A very inspirational substitute’s contribution from Carlos Vela saw Arsenal manage two goals in the last 25 minutes to see off West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at the Emirates in the Carling Cup 3rd round.
Arsenal’s prodigious Mexican was one of many notable names making their first appearance of the season as the day’s captain Mikael Silvestre partnered Philippe Senderos – almost an Evertonian a few weeks ago – in defense.
Youngsters from last season who were eager to take the pitch were Gibbs, Wilshere, Randall and Coquelin while forgotten men Kerrea Gilbert and Armand Traore returned from loan spells to start.
Jerome Thomas had been sent off for slapping Wilshere in the first half but it took Arsenal 68 minutes to make the numbers count. Vela’s shot was parried away by West Brom’s Kiely but not far from Sanchez Watt who rebounded the ball home.
And on 75 minutes, the man denied in the first goal could hardly miss this time as Randall’s chip struck the bar for Vela to place it into the net.