We will head into the second leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea level pegging after this closely-fought goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
In a tight first half, Alex Lacazette had our best opportunity when Jack Wilshere put him through on goal with a lovely lofted pass but, the forward blasted his shot high and wide.
Victor Moses was next to try his luck as he twice tested David Ospina, firstly with a left-footed drive that the goalkeeper held on the second attempt and then striking an effort against the near post.
We remained in the match though, with Granit Xhaka and Wilshere working overtime to control the centre of the park, and Alex Iwobi a threat on the break.
Indeed, it was the Nigeria international who was next to have a go as he carried the ball at pace towards the Chelsea area, before striking a shot that Thibaut Courtois did well to palm away.
Right on the stroke of half time, the hosts wasted a golden chance when Cesar Azpilicueta picked out Cesc Fabregas in the area, but the former Arsenal captain directed his header straight at Ospina.
Almost immediately after the restart Chelsea spurned another opportunity when N’Golo Kante picked out Andreas Christensen at the far post, but the Danish defender missed the target from close range.
The home side were well on top at this stage, and Alonso went close with a glancing header before Ospina was called on to make a flying stop to deny Morata from close range, before the Spain international hit the sidenetting moments later.
Shkodran Mustafi made an important block on the line to deny Moses, while from the resulting corner Christensen headed wide from close range.
Chelsea continued to push on in the closing stages, and that freed up space for us to try to hit the hosts on the counter – but try as we might there was no way through and both sides had to settle for a draw.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We head into the second leg at Emirates Stadium in two weeks’ time hoping to secure another Wembley visit, and our first League Cup final since 2011.
We’re back in Premier League action on Sunday when we travel to the Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth.
We have never lost to the Cherries, although we came close to it in the corresponding fixture last season when we trailed 3-0 after an hour, only to fight back to claim a point.
Jack Wilshere captained us for the first time this season and was at the heart of the action at Stamford Bridge.
Here are some of his highlights:
22 – Wilshere clips a lovely ball over the top of the defence for Lacazette, but he snatches at the chance and blasts it over the bar
40 – With the game gaining a bit of an edge, Wilshere flies into a tackle on Alonso and wins the ball cleanly, earning a big cheer from the travelling fans
57 – Wilshere picks up a knock blocking a cross, and while he tries to continue he is eventually replaced by Mohamed Elneny
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