Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg saw the Blues held to a goalless draw by city rivals Arsenal. VAR was used for the first time at Stamford Bridge in last night’s fixture, as it continues to be implemented. Antonio Conte’s side were unable to take an advantage into the second leg, in a largely frustrating evening for the Blues. Here are the three players who impressed the most:
3. Eden Hazard
The Belgian recovered from a knock picked up in last week’s meeting with Arsenal, and was back to his usual best. Taking on and dribbling past defenders, Hazard was highly impressive as Chelsea went forward. His skill and footwork saw a number of Arsenal players bring him to ground, and he earned the Blues a number of free kicks. He was subbed off for the remaining ten minutes, perhaps a precaution over his injury.
2. Cesar Azpilicueta
For a defender, Azpilicueta sure knows how to deliver a cross. The Spaniard put in a number of impressive balls in, leaving the Arsenal defence a lot to think about. Obviously looking for his usual partner in crime, Alvaro Morata, he looked to cross at nearly every opportunity. He almost assisted the opener with a cross, but Cesc Fabregas’ header was easy for David Ospina. Defensively, he was great too. He blocked well from Danny Welbeck late on.
1. N’Golo Kante
The amount of running this man does is incredible. He completely bossed the midfield, and the Arsenal players couldn’t cope with him. Kante did what he does best, and broke up attacks, intercepted the play. With Cesc Fabregas taking over attacking duty, this allowed Kante to sit back and focus on his defensive play. Although he did have a shot at the Arsenal goal. Fabregas laid a free kick into his path, but the Frenchman couldn’t find the target.