Arsenal, Chelsea in sterile stalemate in League Cup semis


In what was the first leg in the semi-final both sides played cautiously in the hope of remaining in the contest going into the second leg at the Emirates in two weeks.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea): Started the game quite sharply and was Chelsea's most creative player for the majority of the match, though the Belgian exhausted in the closing stages.

This match will be very important for Arsenal for another chance to win a trophy.

"I want him to stay for longer", Wenger said, optimistically trying to avoid being drawn into a discussion over a potential sale. Even Manchester City had a few issues with Bristol City in their semifinal first leg yesterday.

They had 21 shots to just eight from Arsenal, yet the tie remains on a knife-edge heading into the second leg at the Emirates Stadium on January 24.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte agreed with Wenger, saying: "It (VAR) is not bad, it is important because it reduces the mistakes".

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"You want first to be solid, but ideally you want to score as well".

'To play Arsenal three times in only three weeks is very unusual. Cesar Azoplicueta sent in a curler and Fabregas, alone in the six-yard area, headed the ball, somewhat weakly straight into the midriff of Ospina. "We have to improve with all the players, not only the strikers". "I have not to justify every decision I make, you know", he said.

There was a blow for Arsenal when Jack Wilshere, captaining the north London club to cap a recent resurgence in an injury-blighted career, limped off after spraining his left ankle. "It was his good ankle". For us it's simple to prepare for the game because you know the team and the way they are playing.

Meanwhile, Chelsea will play Leicester City at 4am this Sunday in the English Premier League while Arsenal will play Bournemouth at 1.30am Monday.

Arsene Wenger's side have won just one of their last six outings in all competitions and patience amongst the Arsenal supporters is understandably wearing thin.

Arsenal haven't always enjoyed happy and harmonious visits to Stamford Bridge in recent times.