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Kepa the shootout hero again, Spurs also advance on pens, while Arsenal add late gloss to routine win

West Ham v Man City is the pick of five all-Premier League clashes in the next round.

Chelsea 1

Aston Villa 1

Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties

chelsea-v-aston-villa-carabao-cup-third-round-stamford-bridge Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga saves a penalty during the shootout. Source: PA

KEPA ARRIZABALAGA PROVED Chelsea’s penalty shootout hero for the second time this season as the Blues beat Aston Villa 4-3 on spot-kicks at Stamford Bridge.

Spain stopper Kepa rebuffed Marvelous Nakamba’s effort in some style, as the Blues progressed to the Carabao Cup fourth round.

Reece James delivered the winning penalty to send Thomas Tuchel’s men through, sparing Ben Chilwell’s blushes after the England full-back struck the woodwork with his effort.

Villa captain Ashley Young struck the bar as Dean Smith’s men fell short in west London despite pushing the Blues the distance.

Kepa added another shoot-out success to his UEFA Super Cup final exploits in coming off the bench to edge out Villarreal on spot-kicks in Belfast in August.

The former Athletic Bilbao man might be second choice behind Edouard Mendy at Stamford Bridge, but continues to grow in confidence – and in importance to boss Tuchel.

Timo Werner’s first goal in 11 Chelsea games had the Blues in control early in the second half, only for Villa’s teen striker Cameron Archer to level with a thumping header for a 1-1 score at full-time.

Germany forward Werner spurned a gilt-edged chance to double his and Chelsea’s tally just moments after his first goal, and that miss opened the door for Villa’s equaliser.

Academy forward Archer buried Matty Cash’s whipped cross to punish Werner’s miss, with the 19-year-old adding to his hat-trick in the 6-0 Carabao Cup win over Barrow in August.

Chelsea never got going in a circumspect first half, where Villa youngster Archer wasted two fine openings.

First the forward chipped high after being sent clean through on goal, then he saw an effort well saved by Kepa.

Bertrand Traore’s defence-splitting pass opened the door for Archer, but Kepa shut it firmly. The rebound fell to Anwar El Ghazi, but his low drive was cleared off the line by Reece James.

Chelsea’s underwhelming half amounted to Saul Niguez heading wide from N’Golo Kante’s cross and Hakim Ziyech hitting the target from 20 yards.

The Blues returned to the task reenergised after the interval and needed precious little time to take the lead.

James picked out Werner with a fine ball – and the Germany forward did the rest.

Werner found himself through on goal just moments later, but this time the former RB Leipzig man could only drag his effort wide.

Chelsea could have effectively wrapped up the tie had Werner buried his second chance. Instead the Blues paid the price for the profligacy.

A harassed Villa suddenly launched a break, Cash whipped a smart cross to the far post – and teenager Archer thumped the ball home off the bar.

Immediately the game opened up, with Mason Mount skewing wide from a promising opening, and Emiliano Buendia scooping over the bar for Villa at the other end.

Tuchel reached for the considerable cavalry of £98million striker Romelu Lukaku in the dying stages, and the Belgium hitman was denied a penalty despite Kortney Hause’s clumsy challenge.

Chelsea upped the ante in the closing stages but could not force a winner, sending the clash to penalties.

El Ghazi lashed the opening spot-kick high into the net for Villa, before Lukaku drilled home for Chelsea. Villa captain Young then stepped up, only to fire his effort against the bar.

Mount held his nerve to put Chelsea into a 2-1 lead – and then Kepa thwarted Nakamba with a fine save. Ross Barkley put the Blues into a 3-1 lead, against the club where he spent last term on loan.

Ezri Konsa slotted home for Villa to pull it back to 3-2 to put the Blues on the brink – only for Chilwell to strike the bar.

Buendia side-footed in to level the shoot-out at 3-3, but James delivered a fine penalty to hand the Blues the victory.

Wolves 2

Tottenham 2

Tottenham win 3-2 on penalties

wolverhampton-wanderers-v-tottenham-hotspur-carabao-cup-third-round-molineux-stadium Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and Dele Alli celebrate victory. Source: PA

Tottenham survived a scare after blowing a 2-0 lead at Wolves to squeeze through on penalties.

Ruben Neves, Leander Dendoncker and Conor Coady missed in the shoot-out as Spurs progressed 3-2 following a 2-2 draw at Molineux.

They almost let the game slip through their grasp after Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele put them in charge only for Dendoncker and Daniel Podence to haul the hosts level.

Back-to-back Premier League defeats to Crystal Palace and Chelsea and a draw at Rennes in the Europa Conference League had put the brakes on Spurs’ winning start under Nuno Espirito Santo.

But last season’s runners-up reached the fourth round ahead of Sunday’s north London derby with Arsenal.

Wolves continue to struggle for results under Bruno Lage and their night started badly when Yerson Mosquera’s debut lasted just eight minutes before he was carried off with a suspected hamstring injury.

Coady replaced him but just five minutes later was caught out by Ndombele for Spurs’ opener.

The impressive Oliver Skipp won a crunching tackle with Neves and Ndombele’s heavy touch allowed the ball to run free for Coady.

There appeared little danger but Ndombele charged down his clearance to race into the area, turn Willy Boly and roll under John Ruddy.

Nine minutes later it was 2-0 when Skipp again broke up play and Dele Alli’s perfect throughball sent Kane clear to find the bottom corner.

Spurs were threatening to open Wolves up at will and Alli almost added a third before he ran out of room while Giovani Lo Celso slipped when well placed.

The hosts were comfortably second best but, with Molineux getting restless, pulled a goal back seven minutes before the break when Dendoncker headed in Rayan Ait-Nouri’s corner.

Totally out of the blue Wolves had given themselves a lifeline with their first home goal of the season and were unsurprisingly lifted.

But Ndombele, having scored his first goal for nine months, was hunting a second and he drilled over from a tight angle to highlight Wolves’ fragility at the back.

Adama Traore, wanted by Spurs in the summer, replaced the ineffective Fabio Silva at the break and the hosts immediately went hunting for a leveller but their penalty claims were ignored after Ndombele caught Hwang Hee-chan as the striker fired over.

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Ruddy then saved from Kane as the striker tried to smuggle the ball past him but was almost embarrassed when he fumbled a routine stop from Ndombele, the ball flying over to spare his blushes.

Wolves were growing in confidence, though, and equalised after 58 minutes.

Ndombele was guilty of losing the ball to Hwang and Dendoncker fed Podence to comfortably beat Pierluigi Gollini.

Comeback complete, Wolves needed to rely on Ruddy to ensure they remained level when Son Heung-min’s cross found Kane but the goalkeeper’s reaction stop turned his header over, although the England captain should have never given him a chance.

Penalties loomed but Neves almost won it for Wolves when his deflected effort dropped onto the bar with two minutes left.

But neither side could find a winner and Neves sent his penalty over before Gollini saved from Dendoncker.

Ruddy stopped Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s effort but Coady smacked his effort against the bar to send Spurs through.

Arsenal 3

AFC Wimbledon 0

Arsenal eased into the fourth round with a comfortable victory over spirited League One side AFC Wimbledon.

The Gunners have returned to winning ways of late and Mikel Arteta would have been pleased to see his side add goals to their recently-discovered guile with this 3-0 victory.

It took them until the latter stages to do so, however, with Alexandre Lacazette’s early penalty not built on until the final 13 minutes when substitute Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah wrapped up Arsenal’s place in the next round.

This was a chance to give much-needed game time to the likes of Lacazette, Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli and, in the main, Arteta’s fringe players did well.

Arteta insists Lacazette can play a key role for Arsenal this season despite limited opportunities and his contract expiring next summer.

The Frenchman captained the side and was the man to make the breakthrough in the 11th minute, coolly slotting home from the penalty spot after Martinelli had been felled by Nesta Guinness-Walker.

If those inside the Emirates Stadium expected the floodgates to open at that point they would have been disappointed, Nik Tzanev in the Wimbledon goal going largely untroubled for the remainder of the first-half.

The visitors held their own without truly testing Bernd Leno, back in the Arsenal side having lost the gloves to summer signing Aaron Ramsdale.

The former Wimbledon goalkeeper was not even among the substitutes as Arteta made 10 changes, only Thomas Partey retained from the weekend win at Burnley as he continues to build up fitness ahead of the north London derby.

The Ghana midfielder came close to doubling Arsenal’s lead with a drive from the edge of the box which Tzanev pushed behind on the hour, with Partey making way shortly after.

Nuno Tavares saw a back-post header kept out by Tzanev as the hosts pushed for the goal to kill off the tie but Wimbledon were defending resolutely in numbers – repelling most balls in and around their box.

They could not set up a grandstand finish, however, Arteta throwing on Bukayo Saka for Martinelli with the England man immediately involved in the attack which saw Smith Rowe double the lead.

The result was put beyond doubt just three minutes later, Saka again involved as he worked the ball wide for Cedric Soares to cross and Nketiah to flick in with aplomb.

Ethan Chislett headed wide when he should have done better as the visitors chased a consolation before Saka arrowed a shot inches wide and drew a late save out of Tzanev as Arsenal progressed.

Carabao Cup third-round results (Wednesday)

  • Arsenal 3-0 AFC Wimbledon
  • Brighton 2 Swansea 0
  • Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa (Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties)
  • Manchester United 0-1 West Ham
  • Millwall 0-2 Leicester
  • Wolves 2-2 Tottenham (Tottenham won 3-2 on penalties)

Carabao Cup fourth-round draw

  • Chelsea v Southampton
  • Arsenal v Leeds
  • Stoke v Brentford
  • West Ham v Man City
  • Leicester v Brighton
  • Burnley v Tottenham
  • QPR v Sunderland
  • Preston v Liverpool

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