Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Ryo, Bendtner
Subs: Viviano, Sagna, Hayden, Yennaris, Ozil, Giroud, Park
Arsenal went out of the Capital One Cup with a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates tonight. Arsene Wenger fielded a stronger than expected side with starts for Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, with Giroud, Ozil and Sagna on the bench.
The visitors began brightly, keeping the ball in the opening minutes and forcing a couple of corners, while Arsenal found some space on the break without making much of it. There was lots of passing and not a lot else. Well, there were players pointing at other players to tell them where to pass.
Ryo Miyaichi had a shot but it was blocked. Ramsey had a shot which was blocked. Some Chelsea bloke shot and it wasn’t blocked but it was easy for Fabianski, and Samuel Eto’o knocked one out of play with his arse.
After an earlier misjudgement of an aerial ball, Carl Jenkinson then gifted Chelsea a goal after an Arsenal corner was cleared. He tried to head the ball back to Lukasz Fabianski but left it short, allowing Azpilicueta to poke it home from close range. Poor play from the right back.
Nacho Monreal came close to equalising moments later after making a good interception in the Chelsea half, but his shot fizzed just wide of Schwarzer’s far post.
It was a fairly dismal game, Chelsea sitting deep whenever Arsenal had possession, Arsenal struggling to find space or break them down. The visitors took the lead into the half-time break.
Tomas Rosicky tried to get Arsenal moving early in the 2nd half but failed to find Bendtner and Ryo, before Samuel Eto’o fired a shot not too far wide of Fabianski’s post. Santi Cazorla then tried his luck from 25 yards but hit his shot a few feet wide of Schwarzer’s goal.
Aaron Ramsey then saw a shot deflect wide with the Chelsea keeper rooted to the spot as the Gunners went looking for the equaliser. Ramsey was involved again when Bendtner laid it off to him but instead of taking the first time shot he cut inside and Chelsea closed down the space to the frustration of the home fans.
In the 63rd minute Arsene Wenger brought on Mesut Ozi for the ineffectual Ryo Miyaichi but Juan Mata doubled the Chelsea lead just a couple of minutes later. The ball fell to the Spaniard on the edge of the Arsenal box. He hit it with his right foot and it flew past Fabianski to make it 2-0.
Nicklas Bendtner was then replaced by Olivier Giroud and there were some boos for the Dane as he came off. He didn’t play particularly well but then what were people expecting from a striker we’ve been trying to flog for the best part of three years?
Chelsea almost made it 3-0 but for a last minute intervention by Koscielny while Giroud saw a near post effort well saved. With time running out there was only one thing for Arsene Wenger to try: bringing on Ju Young Park for Aaron Ramsey.
It was the change that Arsenal fans have been clamouring for all season, but not even the awesome power of the South Korean could save the game for the Gunners. Santi Cazorla saw a late effort fly wide but in the end they failed to break down a resolute Mourinho side.
Chelsea’s knuckle-dragging fans left the Emirates happy and Arsenal went out of the prestigious Capital One Cup.
Arseblog News is finding it hard to care.