Arsenal took their place in the final of the League Cup after they secured a 2-1 comeback win over Chelsea in the semi-final second leg. The Gunners played out a goalless draw in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, but they managed to dig deep at the Emirates in order to progress to their eighth final in the Cup competition against Manchester City.
Three Things We Learned:
Eden Hazard’s struggles after scoring: Eden Hazard opened the scoring for the Blues early in the sixth minute after he made a brilliant run past Laurent Koscielny. However, the Belgian therein struggled to make much of an impression as the Gunners’ defenders doubled on him to restrict his movement. With no Alvaro Morata in the ranks, Hazard failed to make much of an impression leading the line, and this hampered the Blues’ attacks with Pedro and Ross Barkley not in co-ordination for much of the game.
Antonio Conte’s lean streak versus Arsenal: Chelsea had been a dominant force over Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal over the past decade, but this streak appears to have ended upon Antonio Conte’s appointment as Blues boss. Under his tutelage, the Blues have won just one of their eight matches versus their London rivals, a stark contrast to the previous record Wenger held of one victory in 17 attempts against the reigning champions. The Blues have lost three Cup matches versus Arsenal with penalties included since May, and the FA Cup remains their best hope for silverware this term.
Antonio Conte losing time at Chelsea: The Italian head coach has been at odds with the Blues’ hierarchy with regards to transfers since the summer, and the performances on the pitch of late are likely to pile on the pressure. The Capital outfit have won just one game across all competitions excluding penalties, and the congested schedule appears to have caught up with the Blues. Conte is already under pressure to deliver some kind of success in terms of trophies, and any setback in the FA Cup this weekend, could have a drastic effect on his future, though the club may make a final decision in the summer.
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