summerville 70’), Tyler Roberts (booked 23’) (Joe Gelhardt 53’); Jack Harrison, Rodrigo (Sam Greenwood 70’). SUBS (not used): Kristoffer Klaesson (GK), Leo Hjelde, Charlie Cresswell, Stuart McKinstry.