Chelsea vs Arsenal – Carabao Semi-Final Cup First Leg

A tough match to watch as a Blues fan. I felt like we controlled the majority of the pace and pressure during the first tie. With Arsenal playing a back three that normally doesn’t perform together I would’ve expected Chelsea to break through and get a head up on Arsenal this afternoon. It seemed they were sluggish in the final third and didn’t have that dangerous creativity in the box. Possibly a result from the constant multi-fixture weeks but it is still no excuse for a top club. They didn’t play poorly though. They neutralized Arsenal and our back line look very much in sync.

It worries me that we are relying on an away game at the emirates to go through to the final. Arsenal has the talent to be lucky and produce quality on the counter. I see our biggest issue at striker. It isn’t that I dislike Morata or his effort. I think he is a fine player who is constantly working to be in the play and provide for the team. It simply doesn’t seem to be there at the moment. Last season, Diego Costa would fire games up and create chances for his team to get our vials on their back heels. He had a different attitude to scoring that I feel Alvaro lacks. That being said, I have full confidence that when it is crunch time later this year, Alvaro Morata will show up and lead the team from the top.

I didn’t like how we settled on the score and had substitutions late in the game, where we clearly could’ve used Willian and another speedster to attack the edges while Arsenal sat back in formation. The second leg will be far more interesting. I’m sure Arsenal will have a new strategy to have Walcott or Bellerin attack the corners to keep Alonso and Moses deep in our formation. Neutralizing Fabregas’ long pass spread and forcing him to go up the middle to Hazard, Morata, Willian, etc. I expect an excited second leg and a win for the Blues if Arsenal play anything like they did today!

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