Chelsea named a strong team to face Arsenal, but failed to gain an EFL Cup advantage at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte reinstated most of his strongest line-up for the semi-final first leg and created a number of chances but failed to properly test David Ospina.
The two teams now head to the Emirates in two weeks for a place at Wembley Stadium.
A lot of Chelsea fans would have been pleased to see Drinkwater’s name on the first XI team sheet last night, rather than Tiemoue Bakayoko’s. The latter has been such a disappointment since joining from Monaco and struggled defensively against Arsenal last week.
Drinkwater hasn’t exactly set the world alight either after arriving from Leicester for £35m, even though injury has played a major part in that. There have been some good signs at times, but this was a real opportunity to cement his place in the first XI.
However, the England international was off the pace and his passing was often off target. It was no surprise when he was replaced by Willian with 23 minutes remaining. One might want to believe that the coach was trying to hand him game time that would help his confidence and equally prove his worth. After all, the game might not decide which goes through.
Antonio Conte has shown he likes to rotate this season as against last season but Cahill won’t have enjoyed such a big occasion from the bench. Conte opted to pick Rudiger in Cahill’s position on the left-hand side of defence instead.
It is unusual for the team’s captain to be rested, after all Chelsea’s next League game is only at home against Leicester on Saturday.
One wouldn’t see Cahill’s predecessor John Terry sat on the sidelines at the age of 32, but Cahill’s defensive issues might also be giving the coach, as well as fans some reasons to scratch the head.
Brilliant Christensen has consistently shown why he’s been given new deal. He has shown so much maturity that David Luiz has not been sorely missed. One thing though is his finishing. If he had improved on that, he would have noted into an empty net last night. There were a few more this evening, but his headers from close range went wide of the target.
Not for the first time this season, the 21-year-old displayed that he is comfortable on the biggest stage. Arsenal didn’t offer too much attacking intent, but when they did the Dane was always in the right place at the right time.
David Luiz, just returned from a knee injury, was an unused substitute and that might be the norm for him, that is if he is not sold this month.
By giving Christensen a new four-and-a-half year contract, Chelsea have made it clear that he is a mainstay of the club now.
For Alvaro Morata, the moans and groans grew in number and in volume as he once again laboured in front of goal for Chelsea. The Spain international is coming across as a confidence player. When it’s high he looks like a world beater, yet currently it looks rock bottom.
On more than one occasion, Morata was given the kind of balls over the top that his predecessor Diego Costa would have thrived on. Costa would have bullied his way past this Arsenal backline, however the £58m acquisition from Real Madrid was meek and mild.
His ability with the ball at his feet leaves a lot to be desired at present. It is something Morata clearly needs to work more on at the training ground. One example in the second half summed it up as he dribbled the ball harmlessly out of play.
Should Chelsea be worried? Should they go for another striker this month?