AT EMIRATES STADIUM
ARSENAL 0 v CHELSEA 2
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger last night urged his players not to panic after Chelsea further punctured their early-season optimism with victory in their Capital One Cup clash.
Goals in each half from Spain duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Juan Mata extended Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten run against Wenger to nine games and earned the Blues a deserved spot in the quarter-finals.
A second defeat in three games appears to have the Gunners wobbling following a fine start to the season and, with a trio of tricky clashes against Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United up next, Wenger admits the form is a concern.
“Yes it is. But it’s not something that you can’t correct. We have not to let that play too much on our minds, just go into the next game play football and be focussed,” he said.
“Of course we will not win all the games and we have to respond well on Saturday against Liverpool. We have to turn this round because away from home we are very solid. But we know it’s vital to win big games at home.”
Mourinho chose not to speak to the media after the game, but assistant Steve Holland said that following up Sunday’s Premier League defeat of Manchester City with a sixth consecutive win and an eighth from nine games showed Chelsea were a force.
“Arsenal and Man City will be competing for major honours domestically and abroad so to win both games is satisfying,” he said. “Two results like this gives you confidence.”
For Arsenal, a second loss in a week revived questions about their failure to sign a striker in the summer. Not even the pooled gifts of Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and, later, record buy Mesut Ozil could furnish the leaden-footed Nicklas Bendtner with a goal.
Chelsea, by contrast, came alive when in enemy territory, though their 25th-minute opener was aided by errors. Carl Jenkinson’s header to Lukasz Fabianski was short and Azpilicueta did superbly to pounce and prod past the hesitant goalkeeper.
Chelsea struck the decisive blow in the 66th minute when Mata brought down Wilshere’s headed clearance with one touch and lashed an outswinging shot past Fabianski with the next.