Jack Wilshere thinks Arsenal may have lined-up against Chelsea with an ill-suited formation but that his teammates showed real heart in the second half after the boss switched from a four-man defence to a back five to ensure a 2-1 win.
The Gunners were on the ropes when Eden Hazard put the visitors ahead, however, an own goal by Antonio Rudiger helped steady the nerves before the break.
Arsene Wenger’s men looked revitalised by their second half tactical switch and deservedly took the lead through Granit Xhaka’s strike on 60 minutes before soaking up pressure from the Blues as they desperately sought an equaliser.
The result sets up a Carabao Cup final with Manchester City on 25 February.
Asked what got the team to Wembley, Wilshere said: “I think the team effort, especially in the second half.
“In the first half we didn’t start well and we knew that, but we got ourselves back in the game and in the second half we knew we had to improve and we dug deep.
“Granit got the goal and then we knew they would come forward, but I think we dealt with that really well.”
He added: “It was strange, we might have got our formation wrong in the first 20 to 25 minutes and they took advantage of that.
“They’ve got players who can damage you through the middle and they did, but we came back into it and showed good character, I thought we were the better team in the second half.”
Having spent last season on loan and much of the first half on the bench, few thought Wilshere would still be at Arsenal, let alone running the midfield alongside Mesut Ozil.
When it was put to him that reaching another cup final must be surreal in the circumstances, he replied:
“I wouldn’t say surreal. I went out last year and I wanted to come back and fight for my place in this team.
“I’m happy to be in the team playing with great players and we seem to be in a great moment now, we won the last game, we won this game and we want to keep that going.”