CARABAO CUP: CHELSEA 0 : ARSENAL 0 LONDON GIANTS DRAW BLANKS
That is three Draws in a row now between these two. Last night the latest, in a game both never really looked likely to win, stalemate was the outcome of the semi-final of the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge.
Instead both will have to sort it all out at the Emirates in just under a fortnight. Nobody was desperate enough to win it.
The sense of urgency, the intensity, the mentality to conjour the little bit of magic needed to win this tie was just not there
At times they played at testimonial pace. They spent far too much time feeling each other out.
Last week’s 2-2 draw at the Emirates, when they spent 90 minutes going toe-to-toe like boxers in the ring, was a treat.
The stakes were raised here, with early-season silverware at stake in the Carabao Cup. Someone had to go for it. But Neither did.
Instead it was all very respectful, a few gentle prods here and there as they tried to find a way through these defences.
Arsenal, bruised after their City Ground shaming in the FA Cup on Sunday, started off without Alexis Sanchez.
Moses Goes to ground under Welbeck pressure.
Who seems every much on his way out of the club in the next few days, benched against Chelsea because his mind is already at Manchester City. They could have done with a special Sanchez send off.
Instead the B team was out, with party animal Alex Iwobi picked to play the biggest match of Arsenal’s season.
Iwobi, incredibly, got the nod against Chelsea just a day after he was exposed for being at a party less than 48 hours before the defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Wenger never ceases to surprise me sometimes. At least the team responded, sort of, with a half-decent shift in the first half.
Iwobi brought the best out of Thibaut Courtois, forcing Chelsea’s keeper to fling himself to the right after 39 minutes.
Before that Alexandre Lacazette should have done better when he lashed his effort wildly over the bar from Jack Wilshere’s clever chip.
Jack was good for all but 55 minutes Until he was forced off after failing to recover from Clattering challenge in Midfield.
Wilshere, named captain, is loving life again.The disappointment, as is so often the case with Wilshere, is that he could not finish the game.
Shame because he had been looking good for Arsenal. So too were some of his team-mates, with Granit Xhaka (on Eden Hazard) and Hector Bellerin (on Fabregas) escaping bookings in the first half
Moratta who was the biggest Culprit last week at the Emirates brought a save out of Ospina after 55 minutes and hit the base of the post when he jinked his way around Arsenal’s keeper after that.
He seems short on confidence, over-running the ball when he tried to wrong-foot Arsenal’s defence on the edge of the area. But the chances were starting to come Chelsea’s way.
Shkodran Mustafi threw a leg out to deflect a Moses effort and Andreas Christensen should have hit the target with a far post header.
By then Arsenal had started to make more changes, with Sanchez replacing the miffed Lacazette up front.
The forward has not scored in nearly 600 minutes and never looked likely to here.
Instead they turned to Sanchez, possibly in his final game in an Arsenal shirt, to try to make a difference.
Instead Chelsea piled forward, trying to get Danger man Hazard on the ball in search of a winner. Sadly for Hazard, he never came close.
So 0-0 it ended and these 2 will meet in 2 weeks at the Emirates for a chance at going to Wembley. It will be both teams last Clash of the season and Arsenal will probaly have welcomed new signings by then. It promises to be a cracker