Capital One Cup: Arsene Wenger undecided whether to use Arsenal youngsters against Chelsea

The Gunners scraped past West Brom on penalties

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was delighted with the efforts of his young players in Wednesday's penalty shoot-out Capital One Cup victory at West Brom - but is keeping an open mind about selection for the home clash with Chelsea in the next round.

In a first XI for the Albion match featuring nine changes from the Barclays Premier League win over Stoke on Sunday, there were maiden Gunners starts for Thomas Eisfeld and Ryo Miyaichi, both 20, and a debut for Isaac Hayden, while fellow 18-year-old Serge Gnabry kept his place.

And after midfielder Eisfeld had slotted in the opening goal in the 61st minute and Saido Berahino headed an equaliser 10 minutes later, Wenger brought three more teenagers off the bench in Chuba Akpom, Kris Olsson and Hector Bellerin, the latter pair making their senior bows.

The score was still 1-1 after extra time - Baggies substitute Morgan Amalfitano hit the bar during the additional period - and penalties were required.

Gnabry saw his effort saved but Akpom and Olsson both converted theirs in a 4-3 triumph for the away side, sealed by Nacho Monreal's successful effort following Albion misses from Craig Dawson and Amalfitano.

Wenger spoke after the third-round tie of his pride at the youngsters' battling sprit and ability to cope under pressure, but asked about blooding such players again in round four, he said: "Honestly, I don't know yet.

"It depends on the injuries. I had no choice but to rotate because many senior players are out."

Going into Wednesday's match Wenger had Santi Cazorla (ankle), Theo Walcott (stomach), Tomas Rosicky (thigh), Yaya Sanogo (back), Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) all unavailable.

The manager added: "In our job we have all started when another player was injured.

"You have opportunities that you have to grab with young players. When there are players who are injured, they can show they have the quality."

West Brom's starting line-up showed eight adjustments from their league win over Sunderland, and while youth had been injected in the shape of 20-year-old striker - and second-round hat-trick hero - Berahino, someone else coming in was veteran Steven Reid, who captained the side on what was first appearance of the season.

The 32-year-old defender has been recovering from a calf problem and reflecting upon his comeback match, in which he almost scored with a first-half free-kick and lasted the entire duration, Reid told wba.co.uk: "It was my first game back and I'm pretty tired.

"I was going to say it's my first 90 minutes but it's my first 120 minutes of the season.

"I came through it and though I was a bit tired towards the end of the 90 I found a little bit extra for extra time.

"I'm happy to have come through the game.

"Hopefully I can stay fit and start pushing to get into the Premier League first team.

"(Fellow full-back) Billy Jones has been superb this season.

"I need to be ready when my chance comes."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory