Blues K.O. Gunners in Capital Clash
Written By: Robert Halter
The fourth round of the Capital One Cup under the Emirates Stadium floodlights brought together Arsenal and Chelsea for the first time in the competition since the 2007 final at Cardiff. On a Tuesday night end of October, both the Gunners and Blues rotated squad players as Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal resume was still missing the League Cup trophy while Jose Mourinho had already triumphed on two occasions in the tournament, during his first stint at Chelsea. It took a mistake by Carl Jenkinson to gift the first goal Chelsea’s way in the twenty fifth minute, as the Arsenal defender miss placed his header back, and it was pounced upon by Cesar Azpilicueta, who steered the ball past Lukasz Fabianski, into the right corner, to spark scenes of jubilation amongst the large contingent of the Blues travelling fans at the opposite end of the pitch. Five minutes later, the Gunners responded with a well struck low drive from Nacho Monreal, which went inches wide of the right post. Four minutes into the second half, the Blues threatened again as Samuel Eto’o sent an effort a long the ground which drifted past the right post. A pillar driver from Aaron Ramsey, flew past the left hand side of the goal with twenty six minutes of normal time remaining as he tried to spare Arsenal’s blushes of going out the Cup. The Gunners looked for inspiration from Mesut Ozil, who took over from Ryo Miyaichi but their hopes were short lived when on sixty six minutes, Willian won the aerial battle with Jack Wilshere, opening the path for Juan Mata to crack an unstoppable strike into the roof of the net. It was little too late as Olivier Giroud took over from Nicklas Bendtner, before the Blues switched Kevin De Bruyne for Ramires. On seventy minutes, Wilshere worked his way through the Chelsea defence, but as Giroud got his shot away, a competent Mark Schwarzer, deflected the ball away to safety. In the seventy seventh minute, Wilshere tried to hit the target from distance but as the ball flew over, the Gunners were running out of ideas. In the latter stages of the game, another Chelsea switch saw Demba Ba take over from Eto’o, before the Gunners took off Ramsey for Ju Young Park. In stoppage time, Santi Cazorla struck a shot across the face of the goal, before the Blues responded with a dipping shot by Ramires which landed on top of the outside netting. It was followed by a free kick being awarded to the Blues, after a rash challenge by Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen on Ba, and as match winner Mata made way for Tomas Kalas, in the last piece of action, David Luiz fired over the free kick as the Blues had the final say on a night that belonged to Chelsea, who navigated their passage into the quarter finals.