Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea: Gunners Dumped Out Of Capital One Cup

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta (right) celebrates scoring his teams opening goal alongside teammate da Silva Willian
Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta (right) celebrates scoring his teams opening goal alongside teammate da Silva Willian

And then there were three. It's nine winless games now for Arsène Wenger against José Mourinho's Chelsea but more critically, Arsenal's best chance of a trophy has vanished before the ghouls emerged on Halloween. Mourinho again proved he is one demon they just can't exorcise in north London.

In the space of a week Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea have reminded Arsenal of their fallibility. The results reinforce the suspicion that the Mesut Özil coup merely papered over glaring cracks during an amorous honeymoon spell which is in danger of ending with Liverpool, Dortmund and Manchester United on the agenda.

The Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League outrank the Capital One Cup in Arsenal's priority stakes, but Wenger fielded at least four players who could be regarded as first-teamers and by the game's conclusion it had upped to six.

Wenger said in his programme notes Arsenal's "completely young side" in the 2007 League Cup final demonstrated "just how much the competition has developed in the last six years". If only his team had, too.

Mourinho seemed confused as to which way to turn when he emerged from the Emirates tunnel. He had coached at the stadium on just the one previous occasion in 2007, when Chelsea relinquished their Premier League title. That explained the memory lapse.

That Mourinho, wrapped up in a tracksuit as if to highlight how unworried he was by the result, sporadically applauded his team's possession in the early exchanges was a reflection of his admiration for Arsenal, team that used to be troublesome for Mourinho as Fernando Torres was to goalkeepers until seven days ago.

Arsenal fans duly reminded Mourinho of their current standing at the peak of the Premier League table but Chelsea were backed by around 9,000 standing supporters who vociferously serenaded Ashley Cole's European Cup win, asked where their hosts' European Cup was and celebrated nine years of "f**k all".

The spectacle off the pitch comfortably trumped the on-pitch equivalent inside the first quarter until Carl Jenkinson literally intervened. Again, Arsenal were undone on the break, but it unravelled at a glacial pace and broke down, only Jenkinson and Jack Wilshere fretted over an aerial ball which the England right-back eventually nodded towards Łukasz Fabiański despite the oncoming César Azpilicueta, who nipped in to give Chelsea the lead.

Michael Essien, skippering the Blues in the League Cup again and Arsenal's bogeyman from past encounters, was indomitable up against Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. The only starter from the 2007 final playing, it is perhaps understandable why he nicknames Mourinho "daddy" when he plays so commandingly. Partnered by John Obi Mikel, the Africans suffocated their hosts in midfield as Nicklas Bendtner traipsed around dejectedly.

Olivier Giroud's selfless industry was missed in the first 45 but Bendtner trotted out after the pause. He soon felt the familiar wrath of his home detractors after inexplicably passing the ball backwards when a shot was in the offing. Giroud's name was soon aired and it was the loudest Arsenal fans had hollered all night.

As feckless as Bendtner was, Arsenal lacked enterprise from a lightweight forward three of Tomáš Rosický, Ryo Miyachi and Santi Cazorla, and offered one shot on target. It was Mesut Özil who arrived with under half-an-hour remaining for the Japanese, but his introduction was inconsequential.

Chelsea soon doubled their advantage when Willian flicked on to Juan Mata, lurking at the edge of the area, who cut inside and thrashed the ball past Fabiánski with his right foot.

Bendtner swiftly exited, with some fans flicking V-signs in his direction at others spitting vitriolic advice. There was one man the crowd implored to stay, though, and that was Wenger. Only it was the Chelsea fans singing.

Popular in the Community