Carabao Cup: Arsenal hold Chelsea in semi-final

Tony Cascarino

Chelsea and Arsenal played to a tiresome 0-0 draw in their Carabao Cup semifinal first leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

Eden Hazard recovered from a calf complaint to start for Chelsea and the Belgium star played in Morata after two minutes, although the angle was against the striker - who endured a torrid outing when the sides met in the league last week - and he shot into the side netting.

"I don't see too much hope for Arsenal on Wednesday and I just hope they can nick a goal to keep the tie going".

Speaking to Sky Sports, Nicholas said: "It was cracking 2-2 draw at the Emirates and Arsene Wenger has to pick a strong team here after making so many changes in the FA Cup, but so will Antonio Conte, which makes Chelsea favourites".

While Arsenal were well below their best once again, in contrast to their surrender in Nottingham, the Frenchman will be encouraged that they showed enough spirit to keep Chelsea at bay.

In the other semi-final played on Tuesday, Manchester City defeated Bristol City 2-1 at the Etihad.

Chelsea are now in third place in the Premier League table as they look to try and get closer to leaders Manchester City.

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

Chelsea responded with their own chance two minutes later when Victor Moses cut inside before drilling a low strike towards the near post which David Ospina needed two attempts to collect with Cesc Fabregas lurking.

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.

Arsene Wenger has promised that future talks will be held during the January transfer window, but the club has been slow to move, reportedly waiting on the midfielder to hit his peak form and fitness.

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

Wenger's response was to send on Sanchez for the ineffective Lacazette with 25 minutes left, yet within seconds Moses nearly broke the deadlock when his goal-bound shot was deflected over by Shkodran Mustafi.

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

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