Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2
(Azpilicueta 25, Mata 66)

This will have hurt the many Arsenal fans, not so much for the demeanour of the loss at the hands of their bitter cross capital rivals, but for the manner in which a mostly second string Arsenal starting eleven seemed to capitulate in a way that was totally unacceptable. Having won at Crystal Palace last Saturday, another home loss following on from the Champions League loss to Borussia Dortmund would not have been Arsene Wenger’s idea of recovery from a mini malaise, but a side that showed too little fight too easily, allowed Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea second string to progress to the quarter-finals.

Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Mata did the damage to the Gunners’ Capital One Cup ambitions with a goal either side of the break. The Arsenal manager would not blame Carl Jenkinson publicly for his poor header back to Lukas Fabianski which enabled Chelsea to take the lead, preferring to keep that conversation a private one. Wenger did stress that his squad may not be as light as some conclude with the likes of Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott still to return from injury.

Just as he has done so far this season, Aaron Ramsey tried to re-energise a Gunners attack as did Tomas Rosicky. The waiting Nicklas Bendtner however was not up for the fight and now will surely be moved on to pastures anew. Just as Arsenal attempted to get back in the match, Juan Mata, once closely linked with a move to the Emirates doubled the Blues’ advantage with a shot that Fabianksi was unable to get to.

” Look it’s better to win if you ask me. Of course it’s difficult but that’s part of the season you know you will not win all of the games but we have to respond well on Saturday against Liverpool. We are in a strong position in the league and we have a good opportunity at home and we we have to turn this round because away from home we are very solid but at home as well you know that it is important and vital to win the big games,” reasoned Wenger.

Arsenal made eight changes to the side that won at Selhurst Park, but still found old foes Michael Essie and Jon Obi Mikel as well as new ones in the shape of Willian and Samuel Eto’o too organised in a Chelsea side that wanted it more. Even when Demba Ba came on with nine minutes remaining, you saw why Mourinho was reluctant to part with his Senegal striker in the summer.

Ramsey and Nacho Monreal had sighters of Mark Schwarzer’s goal as did Santi Cazorla, but nothing came from these. Even the introduction of Mesut Özil after 63 minutes failed to lift the north London gloom. Six years since his absence from the English game seems to have mellowed Mourinho who warmly greeted Wenger before kick off. Too bad for the Arsenal manager that his side would acquiesce in much the same way.