Arsenal earn deserved draw to frustrate dominant Chelsea side

Chelsea will be frustrated at having played out a 0-0 stalemate with London rivals Arsenal in the opening leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, but the Gunners will be more than happy to be level.

Chelsea started the match all the better with a number of fluid passing spells, albeit without creating any clear-cut opportunities. Arsenal however were the first to get through on goal, when Jack Wilshere put Alexandre Lacazette through, only for the striker to unnecessarily shoot early and put the ball way up in the stands.

The Blues remained the better side of the half, but our defence remained strong and organised and we limited them to very few big chances, although we can thank a couple of misplaced crosses for helping to give Ospina little pressure in goal. Welbeck did force a save from Courtois five minutes from the end of the first half, only for us to be denied a penalty following the rebound, when Vic Moses brought down Maitland-Niles just inside the box. Admittedly the penalty would have been soft but I felt the VAR was going to see it given.

The half ended with a little flurry of possession for the home side, with some free kicks and corners, ending with Cesc Fabregas forcing a save with his headed effort, but the scores remained tied going into the break.

Chelsea continued their dominance in the second half, with our team seemingly having been tasked with keeping our opponents at bay, and while our defence has remained fairly sturdy, as time goes by we still look certain to concede.

We spent much of the first 20 minutes after the interval in our half of the pitch, and after losing Jack Wilshere to injury being replaced by Mohamed Elneny, we opted to replace the struggling Lacazette with Alexis Sanchez to try and change the game.

Unfortunately the game has continued to be one-sided, and our travelling fans will not have been overly impressed thus far, but going into the final 10 minutes at 0-0 cannot be bad with the home leg to play surely?

Chelsea made the surprising change by taking off Eden Hazard for Bakayoko, seeming to give themselves less of an attacking threat.

The final 10 minutes wasn’t as interesting as it would usually be with the scores tied due to the nature of playing over two legs, but at one point the referee did appear to be calling for the VAR to look at whether Chelsea deserved a penalty, but the strange part is that the incident had taken place a few moments before, and it would be interesting to know how that would work had a goal been scored in that time.

Arsenal will have to be happy with the 0-0 draw especially considering how frustrated the hosts will be at not having managed to turn their dominance into a win, but most importantly our defence has finally stepped up and put in a solid performance, and at an important time also.

Did Wenger play for the draw? Does the result make us favourites to make the final now?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Carabao Cup Chelsea


  1. gotanidea says:

    Arsenal did not make any fatal mistakes, but it was a boring game. I feel all players saved their energy for the upcoming Premier League match. I hope Wilshere is okay, because there is no adequate reinforcement after Coquelin is gone.

    They get rid of Coquelin, it could mean Wenger plans not to use a DM at all with 3-4-2-1 or 4-2-3-1 (no more 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1). Or maybe he plans to make more rooms for some new players. I hope his intention is the latter.

    1. Muff diver says:

      Great result for us .
      Considering people were saying we were gonna get smashed
      Two clean sheets at the bridge . Nice .

      Hopefully return leg will include ozil and few new signings
      Anyone catch iwobis ‘finish’?
      Lol wow

      1. pires says:

        agree about iwobi …bu he will come good he’s still young.he wasok today bar his finishing

      2. kev says:

        How was Iwobi?Did he do well?I previously heard he was not going to start.

        1. The cassette says:

          I’m convinced that under a different manager the kid will improve. Talents there for all to see but he is slowly entering into the Ox territory when he was still with us. Perhaps a loan move would serve him best but we simply don’t have enough players at the moment. Its sad how Wenger even after last season failed to build around Ozil and Sanchez. We seriously need a new manager but only one that will offer us entertaining football. Kinda on the fence about Ancelotti.

          1. The Defiant Man says:

            Ancelotti was in charge during the only season when Chelsea played attractive football.
            The problem? He’s going to need an upgrade on at least 4, 5 players and for the arrivals to gel. AND he might wait for Chelsea to approach him again if Conte goes.

            Don’t blame everything on the coach. He’s not God. Players go through things when the manager is powerless, and Ox was never talented. We went for him because he was English while Iwobi’s problem is that he’s just not very good at anything – shooting, passing, speed, playmaking – average. He’s quite tall and strong, but that’s it.

          2. gotanidea says:

            I prefer to see Pellegrini or Guardiola replaces Wenger. The teams that they managed were much more entertaining than Ancelotti’s teams.

            Or take Arteta or Enrique, if Arsenal is willing to take a high risk.

          3. jon fox says:

            “I prefer to see ( Pellegrini) OR GUARDIOLA…..” yes most of us prefer top class sparkling champagne to revolting stale beer too! But it is so obvious that we don’t bother posting it on here.

          4. Kedar Damle says:

            Pep??? Lol… For Pep you need to give him 500 Millions to spend in Market which is impossible.. And Pep doesn’t a team which cannot give me assurance of ample money…

        2. Maks says:

          He smoked one and he was fine.

        3. Sue says:

          Well you got that wrong Kev

    2. neil says:

      lets focus on the result… we slate the team for often losing in first leg of last 16 CL and then when wr tactically play it well and get a draw still people are not happy !!

      We have lost ao many times againat Chelsea with Ozil and Sanchez and neither played last night.. home leg would be great to see fans be the 12th man to get us to the Final !

  2. Innit says:

    A draw at the Bridge with our weaker side. I’ll take that. At least that gives us a chance innit

    Three draws in a row with Chelsea.

    1. sfgunner says:

      and this is only chelsea, not the best…

  3. Ivan says:

    Awful match but at least we did not lose and are still there for the next leg.

    1. Ignasi says:

      This is cup tie. Two legs.

      The best approach (with this Arsenal team) is to aim for a clean sheet in the first leg. If we score then thats a bonus. But the priority is a clean sheet.

      Very happy with the result. Again, Chelsea’s finishing was poor and on another day could have scored at least three. Great result, but out set piece defending was again very poo. At least there were no one-on-ones this time!!!

  4. Trudeau says:

    I was critical of Holding earlier this week but thought he was immense tonight. Very composed on the ball.

    1. The Defiant Man says:

      Yeah, he made only 1 big mistake, which for him is good. So it’s the next one where it’ll be 2 or 3 again. Sorry, the guy is never going to be good enough for a top half team.

  5. pires says:

    where are the pessimistics fans who were predicting a 6-0 crash….We faced the CHAMPIONS for the forth time and we’r yet to lose.

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      They will be here soon pirez, make no mistake about that!!!!

      1. Ignasi says:

        I count myself as one of the many pessimists who predicted 3 – 1 to Chelsea, but this was on the basis of Wenger fielding our usual ‘league cup’ team. Fortunately, the majority of our ‘premier league’ team played tonight which helped the result.

        Our defending at set pieces was atrocious and we were lucky not to concede at least three. From what I remember, we had one decent chance with Iwobi and a possible penalty shout with AMN. Also, Bellerin’s man marking is absolutely shocking.

        Happy with Wenger tonight, he got his approach and tactics spot on.

  6. kev says:

    We could afford to have Sanchez on the bench and not starting because he has agreed personal terms already with Man City but Arsenal have not yet agreed the fee with them.Once the fee has not yet been agreed then nothing’s done.Sanchez’s move is 50% complete.It’s left with the fee.Personal terms have already been agreed.Him not starting was to not risk him for the possible move.

    Francis Coquelin’s fee is £10m and not £22m as making rounds.

    1. gotanidea says:

      You say the offer was from Juventus? Don’t be fickle dude…

    2. SuperClaes says:

      Take the money ? now!

      We need new and better players!!!

    3. Ivan says:

      @ kev
      Francis Coquelin’s fee is £12m as announced by Arsenal.

  7. Eddy Hoyte says:

    I have no complaints TBH it wasn’t even half as bad as we all expected it to be.
    Still are you guys seeing that without Ozil the creativity is bang poor. Take out Wilshere and you see its plain Zero creativity.
    Welbeck was a waste of space tho.
    Iwobi needs to improve more, he’s the only one other than Wilshere who took the ball to the opponents.

    Goodnight Fam

    1. gotanidea says:

      Lemar (if he plays in the center), Denis Suarez, Sergi Roberto or Rafinha can replace Ozil. Coquelin is out, so Arsenal could get one of these midfielders now.

      1. The Defiant Man says:

        Yes. Sergi Roberto is possibly the most versatile player out there – can play as LM, LWF, LWB, LB, AM – and does all of it REALLY well, not sort of — like Eboue or Flamini used to. Denis is very talented as well. As is Paco Alcacer.

  8. barryglik says:

    Good result for Gunners as I predicted.
    Chelsea is a very tired side
    playing their best team all the time.
    Var is working well.
    Not sure though that 0-0 after 95 minutes
    is a good advert for the “Beautiful Game”

  9. Lupe says:

    Good result, on to the next leg. Wenger out!!

  10. John Wick says:

    Breaking news Arsenal don’t concede a penalty ? on a serious note positive result after that disaster in Nottingham! Alexandre Lacazette subbed? That’s unusual lol

    1. jon fox says:

      Yes, unusual(he lied!) but the correct call tonight, as he was our big disappointment tonight, even though, as so often , isolated by team set up shape.

  11. I says:

    Where are those fans who predicted Chelsea to win by 6-1.

    1. John0711 says:

      I don’t think 6-1 but I’ve never seen you on here before fake account?

    2. Ken 1945 says:

      As I said to pirez, they will be here make no mistake!!

  12. Declan says:

    I thought it was a good game played at pace and we were a little fortunate they did not score but how sh1t is Morata? Mind you, Laca was no better.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Morata, Lukaku and Lacazette are struggling, despite playing as striker and have gigantic salary. The ways Liverpool and Manchester City use their inverted wingers are more effective.

      Firmino often dropped deep to get the ball, be a decoy and helped the midfielders, allowing Mane and Salah to cut inside from the sides. I wish Arsenal can play like that in the front.

      1. The Defiant Man says:

        Very true, but Laca is still slightly better for me than Lukaku, but
        1. He had trouble initially with the physicality if the Prem
        2. He’d get more goals if Alexis didn’t shoot quite so much and if our passing was better.

  13. Innit says:

    League and Europa Cup for Wenger’s last hurrah
    Then Welcome Allegri or Ancelloti in the summer

    That’s the best we can hope for innit
    But i seriously doubt that will happen

  14. ks-gunner says:

    This is going to just pospone the outcome which i think is bad for both of the teams. We need to focus on other things like trying to win the uefaleauge.

  15. fijiguy says:

    boring boring arsenal

  16. Kenny Rolfe says:

    Song for the young Gooners, when they sing “champions of Europe, you’ll never do that”, comeback with “we’re invincible you’ll never do that,” I think that will shut ’em up

  17. The cassette says:

    Surely with Jack injured and Francis gone we should be getting a new CM right? At least at the bare minimum, why do we always have to wait till the last day of the transfer window though?

    1. jon fox says:

      You ask why? Easy answer ! WENGER!

  18. Break-on-through says:

    Defence played extremely well and as a team we defended well. Liked the communication and us moving round the pitch as one unit. Chambers Xhaka Wilshere Mustafi in particular communicating was great to see.

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      Agree completely with you.
      It makes you wonder why we haven’t seen more of this though doesn’t it?
      I believe the players knew they owed the supporters big time after the cup exit and they gave it to us tonight.
      Let’s hope Jack is o.k.
      It’s such a shame that he gets such a simple injury just when he is starting to play like his old self again.
      Now we need to carry the commitment shown forward against Bournemouth.

      1. Ignasi says:

        It was better…but the defending at set pieces was terrible and lucky not to concede three cheap/easy headers.

        Defending on the deck was much better, agreed!

  19. ThirdManJW says:

    Great result considering the injuries, and see what can be achieved when tactics are applied! I’m sorry, but Iwobi is definitely not good enough, Welbeck as well. I hope Jack’s okay, but maybe we’re lucky he hasn’t signed a new contract yet. It’s always a huge risk with him.

    1. The Defiant Man says:

      It’s been said Jack would have to take a pay-cut. It shows Wenger losing power because he normally just gives high salaries as if it were his money.
      Jack should have a low salary and then add-ons based on number of appearances. Anything more could bite us in the ass if he gets another big injury.

  20. jon fox says:

    Have to praise all CB’s tonight. Holding was terrific. My views on VAR? Ref ” I told you not to ring me while Im working honey. Yes, yes, I’ll be home in an hour, NOW I’ve got to go. Bye, Love you, yes , Love you, yeah Bye, Look, I’ve GOT to go.” Hangs up! To be serious , not a real VAR problem tonight BUT what if his wife rings 6 times? CROWD MIGHT HAVE GONE DOWN THE PUB BY THEN!
    But overall, a 100% committed perf, apart from the awful Lacazette, having his worst game in our shirt so far. Jacko our best player by far and must now be offered long term contract. Only looked a slight strain of ankle , not long term and back inside ten days, even possibly fit for Bournemouth.

  21. Vlad says:

    Let’s be honest here… the game was a snoozefest. But to my surprise Chelsea were even worse than we were. Although I’ll give some credit to our defense. Much better performance than that against Forest on Sunday. And I hate to sound like a broken record but without Ozil we have zero creativity. He leaves, we’re screwed. Give him anything he wants because finding proper replacement will be extremely difficult.

  22. Steven says:

    When the team have defensive lapses, like against Forest, it is Wenger’s fault for failing to coach the players. When the team put in a solid defensive defensive performance, like tonight, Wenger gets no credit. Is that logical?

    1. Ken 1945 says:

      Brilliant observation Steven, with you all the way.
      On the other side of the coin however, why have we waited so long for the commitment and (as previouusly observed) joined up communication from the players?
      This is been where the lack of a leader tag has come from. If we carry on like we did tonight we would have five or six leaders in my opinion anyway.
      Time for the players to earn their salaries!!!

  23. AB says:

    I think we really need Lacazete to score from a confidence perspective. Good defensive display by the team but we are only a shadow of what we used to be and this coming from a fan who has been following arsenal only since 2009.

  24. inkfight! says:

    Other than the “finish”, thought Iwobi played very well tonight in a deeper role.

    Dribbled well and didn’t give away possession. Like Digby, he has the ability to carry the ball from the defensive third into the attacking third very quickly.

    The goals and assists will come.

    1. inkfight! says:


  25. mark says:

    I’m obviously glad we are still in this cup and the Europa one too. I just wish that Wenger didn’t have this thing about running players contracts to the last 6 months and deludedly expecting them to sign a new one.

    Top players (ANY player) wants trophies of all shapes and sizes, and they also want one big fat contract to end their career.

    So WHY does he think it’s big or clever to make no money from players and arguably weaken the team through the divisions that a want away players ALWAYS creates?????

    Still, a decent result for a first leg..

  26. ruelando says:

    Looking forward to the rematch against Chelsea, the defence looked solid, but marking and Goal Keeper looked suspected, during crosses and corners.

    Ok on to the next matter, “arsenal going be crap if Ozil and Sanchez leave” or “Arsenal cannot do without ozil or sanchez” these are quotes i find offensive and ridiculous, this implies there was not an arsenal before both players, this implies arsenal did not have better players and it would also imply that these are the only committed players arsenal has.

    It is the same thought process which has place arsenal in the media lights with both players contract issues, which allows fans to feel depressed, both players are great on their day but i would not describe them has one out of a million players, but more like one out of a hundred players, which base on my calculation suitable replacement can be found.

  27. Hernan says:

    It’s so crazy that nobody said nothing about Ospina performance. He already had two great games under sticks but the fans are very hard on him and never said nothing great about him.

Comments are closed