Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Arsenal hold Chelsea to stalemate in EFL Cup semi-final

Arsenal hold Chelsea to stalemate in EFL Cup semi-final

Charlie Nicholas is expecting to see Chelsea claim a 3-1 victory over Arsenal in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Whereas the 2-2 Premier League draw between the two sides a week ago was action-packed from the first whistle to the last, it took until midway through the first half for either side to have a notable sight of goal this evening, and even then it was wasted by Alexandre Lacazette as he sliced an effort high and wide of the target after beating the offside trap.

The Gunners got the better of Chelsea in the FA Cup final and Community Shield a year ago.

Arsenal are expected to start a very strong team as they were embarrassed by Nottingham Forest in FA Cup this past weekend which they lost 4-2.

Wenger surprisingly left Alexis Sanchez on the bench amid talk of the unsettled Chile forward joining Manchester City, while Mesut Ozil missed out with a knee injury.

However, Arsenal will now be sweating on Wilshere's fitness after he limped off during the Gunners' clash with Chelsea.

Arsenal were forced into a change in the 57th minute as Wilshere, who was getting back in form after a long lay-off, went off with a knock and was replaced by Mohamed Elneny.

Alex Iwobi was selected despite Wenger saying he could be fined for reportedly partying until the early hours of Saturday morning and the Arsenal winger nearly repaid his manager's faith with a drive that Courtois pushed away.

VAR - in use for the first time in an EFL competition - came into play just before the break as Moses appeared to trip Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the area as the two went for a rebound, but the video assistant did not award a spot kick. The former Everton midfielder continues to recover from hamstring surgery.

Andreas Christensen fared no better after the interval when the Chelsea defender dived to head over from inside the six-yard box.

So it proved as Willian was denied by Ospina and Fabregas clipped a post in the closing moments.

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