Chelsea were held to yet another draw against Arsenal on Wednesday night, putting pressure on the Blues going into the return leg at the Emirates Stadium.
Antonio Conte picked all his big guns for the game, including Alvaro Morata, who sat out in our game against Norwich City.
The Spaniard has an opportunity after just two minutes, but the angle was too night and he put the ball into the side netting.
The game was evenly matched in the opening 15 minutes, with both teams keeping possession well without really creating any chances.
Alexandre Lacazette was played in by Jack Wilshere with just over 20 minutes played, but a wild shot from Arsenal’s £46million summer signing denied the away side an opening goal.
Two minutes later, Victor Moses found himself in space down his right flank and tested David Ospina in goal with a good strike. The Chilean fumbled the ball and only just gathered it in time before Morata could pounce.
The video assistant referee came into action for the first time at Stamford Bridge with five minutes to go in the first half. Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles went down in the box after being caught by Victor Moses, but after a quick chat with his colleague, referee Martin Atkinson waved away the penalty appeal.
Chelsea’s best chance came in stoppage time, when Cesc Fabregas headed Cesar Azpilicueta’s ball straight at the referee from six yards out.
Straight after the restart, Andreas Christensen should have made it 1-0 to Chelsea, when he headed over from a corner kick. The Blues came out of the break flying and tried to make their pressure count.
On the hour-mark, Morata tried his luck from distance, but Ospina did well to parry a very good strike from Chelsea’s number nine.
Another big miss from Christensen from four yards out left players, fans and the manager frustrated. It did feel like it just wasn’t going to happen today.
An attacking switch saw Danny Drinkwater replaced by Willian with 20 minutes left to play. The Brazilian made an immediate impact, but saw his shot saved by Ospina, who looked unbeatable on the night.
Michy Batshuayi replaced Morata with two minutes to go, but Chelsea struggled to create any more chances, leaving the tie poised going into the return leg at the end of January.
Chelsea (3-5-2): Courtois; Azpilicueta (c), Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Drinkwater (Willian 68′), Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard (Bakayoko 84′), Morata (Batshuayi 87′)
Unused subs: Eduardo, Zappacosta, David Luiz, Pedro
Booked: Kante 79′