Chelsea's Capital One Cup victory at Arsenal proved Jose Mourinho's squad has strength in depth
The dear old League Cup means nothing to fans… unless you’re still in it, of course.
Chelsea made Arsenal look like 11 awkward strangers at a dull Christmas drinks party on Tuesday at the Emirates, and Blues fans thoroughly enjoyed a lusty sing-song.
Pick of the chants was a mischievous ditty directed at the Gunners’ exciting new No11, who came on as a second-half sub to a chorus of ‘His eyes are offside, his eyes are offside, Mesut Ozil, his eyes are offside’, to the Sloop John B tune.
Even his introduction, and the substitution of Nicklas Bendtner for a real striker in Olivier Giroud, were not enough to save Arsenal.
Chelsea advanced to the next round of the Capital One Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win, building on the last-gasp 2-1 victory against Manchester City in the league at Stamford Bridge two days earlier.
Bizarrely, both games provided chaotic defensive mix-up goals involving advancing keepers and back-heading defenders.
On Sunday, City’s Joe Hart got into a pickle with defender Matija Nastasic’s header, allowing Fernando Torres to grab a 90th-minute winner.
On Tuesday, Torres was on the bench at the Emirates, grinning from ear to ear after Lukasz Fabianski and Carl Jenkinson effectively re-enacted the moment to allow right back Cesar Azpilicueta to score the Blues’ first goal, before a Juan Mata rocket made certain in the second half.
Chelsea rang the changes against Arsenal, with Jose Mourinho still muttering about the unfairness of making the Blues play twice in rapid succession.
But Chelsea have real strength in depth and, with Michael Essien handed the captain’s armband, looked impressive.
It was a glorious night out for the 9,000 Blues fans who travelled to north London. They sang themselves hoarse but left themselves enough time to regain their voices for the sterner test at the weekend, up in Newcastle.
Mourinho seems satisfied with life, and is relaxing into his managerial role.
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