Alvaro Morata’s woes continue in front of the goal as a toothless Chelsea is held to a 0-0 draw by Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Chelsea missed a few opportunities to take the lead against a depleted Arsenal lineup as they played out a stalemate in the first leg of Carabao Cup semi-finals at the Bridge. They travel to Emirates a couple of weeks later for final showdown with Arsene Wenger’s men in the semi-final of the League Cup.
Chelsea’s summer acquisition, Alvaro Morata, was brought back into the starting lineup as Conte fielded a strong side. Chelsea’s first clear-cut chance at goal came in 24th minute when Victor Moses went past Maitland-Niles and struck the near post. VAR (Video Assistant Referee) had to be called into action after Victor Moses brought down Niles into the penalty area.
Referee Atkinson’s original decision stood firm as no penalty was awarded. Chelsea’s most glaring miss of the first half came when Azpilicueta played one of his customary crosses to find Fabregas, with the unchallenged, unmarked Spaniard header shockingly finding goalkeeper Ospina.
Arsenal’s 2 trips to Chelsea this season:
Back 3 Koscielny-Mustafi-Monreal
Back 3 Chambers-Mustafi-Holding
Total shots faced 34 (on target 10), conceded 0 pic.twitter.com/8ppMmWnV00
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 10, 2018
Andreas Christensen might have earned plaudits in defence, but certainly has some work to do in the offensive department as he missed two good heading opportunities in the second-half. Hazard and Morata missed couple of good chances later as match drew towards the end. The match finished 0-0 as Conte’s side failed to take home advantage. Let’s put every Chelsea player under the scanner.
THIBAUT COURTOIS: 6.5/10
The Belgian had very little to do throughout the game apart from an Alex Iwobi save from the first half, which he parried to safety comfortably. The Belgian kept yet another clean-sheet in a promising performance, much to the delight of Conte and…Zidane?
— Thibaut Courtois (@thibautcourtois) January 9, 2018
ANTONIO RUDIGER: 7/10
The ex-Roma player was a powerful presence in the Chelsea backline as he made some good clearances while also playing some good long-balls. The tenacity was there for all to see.
ANDREAS CHRISTENSEN: 6.5/10
The Dane has snatched the starting spot from David Luiz and was impressive against the Gunners, keeping likes of Lacazette and then Sanchez quiet. Though, much is desired from the defender in the attacking front, as he missed two glaring heading chances.
CESAR AZPILICUETA: 7/10
The worthy and reliable Chelsea servant put in yet another impeccable performance and could have bagged another assist had Fabregas scored from his superb cross towards the end of first half.
VICTOR MOSES: 7/10
The Nigerian played well in the offensive department and saw a couple of shots hit the post. Lung-bursting runs down the right flank have become a regular treat for the Blue fans.
DANNY DRINKWATER: 5.5/10
It was a wasted opportunity for the ex-Leicester man. Some loose passes coupled with almost no threat going forward did no well to boost his playing chances in Conte’s eyes. Was taken off for Willian in 67th minute.
N’GOLO KANTE: 8/10
He surely has to be from another planet. The Frenchman put in darting runs all throughout the game and put in some lovely passes for his team-mates. For sure, he makes the life of his fellow mates much easier.
Great game at the Emirates. Should have won. Thank you once again for the reception. We go again on Saturday. Thank you to the traveling fans, great as usual. ❤️🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/GNcCIPiUcR
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) January 3, 2018
CESC FABREGAS: 7.5/10
Surely the Spaniard is on the wrong side of 30’s, but when it comes to passes, noone can match him. Fabregas was at his usual best with an array of over-head passes. Taking free kicks to corners, the Spaniard is a mainstay in Conte’s lineup.
MARCOS ALONSO: 6.5/10
Alonso did not have much defending to do as Arsenal didn’t attack often, although he posed little threat going forward. Maybe a string of beautiful curling passes from the left flank is all Chelsea fans have been waiting for.
— J (@Javad_Nour) January 4, 2018
EDEN HAZARD: 7.5/10
The Belgian is the shining light in Chelsea’s offensive line when it comes to creating opportunities. There’s no stopping the diminutive forward when running across defences. However, he needs to work on his finishing as evident on one occasion in second half when he dribbled too much into the Arsenal area when he should have shot and scored .
— Football FanCast (@FootballFanCast) January 11, 2018
ALVARO MORATA: 6.5/10
The Spaniard has missed a host of opportunities in recent games and this game was no different when it comes to scoring. Though Morata didn’t get much services from his team-mates, however playing at a top club like Chelsea, one expects him to make the most of his chances. Diego Costa would have bumped into defenders and made his way through maybe. Ruthlessness is needed for the forward, who still has quite of time to improve.
Brought in for Drinkwater, the Brazilian couldn’t do much and was not at his best going forward. Probably next game will see him get more game-time as Drinkwater has failed to impress Conte.
TIEMOUE BAKAYOKO: 6/10
Brought in for Hazard with just 7 minutes left on the clock, the midfielder had too less too little time to prove himself.
MICHY BATHSUAYI: 6/10
Brought in for Morata towards theendof the game, the Belgian couldn’t do much. Probably a loan to Sevilla looks like one of the option for the out-of-favour Belgian.