The London Derby again ended up with a draw as both sides were unable to break the deadlock in the 90 minutes of the first leg of the League Cup semi final.
First take a glance how they had shaped up for the big occasion.
Arsenal XI (3-4-2-1): Ospina; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Wilshere, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles; Iwobi, Welbeck; Lacazette.
Chelsea XI (3-5-1-1): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Drinkwater, Alonso; Hazard; Morata.
First Half :
Chelsea started the match off in style as they quickly won the ball and pushed forward on a swift attacking move over on the left wing. Morata charged into the penalty area and headed towards the near post before shooting, but his close-range, toe-poked effort ended up rolling into the side-netting. Few moments later, crisp, one-touch passing from Chelsea looked set to result in another chance on goal for the home side. Hazard knocked a clever ball back to Cesc Fabregas, who then tried to tee up Danny Drinkwater, but the midfielder was too slow to get to the pass and gifted possession back to Arsenal.
Arsenal tried to come back in the match when Alexandre Lacazette managed to penetrate the penalty area after good play by Arsenal over on the left flank. He was quickly closed down by Azpilicueta and tried to tee up a team-mate under pressure, but he was unable to do so and the Spaniard managed to shepherd the ball safely into the hands of Thibaut Courtois.
Few minutes later, Jack Wilshere was left in far too much space in the middle of the pitch, allowing him to lift a lovely pass over the top of the hosts’ defence and into the path of Lacazette. The Frenchman runned onto the ball and shooted from just outside of the box, but there was far too much power behind his effort and it sailed high over the top of the crossbar.
Chelsea have had their chances too when Maitland-Niles slipped at the vital moment and allows Moses to dart into the box on another great run. The wing-back’s initial cross was blocked before he was able to get a shot away, and it forced Ospina into making a smart diving save at the near post.
It was 0-0 at Stamford Bridge at the half time.
Chelsea were arguably the better of the two sides, with Moses and Fabregas both being presented with decent opportunities to open the scoring, but Arsenal had also caused problems for their opponents, particularly on the break.
Second Half :
Chelsea started the second half where they had ended. The home side immediately went on the front foot and won themselves a corner over on the right wing through Moses. A low cross narrowly missed Alonso before finding Kante, who immediately unleashed a rocket of a shot that smashed into Christensen before it could test Ospina.
Another corner for Chelsea resulted in another chance on goal for the hosts. A curling cross from Kante was nodded on by Alonso and picked out Christensen, who was in a great position at the far post but couldn’t quite hit the target with his close-range header.
Chances were pouring from the Chelsea side in the Arsenal’s penalty box. A wonderful cross from Fabregas sailed towards the near post and looked set to pick out Alonso, but it ended up sailing just a few inches over the top of his head. The ball then found its way to Morata, who was taken by surprise and couldn’t sort his feet out in time, denying him the opportunity to shoot.
Chelsea kept pushing forward as they continued putting pressure on the Arsenal back line, and they won themselves a free-kick after Azpilicueta was pushed to the ground by Welbeck. The set-piece initially failed to result in a chance on goal before the ball bounced out to Moses, who quickly shooted but had his low effort knocked over the crossbar by the outstretched leg of Mustafi.
Few minutes later, an opportunity was wasted by Hazard. Morata bursted down the left wing as Chelsea quickly counter-attack, and he ended up cutting inside before sending a deflected pass into the path of Hazard. The Belgian had a great chance to shoot from the edge of the penalty area, but he instead held onto the ball before misplacing an attempted pass over to Willian.
Chelsea had been on top for most of the second half but were struggling to impose themselves at the last ten minutes, as Arsenal were doing well to hold onto the ball in the middle of the pitch as they continued to frustrate the home side. But at the dying moments of the match, Fabregas hit the post. The Spaniard made a great run into the right-hand side of the Arsenal box as he latched onto a clever pass from Willian. He then chipped a deft cross towards Batshuayi, but it ended up deflecting off a defender and onto the outside of the post before it could find the striker.
Fabregas went down inside the penalty area in the build-up to Chelsea’s last chance on goal, and the referee eventually headed to the VAR to see whether or not he was tripped over by Welbeck. It took a bit of time to come to a decision, but the referee eventually allowed play to continue with a corner after deciding that the midfielder wasn’t brought down. The game had ended with a 0-0 scoreline with all to play for at The Emirates Stadium.