Carlos Carvalhal, the Sheffield Wednesday head coach, refused to take any credit for his team’s Capital One Cup victory over Arsenal tonight.
Wednesday stunned Arsene Wenger’s side as they recorded a 3-0 victory at Hillsborough to reach the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time since 2002.
Carvalhal revealed he had devised a “plan” to nulify the Londoners’ attacking threat but, after watching goals from Ross Wallace, Lucas Joao and Sam Hutchinson propel his team to a memorable success, said: “We did a plan but everything belongs to the players because they followed it and we created a fantastic result.”
Wenger, who saw both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and his replacement Theo Walcott succumb to injury before the interval, rested several key players and handed full debuts to Glen Kamara and Alex Iwobi. The gamble backfired in spectacular fashion as Wednesday punished some naive defending in ruthless fashion.
“If the players, Chamberlain and Walcott, stay on then, of course, Arsenal would have been stronger,” Carvalhal acknowledged.
“But at that moment we had blocked how Arsenal like to play. We might not have won three zero but we had other chances to win. I’d be lying if I said I was not pleased to see some of their players out but we had some out also.
“We belong to the Championship, not the Premier League, so we are trying to do our best game by game.”
Wenger admitted his team had been well-beaten, but appeared to suggest the loss of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott was more damaging as Arsenal prepare for next week’s Champions League game against Bayern Munich.
“The manner in which we conceded was very disappointing,” Wenger said. “We looked very naive, yes. We knew that if some injuries happened we would be short. Some of our young players showed they are not ready to play at this level.”