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Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2: Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Mata punish meek Gunners

by Greg Leedham at the Emirates Stadium

Jose Mourinho's dominance over Arsene Wenger continues. The Chelsea manager made 10 changes to his starting line-up, but still holds the Indian Sign over the Arsenal manager after the Blues eased to victory in the League Cup thanks to Cesar Azpilicueta's 25th-minute strike and a thumping effort from Juan Mata midway through the second half.

Mourinho's record against the Arsenal manager now reads five wins and four draws. The League Cup may be a distant fourth on the Portuguese's list of priorities, but he will nonetheless be glad to land a psychological blow against the Gunners given that they are one place above his team at the top of the Premier League.

Wenger, on the other hand, will hope this result does not leave any scars given the difficult run of fixtures his side face in the coming weeks, starting with Liverpool on Saturday.

There was additional pain here for the Gunners in the manner in which they fell behind. A calamitous error from right-back Carl Jenkinson, whose back header to keeper Lukasz Fabianski was too weak and allowed Azpilicueta to nip in and score, made the job easier for Chelsea than it should have been.

The west Londoners already had a swagger about them by the time Mata launched a right-footed effort from the edge of the area that left Fabianski with little chance.

For Chelsea, the win increases the sense that they are slowly finding their groove. The side they named here cost well over a £100 million, with another £100m worth of talent on the bench. Arsenal, too, boasted the likes of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in the starting line-up and also had Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud waiting in the wings. Certainly it was difficult to describe either side as under strength.

One area in which the home side looked deficient was through the middle where Nicklas Bendtner gave an anonymous performance as a lone striker. The Dane has not scored for the club since March 2011 and was withdrawn midway through the second half for  Giroud.

It was a classic case of closing the stable door once the horse had bolted. Arsenal huffed and puffed, and even went close through Cazorla and Ramsey. But the night belonged to Chelsea whose fans headed into the chilly night, goading their rivals about their recent lack of trophies.


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