Chelsea and Arsenal finish all square in EFL Cup semi-final first leg

January 11, 2018 by David Nugent

Shkodran Mustafi and Eden Hazard battle in EFL Cup semi-final first-leg 2018On Wednesday night, Chelsea and Arsenal drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. If you missed what happened in the other semi-final first leg between Manchester City and Bristol City there is a recap here.

The London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal was uneventful, except that referee, Martin Atkinson used the new VAR system on two occasions to decide big incidents. The most crucial decision coming on 39 minutes, as Victor Moses kicked Ainsley Maitland-Niles boot before the young Arsenal player went down in the penalty area. The consensus was that the decision was a correct one.

Chelsea missed a golden opportunity to take the lead on 45 minutes. Chelsea’s Spanish full-back Cesar Azpilicueta cross found compatriot Cesc Fabregas at the back post. However, the former Arsenal midfielder headed straight at David Ospina in Arsenal goal.

Early in the second half, Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen headed over from close-range. The Danish defender also headed over the bar when unmarked later in the game, while Alvaro Morata fired an effort into the side netting after a mistake from Shkodran Mustafi.

Alexandre Lacazette fired wide of goal with one of Arsenal’s few sights of goal during the encounter. Referee Atkinson made use of VAR late on in the game, as Fabregas went down in the Arsenal box under a challenge from Gunners substitute Danny Welbeck. The official’s initial decision not to award the spot-kick looked spot on after replays of the incident.

Despite Arsenal having home advantage in the second leg, Chelsea are still favourites to win the tie and make it to the final. The Blues have now failed to beat Arsenal in their last five meetings.

Arsenal battling it out form Brazilian star

According to Sky Sports, Arsenal and north London rivals Tottenham are battling it out for Bordeaux’s highly rated young Brazilian forward Malcom. The 20-year-old is reportedly rated at £40million by the Ligue One outfit.

The report claims that Gunners officials are looking to hold talks with Bordeaux over a deal for the youngster. Malcom has previously been linked with both Bayern Munich and Manchester United. The youngster recently revealed on Twitter that he is learning English. The admission has fuelled rumours of a move to a Premier League for the forward.

Malcom may be signed as a replacement for Arsenal’s Chilean star Alexis Sanchez, whose contract expires in the summer. Manchester United are reportedly set to make a move for Sanchez before the current transfer window shuts.

The Chilean started Wednesday night’s League Cup game against Chelsea on the bench. He made a cameo as a replacement for French forward Alexandre Lacazette in the second half. Sanchez is a long-term transfer target for United’s rivals Manchester City, who according to reports from Italy have already put together a financial package to sign the Chilean international in the summer.

The 28-year-old looks set to leave the north London club in the near future. The versatile Malcom would certainly represent an interesting option for the Gunners this month or in the summer.

Will Chelsea or Arsenal strengthen their squad this month?