Carabao Cup: Conte Blames Wastefulness For 0-0 Draw Against Arsenal

Manager Antonio Conte has called on Chelsea to rediscover their ruthless streak after Arsenal left Stamford Bridge with a goalless draw in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.

It was the second consecutive 0-0 draw, coming four days on from Championship side Norwich City restricting the Premier League champions to a scoreless stalemate.

“We shot 20 times. We created chances to score, but we didn’t take them,” Conte lamented at a post-match news conference.

“I think in the last period we must be more clinical, better offensively. Otherwise, if you don’t score, if you’re lucky the game finishes in a draw.

“After Norwich it’s the second 0-0 in a row. We have to reflect on this and try to improve during training sessions and try to improve in this situation.

“Honestly, I think you must be worried if you don’t create chances to score and it becomes very difficult to score. This team in every game creates chances to score.

“This season maybe we’re a bit unlucky. We’re not so good to take these chances. My speech is not for the strikers. For example, Christensen had two fantastic opportunities to score.

“I think we have to improve with all the players, not only the strikers or midfielders. When you have the chance you have to score, especially in these games.”

Alvaro Morata’s personal goal drought extended to four matches, while defender Andreas Christensen proved ill-suited to the task when two golden headed opportunities fell his way after half-time.

Iwobi Faces Disciplinary Action For Partying

Arsene Wenger says Alex Iwobi will be fined if it is confirmed he was at a party 36 hours before Sunday’s FA Cup loss at Nottingham Forest.

A video appearing to show the 21-year-old at the party in the early hours of Saturday morning was released on social media.

Iwobi played the full match as holders Arsenal lost the third-round tie

Arsenal manager Wenger said is it “impossible” and “unacceptable” to go out within 48 hours of a game.

The footage, which was uploaded to Snapchat, appears to show the Nigerian dancing at a party at a house in central London at 02:37 GMT, and was published in The Sun newspaper.

But Wenger said Iwobi was not involved in either taking drugs or drinking alcohol.

“First of all we have to be cautious with everything that is coming out,” Wenger added.

“When you read what is reported it is like he has taken drugs. He was not involved in that at all.

“He has been out at a birthday party and how long he has stayed? That is important. After, I will decide what happens.”

Wenger added: “You know that sometimes you want to prepare 100% but it is not always a guarantee you will be at your best. But that is what is requested from a top-level professional.”

Iwobi, Walcott, Metersacker Get Low Rating In Arsenal Defeat To Forest

Super Eagles forward Alex Iwobi was rated poor for his performance in Arsenal’s shock 4-2 away defeat to 10-man Championship club Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday.

Iwobi was brought back into the Arsenal first eleven against Forest after sitting out the thrilling 2-2 draw against Chelsea in the Premier League last Wednesday.

But despite playing the full 90 minutes, Iwobi could not prevent Arsenal from crashing in the third round for the first time since 1996.

And according to mirror.co.uk’s Arsenal player ratings, Iwobi got four out of 10 for his disappointing performance.

And commenting on Iwobi’s performance, the paper wrote: “Another poor performance from a player horribly out of form. Played in a deeper role than normal but couldn’t influence the game.”

Other Arsenal players who were rated four were Theo Walcott, Mohamed Elneny, Joe Willock and Mathieu Debuchy.

The two players who got good ratings were David Ospina and youngster Reiss Nelson, while Danny Welbeck who got Arsenal’s second goal and Ainsley Maitland-Niles both got five.

The worst rated players were defensive duo Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding who were rated three.

Arsenal player ratings vs Nottingham Forest:

David Ospina (6)

Rob Holding (3)

Per Mertesacker (3)

Mathieu Debuchy (4)

Reiss Nelson (6)

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (5)

Joe Willock (4)

Mohamed Elneny (4)

Alex Iwobi (4)

Danny Welbeck (5)

Theo Walcott (4)

Sanchez Future Anyone’s Guess, Says Wenger

Arsene Wenger admits he is no nearer to establishing where Arsenal’s Chilean star Alexis Sanchez’s future lies.

Wenger praised the 29-year-old’s two-goal display that helped secure a 3-2 victory at Crystal Palace on an evening where the French manager equalled Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson’s Premier League record of 810 matches in charge.

Sanchez’s commitment has been questioned this season following his failure to reach agreement with the north London club about an extension to his current contract that expires at the end of this season.

Wenger believes the player’s performance at Selhurst Park showed there has been no let up in the player’s effort, but with the January transfer window about to open, has no idea about the player’s next move.

Sanchez scored his first goal in the 62nd minute but not all his team-mates celebrated the strike with him.

“First of all nobody knows what will happen really,” said Wenger.

“It’s difficult to speculate. At the moment we are focused on short-term, that means the next game (against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday) with the players committed and ready to fight.

“It’s not a guarantee of how long you stay somewhere. As long as you are somewhere, you give your best.

“I felt he was very good tonight from the first minute on, focused on the game. This kind of Sanchez is a great football player, as we know. That’s the kind of performance we want from him.”

AFP

Sanchez, Ozil Going Nowhere – Wenger

Manager Arsene Wenger says forward Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Mesut Ozil will be at Arsenal after the January transfer window “unless something unbelievable happens”.

The contracts of both players expire at the end of the season.

Asked if his gut feeling is they will stay, Wenger replied: “Yes, of course.”

The Frenchman also said it is in midfielder Jack Wilshere’s “best interest” to remain with the Premier League club.

Wenger added: “I will absolutely fight for him to stay here because he’s a top-quality player.”

England international Wilshere, 25, has struggled with injuries since making his Arsenal debut in 2008 and spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Bournemouth.

He has yet to make a Premier League start this season.

Both Sanchez, 28, and 29-year-old Ozil are key figures for Wenger.

Chile forward Sanchez, who arrived in 2014 from Barcelona, has scored 56 goals in 113 appearances, while Germany international Ozil has produced 45 assists since his debut in September 2013, more than any other Premier League player.

Wenger said: “As long as they are here, they give their best for the club.

“In my head, they stay until the end of the season. Unless something unbelievable happens I don’t see that changing.”

Asked if they will remain beyond the end of the 2017-18 campaign, he added: “I am not the only one to decide that. They have to decide that as well.”