Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Arsenal v Chelsea: live -

90 mins: Ramires gets the ball outside the box, shifts it and whips a good shot over. All the drama is elswehere - Leicester have scored to make it 4-3 at the King Power Stadium, sub Lloyd Dyer with an 89th minute goal that could be an embarrassment to Fulham. Brum 2 Stoke 3 also looks a good 'un. United comfortably beating the Canaries.

89 mins: Santi flashes a drive wide after a good run. Four more minutes.

86 mins: Yeah, so.... Arsenal still tipping and tapping away. Not to any great effect, although they all look quite bright and up for it.

83 mins: This game feels over to me, but Chelsea still knocking on the door. Good low cross scrambled out. Ramsey off and Park Chu-Young on. Him I don't know. He's South Korean. He signed for the Arsenal in August 2011 and has been on loan at Celta Vigo. He's a 28-year-old forward. Probably not going to be one we'll be talking of in years to come, but perhaps he's a late bloomer.

79 mins: Bit of a shame, the career of Demba Ba, although a sign of the times. He was ruddy marvellous for the Mags, I thought, but now he hardly plays, and never scores. I expect a young gentleman from abroad with money in his pocket can find ways to enjoy himself in London, but still. Seems rather a waste. Hasn't scored a goal since April, this will be his tenth game sans nettage if he doesn't get one in the next ten minutes.

78 mins: Azpilicueta, Luiz and Eto'o are all having treatment for cramp. Bloody part-timers. Oh. They are. Eto'o becomes Chelsea's second sub, Demba Ba comes on. Taking his own sweet time, I should add.

E-mailMubita: "Chelsea too good for arsenal. This also shows that arsenal may not go very far with leading the log table!" This could be a rare case where the log table does lie, it's true.

75 mins: World Class Wilshere fires well over.

73 mins: Essien brings down Koscielny, who makes enough of it to get the Chelsea player booked. Deffo a foul, though, I should say. Nothing much from the freekick. Arsenal look way better with Ozil and Giroud in the team. Obvs.

71 mins: Essien, who has improved, finds Ramires who gets to the byline and nearly mugs Koscielny into scoring an OG on the line. This tweet below, BTW. And they say these fans don't react passionately to the team.

And the abuse just keeps coming for NB.

69 mins: Good run Wilshere, good hard shot from Giroud but this isn't Schwarzer's first rodeo, and he's got that near-post well covered. Ramires on.

67 mins: Wenger responds by taking off Bendtner and bringing on Giroud in what he'd hoped was the last throw of the dice he wouldn't have to make.

GoalGOAL! DID YOU SEE THAT? Football pie all over his face. Willian knocks the ball down, Mata takes a touch and absolutely mullers it. Shot sir! Right-footed thunderbolt, and that's unstoppable. Arsenal 0 Chelsea 2 (Mata 66)

64 mins: Ozil nearly weaves his way through a couple of Chelsea backs.

62 mins: Ramsey ghosts away from De Bruyne as if he wasn't there, and sends a fizzing drive just wide. Young Ryo Miyaichi's work is done, he's hooked in favour of Ozil.

61 mins: Strong run from Eto'o, Mata handy in possession, Chelsea really do look the better side, I have to say.

60 mins: Spell of the ball for Chelsea, Willian looking handy. But now here comes Santi. Curling shot causes Mark Schnauzer a moment of worry.

59 mins: Just to clarify, the crowd are not actually singing Nirvana. Good spell for Arsenal, although that last move did have shades of the "walk it into the goal" thing. Chelsea seem to have weathered the storm, for the time being.

58 mins: Oh look, the crowd are all signing now. Here we are now, entertain us.

55 mins: Rosicky having some nice touches, a good little move from Arsenal finds Bendtner alone on the Chelsea penalty spot, but instead of shooting, he passes it back to the team-mate. Oh dear. It's easy to get annoyed with Bendtner, and I don't even support Arsenal.

53 mins: Blues having a hard time clearning the corner... but now the berk Bendtner gives it away cheaply and the whole thing grinds to a halt.

52 mins: Arsenal's best moment. Ramsey runs, jinks and shoots, huge deflection, could have snuck in at the far post with Mark S stranded.

51 mins: Arsenal record a shot, if that's what you want to call it, when Cazorla fires well wide from, like, well far.

49 mins: Eto'o fashions himself an opportunity from nowhere, and lashes one of those trademark fierce shots not that wide. No changes at HT by the way, but Ozil is warming up.

48 mins: Chelsea pretty much had it since then though, passing it around with some authority, not letting Arsenal get going.

46 mins: Rosicky down the right, bright start from the Gunners, cross not of similar class.

20.46 Half time is over, Wenger late back to his seat. Possibly queueing for a pie.

E-mailMarc Melander: "The hapless looking de Bruyne hails from a gaff called 'Drongen' which sounds like a name for a mob of zombies or 'Reavers' types (as in from the top top top fillum 'Serenity'). On a more serious note he must be the only rubbish Belgian amongst a clutch of very exciting Flemish/Walloon types currently lighting up the 'English game'."

E-mail "Favourite Wenger moment?" says Joshua Levey. "When Arsenal play vs Man utd. Arsenal scores but ruled offside. Wenger got angry and then he kicks the bottle. then he got sent off."

HALF TIME Well, a few players on both teams look a bit short of full match sharpness, but overall Chelsea have the stronger team out, and look like the stronger team. Not a lot of action to tell you about, to be quite honest. Defensive blunder for the goal. Hopefully things will pick up a bit in the second 45. Oh, and it turns out that Kevin De Bruyne can kill people with his mind.

Elsewhere, it's Birminghan 1 Stoke 1 and goal-less between Burnley and West Ham. Something of an upset on the cards at the Walkers: Leicester are leading Fulham 2-1. And at Old Trafford, United are up 1-0 over Norwich thanks to a pen-al-tee from the Little Pea. Back in a sec.

44 mins: A few "shushes" ring around the ground, presumably from the Chelsea fans. It is indeed quiet.

43 mins: Problem for Arsenal is that Nik Bendtner isn't really able to hold onto the ball, and the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere aren't able to get up alongside the forwards.

41 mins: Mata and Willian link up well and they slip it to Essien who has a dibble that... also goes out for a throw-in. "Rusty" would be the politest word for it. He's only had one other game this term, and that against Swindon in this comp.

38 mins: Not sure if it was karmic retribution for being nasty about Kevin De Bruyne but I just damn nearly choked to death on a peanut. Possibly De Bruyne has magical powers.

36 mins: De Bruyne making himself busy down the left. He is an unfortunate looking lad. Surely the ugliest Chelsea left winder since the Duffer was in his pomp. Sure he's a good chap though, kind to his mum, fond of a waffle and all the rest of it.

34 mins: Samuel Eto'o has just had a shot go out for a throw on. Ah, time, that makes fools of us all.

E-mailMarc Melander: "My favourite Maureen moment is his Groundhog Day 'ghost goal' lament. Firstly because it was obvious to all in the ground that Garcia's shot almost burst the net and more seriously and secondly he always forgets to mention that Cech had scythed Baros in half in the build up and would have been sent off and Liverpool awarded a penalty. My favourite Wenger moment is whenever he wears the cocoonesque quilted coat/quilt combo. A Gallic onesy."

31 mins: Arsenal plugging away though, and they've won a corner off Michael Essien. Essien, I might add, looks bloomin' knackered. Schwarzer gathers with ease.

28 mins: Poor clearenace from Azpilicueta drops to Monreal, who drills a low shot across the goal from the left and only just wide of the post.

27 mins: And one of those moves is only ended by a fantastic sliding tackled from Willian. John Obi Mikel booked for trying to trip Wilshere.

26 mins: Arsenal dust themselves down and press forward, a couple of decent moves right away.

GoalGOAL! Corner from the Arsenal, but the break's on... Chelsea have men forward in numbers, Eto'o leading the charge. Oh no! It's a howler! Aaron Ramsey tackles Michael Essien and the ball balloons into the air, Jenkinson's running back and he tries to nod it back to his keeper, but he ends up just heading it into the path of Azpilicueta, who gets his reward for a lung-buster of a run. Neat finish, but that was on PG Wodehouse's silver tray with watercress around it. Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1 (Azpilicueta 25)

22 mins: Cazorla beats Essien with a lovely trick. Essien clotheslines him. Cynical, really. No booking.

20 mins: Ramsey lofts it forward, Miyaichi's in! Oh but he's given offside. In fact Cahill has played him on. Didn't score anyway, so whatever.

19 mins: Still, here's fun, Luiz has fouled Bendtner. Mark Schwarzer, who I think I am right in saying is Chesea's oldest ever player, gathers with ease.

17 mins: The game has the feeling of a very high quality reserve match at the moment, which is what it is, I guess. Some decent football, both sides at 85% pace and effort.

16 mins: And now Bendtner and Cazorla with some decent work, leading to a Ramsey shot charged down.

15 mins: Quiet period as Chelsea play it about, but here's Arsenal, whose Miyaichi has a shot blocked from the edge of the box.

13 mins: Rosicky with a head-down run, runs right into Essien, who nicks the ball off him and moves forward. But Arsenal in their turn nick it and mount a decent counter, which ends in them winning a corner.

12 mins: Second ropey touch of the evening from Cazorla.

11 mins: Willian and De Bruyne looking bright, and win a corner. Arsenal clear.

10 mins: Arsenal getting into it now, bombing down the left in numbers and sending a cross over for Bendtner.

8 mins: Arsenal somewhat lightweight in midfield without th natural defensive abilities of Flamini and Arteta. Oh but here's Bendtner! Cracks a shot at goal and it hits the Chelsea defender on the back.

E-mailBill Hargreaves writes: "Already interesting reading, Alan. Loved the Bendtner jibe, even though I'm a Gunner. Favourite AW / JM moment would have to be the 'voyeur looking through telescopes at neighbours' jibe. Mind you, he seems to have changed his tune now, kind of like a school kid asking if he can join the prefects on their table."

7 mins: Luiz overpowers Jenkinson and takes the ball off him. Mata starting to roam about, Eto'o making some clever runs. If I had to pick a winner, I'd fancy Chelsea.

5 mins: Lumped forward for Miyaichi but he cannot get there. Not what you'd call silky stuff thus far from either side, but here come Cheslea stringing some passes together.

4 mins: Slowish start. Maybe some of these irregulars not used to match football. Luiz knocks it forward for Bertrand, who isn't far off latching onto that, free in the box. Just a yard too far ahead.

2 mins: Early momentum with Chelsea. Santi sloppily knocking the ball behind with a heavy touch. Another corner. Both of them cleared with something to spare.

1 mins: Koscielny gets a block in on an Eto'o snap shot and it goes behind for a corner.

19.45 Chelsea kick off.

19.44 Apparently a sell-out crowd, so I guess a lot of people had transport problems.

19.43 Mourinho shakes hands with Wenger. The former beaming, doing the "hail fellow well met" bit; Arsene looked a bit nervous and somewhat stand-offish.

19.42 The sides last met in this competition in the 2007 Final.

19.39 Wenger says that they are going to go for it, "it's important to put a good team out that can qualify. It's a mixture of youth and experience. Plenty of big games." He agrees that "he enjoys renewing the rivalry with" Jose Mourinho. He hasn't beaten Mourinho in eight matches.

19.35 Could be a good game this. Nuts, really, the talent on display from the Chelsea Seconds.

19.31 Blimey. Fair to say that there are seats available at Arsenal on that evidence. Unless people are having a hard time getting into their seats or something, but it's EMPTY so far. Well not literally. Although that would be quite brilliant, if the fixture was actually meant to be at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal and their fans had all gone there. Chelsea warming up. Oh, there are the Arsenal boys.

19.29 Ben Shephard introduces a packag featuring Luca Vialli! Lovely Luca. The first trophy he won as Chelsea manager was th 1998 League Cup, they beat the Arsenal in the semi. Oh look, there's Dan Pet Rescue.

19.26 So who do you fancy for this game?

19.25 Not a lot of preamble on the telly. Wonder if Sky have got a League Cup style 'experimental' punditry team? I'd like to see an expanded role for shouting's Bianca off of Soccer Saturday.

19.18 Never mind about that, Thore - Arsenal have got Bendtner. In an all-comedy match-up with David Luiz, hopefully.

19.12 Man United also giving some fringe players a go in their match, they make nine changes from the weekend XI. Wayne Rooney among the men giving way. Zaha in. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in central defence though, so still a formidable prospect for Norwich.

19.10 Depending on how busy/exciting this game is/isn't, I'll try to bring you updates of the other matches as much as I can. I see that Sam Allardyce has given Carlton Cole his game, he starts at Burnley in that claret and blue match-up.

19.05 Fair to say that Mourinho has made a few changes - I make it 10 from the team that played City on Sunday, with only Gary Cahill called upon for double duty.

19.00 And here they come

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Monreal, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Rosicky, Miyaichi, Bendtner. Subs: Sagna, Ozil, Giroud, Viviano, Park, Hayden, Yennaris.

Chelsea: Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, Essien, Mikel, De Bruyne, Mata, Willian, Eto'o. Subs: Ivanovic, Ramires, Torres, Hazard, Ba, Kalas, Blackman.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

18.55 Evening all. Tyers here. Teams as I have them.

18.45 It's the big one (or as big as a League Cup fourth round match can be) as Arsenal welcome Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium.

Alan Tyers will be with you from around 19.00 with all the team news and build-up ahead of the match so do come back for that and in the mean time, have a read of Jim White's match preview. Here is a snippet:

Jose Mourinho is returning to the Emirates on Tuesday night for the first time in six years as his Chelsea visit Arsenal in a Capital One Cup tie. In the past we could predict precisely what would ensue. As the verbal pyrotechnics crackled and sparked, we would be in for an early bonfire night. At the press conference it would have been best to retire to a safe distance.

This is how confrontations between the pair traditionally went. Mourinho would open fire with some snipe about his opposite number, perhaps comparing Arsène Wenger to a peeping tom. In response, Wenger would look down his substantial nose and, without mentioning any names, emit some condescending remark about how class can only be earned over time.

The match would then be played in a toxic atmosphere that went beyond the standard peppery spice of a London derby. And then, once the hostilities were over, the two would spurn any opportunity for reconciliatory hospitality, preferring to continue their scrap via proxies in the press.

There has long been a temptation in football reporting to view matches as personal scraps between managers. But in this instance the evidence insisted they really didn't like one another.

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