Carabao Cup Semi-Final, Chelsea vs Arsenal


Chelsea and Arsenal played to a boring 0-0 draw in their Carabao Cup semifinal first leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Whereas the 2-2 Premier League draw between the two sides a week ago was action-packed from the first whistle to the last, it took until midway through the first half for either side to have a notable sight of goal this evening, and even then it was wasted by Alexandre Lacazette as he sliced an effort high and wide of the target after beating the offside trap.

Arsene Wenger's gamble to play mostly young players, with a few veterans like Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott, in the team's third-round tie backfired spectacularly as Nottingham Forest earned a 4-2 win over the defending FA Cup champions.

Wenger surprisingly left Alexis Sanchez on the bench amid talk of the unsettled Chile forward joining Manchester City, while Mesut Ozil missed out with a knee injury.

The Gunners got the better of Chelsea in the FA Cup final and Community Shield previous year.

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One of the key figures of the London derby over the years, Arsene Wenger will not be seen in the sidelines as the French tactician has received a touchline ban for his antics after the club's 1-1 draw against West Brom on December 31.

Chelsea responded with their own chance two minutes later when Victor Moses cut inside before drilling a low strike towards the near post which David Ospina needed two attempts to collect with Cesc Fabregas lurking.

Arsenal felt they should have had a penalty when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was brought down in the box in the 40th minute, but Martin Atkinson waved play on after consulting the newly-introduced VAR system for assistance.

Fabregas should have given Chelsea the lead just before half-time, but the former Arsenal midfielder wastefully headed straight at Ospina from close-range.

Wenger's response was to send on Sanchez for the ineffective Lacazette with 25 minutes left, yet within seconds Moses nearly broke the deadlock when his goal-bound shot was deflected over by Shkodran Mustafi.