On this Day in 2011: Obafemi Martins scores late winner in the Carling Cup final
The Nigerian striker was on loan at Birmingham as the relegation-threatened club won 2-1 at Wembley.
Substitute Obafemi Martins scored a last-minute winner as relegation-threatened Birmingham stunned Arsenal in the Carling Cup final on this day in 2011.
Nigeria striker Martins pounced on a calamitous mix-up in the Gunners defence after 89 minutes to hand the Blues a shock 2-1 victory over Arsene Wenger’s side at Wembley.
Martins, on loan from Rubin Kazan, had only been on the field six minutes when he was presented with a simple chance as Arsenal failed to deal with a long ball into their box.
Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny both hesitated after a tame header from Nikola Zigic, expecting each other to clear. The ball bounced off them and rolled to Martins in front of an open goal.
The forward duly tucked home to secure an unexpected victory for a Blues side that were relegated from the Premier League at the end of that season.
Birmingham had taken a 28th-minute through Zigic but Robin Van Persie volleyed Arsenal level before the break, moments after Jack Wilshere had hit the woodwork, in what proved an entertaining contest.
Happy Obafemi Martins Day! 💙— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) February 27, 2021
10 years to the day since that unbelievable afternoon at Wembley. 🏆👌 pic.twitter.com/ge3IKCjhwt
Arsenal were denied further on several occasions by Birmingham keeper Ben Foster, who saved three times from Samir Nasri and kept out Andrey Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner.
Birmingham went close to another themselves when Keith Fahey hit the post.
Extra time was looming when Foster launched a free-kick into the Arsenal box from just inside his own half.
Confusion ensued and Martins, sent on by manager Alex McLeish in latter stages, had the decisive word.
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