Tuesday's dream League Cup tie never turned into much of an exciting contest, with Chelsea coasting to a win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. While Arsenal had some nice spells of play and certainly didn't get overrun, they struggled to create serious scoring chances while Chelsea finished the few they got.
Cesar Azpilicueta scored his first goal in a Chelsea shirt in the 25th minute, on the end of a great counter and a big defensive mistake by the Gunners. Chelsea were able to clear an Arsenal corner away, starting a break that ended up with the ball falling to Carl Jenkinson under heavy pressure. He played an awkward and underhit header towards Lukasz Fabianski, but the ball never got to the Arsenal keeper. Azpilicueta pounced and poked a brilliant first time finish into the net, off the inside of the far post.
Very little happened going either way until Chelsea's second goal, an absolute stunner by Juan Mata. He controlled a bouncing ball off a throw-in at the edge of the penalty area and struck a perfect, unstoppable volley into the top corner in the 66th minute to solidify Chelsea's lead.
Arsenal had brought Mesut Özil on two minutes before that goal and responded to Mata's effort by bringing on Olivier Giroud for Nicklas Bendtner, who was particularly poor on the night. A few minutes before Mata's goal and his subsequent exit, he had an excellent chance to score when he was played in on goal, but inexplicably laid the ball backwards while on the penalty spot and in space.
The Gunners had more of the ball late as Chelsea sat back, but the visitors kept their clean sheet comfortably. While the League Cup was never going to be a priority for Arsene Wenger, this will be a disappointing performance nonetheless.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Monreal, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Jenkinson, Ramsey (Park 82'), Wilshere, Cazorla, Rosicky, Miyachi (Özil 63'), Bendtner (Giroud 67')
Chelsea: Schwarzer, Bertrand, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Essien, Mikel, Willian, Mata (Kalas 90'), De Bruyne (Ramires 69'), Eto'o (Ba 81')
Goals: Azpilicueta (25'), Mata (66')