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EFL Cup: Chelsea draw Arsenal in first leg; Wenger sidelined from match

Arsenal and Chelsea drew a frustrating goalless match in the second semi-finals of the EFL Cup as league leaders and finalists Manchester City await for an opponent.

India TV Sports Desk Edited by: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Published on: January 11, 2018 11:41 IST
A file image of Danny Welbeck of Arsenal dribbling past
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES A file image of Danny Welbeck of Arsenal dribbling past Chelsea's Fabregas.

The London rivals had met just a week before when they drew a thriller 2-2, this time it was all square again in a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge this time in the first leg. While Chelsea's Antonio Conte was in the customary managerial position patrolling the touchline on Wednesday, with his players close by to receive direct instructions, Wenger was reduced to occasional exacerbated shouts.

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Image Source : GETTY IMAGESArsenal manager Arsene Wenger sits in the Media Box at the match.

With Shordan Mustafi leading the way for the North Lonon team, Alexis Sanchez was started from the bench as Iwobi and Lacazette started. Arsenal were under high pressure from the West London rivals as the Blues dominated the match with possessions and shots. David Ospina on form after the Bristol City debacle, saving six shots on target as Hazard and Morata continued to find ways of sending the ball at the back of the net. 

Wenger's biggest call came before the match — dropping his star forward and only sending down instructions in the second half for the Chilean to be brought on.

Regarding selections once again, Bellerin was placed in the middle order on the right flank in a 3-4-2-1 formation, where Calum Chambers and Rob Holding did well to hold off the hosts to ensure a draw at Stamford. 

"It was frustrating," Wenger said later in the media room. "But the position was quite interesting because I was close to the bench and not too high up."

Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has left the North London team to join Spanish club Valencia for a fee of 12 Million Euros.  

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Image Source : GETTY IMAGESA file image of Francis Coquelin applauding the crowd.

The two rivals will meet once again this month on January 25 for the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals. League leaders Manchester City are in the finals and the winner of the second semi-final will face Pep Guardiola's City. 

(With AP Inputs)

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