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Chelsea held by Arsenal


Arsenal held Chelsea to a goalless draw in the first leg of their all-London League Cup semi-final.

The Blues had most of the possession, and spent long periods in the Gunners' half, but couldn't break down a resilient defence.

The match made history for another reason, as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was called on for the first time in English football!

Antonio Conte named a strong starting XI. Thibaut Courtois was in goal, protected by Cesar Azpilicueta, Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, who just signed a new contract with the Blues!

Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso were on the wings, either side of N'Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Cesc Fabregas in midfield. Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata started up front.

Just like last week's Premier League match, Wednesday night's semi-final was end-to-end from the start. Early on, Alexandre Lacazette blazed a shot over Courtois's bar and into the Chelsea fans, and then Victor Moses tested David Ospina with a low drive, which the Arsenal goalkeeper just held on to.

The pacy wing-back was at it again a few minutes later, forcing Ospina into another save low to his near post. The Nigerian international left his marker on the floor with a quick turn, and drove a hard shot at goal. Again, the Gunners 'keeper made a save.

History was made during Arsenal's next attack. The Gunners won a corner, but before it was taken Callum Chambers pushed Azpi to the floor. The referee didn't see it, but the VAR did, and let him now over the match official's radio. The ref called over both players and gave them a warning.

Courtois was the next goalkeeper to be tested. Arsenal built on a period of possession and worked the ball towards the Chelsea box. Alex Iwobi got the ball and fired a shot at goal, but the Belgian shotstopper was equal to it, diving low and palming the ball away.

The ball flew towards the side of the area, where it was picked up by an Arsenal player, Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Victor Moses was close behind him, and challenged for the ball. Maitland-Niles went down, but was it a penalty? It was time for another VAR decision!

The ref got in touch with the VAR, they talked, and decided... no penalty! Maitland-Niles had gone down a step or two after contact with Victor Moses.

After the penalty shout, Chelsea took control. First Fabregas came close to scoring after being found by a long Azpi ball, but the Spaniard could only head it into Ospina's arms.

Christensen had another headed chance at the start of the second-half, but the ball came to him too high and he headed over the bar.

Morata then had a long shot saved after space opened up for him on the edge of the area, before Victor Moses saw another low drive deflected away from goal.

It was destined not to be Chelsea's night, especially when their own penalty shout was reviewed only to show that Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck had got some of the ball in the tackle.

The 0-0 result means it's all to play for in the second leg at the Emirates on 24 January. But first, the Blues take on Leicester City this weekend in the Premier League!

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