Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Chelsea and Arsenal exit League Cup

EARLY DEPARTURES:The Gunners’ defeat came after after Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were forced out of the action in the first half through injuries

AP

Chelsea striker Loic Remy, front left, scores during their League Cup fourth-round game against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Chelsea’s miserable start to the season continued on Tuesday after they were knocked out in the fourth round of the English League Cup on penalties by 10-man Stoke City.

The defending Premier League and League Cup champions lost 5-4 in the shootout, with key playmaker Eden Hazard missing the all-important fifth spot-kick for his side.

“A few months ago I won a few matches and I was champion. People were saying there are things more important than results. Now, people say results are the most important thing,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said after his side slipped to an eighth defeat in 16 matches this season.

There was also misery for rivals Arsenal after they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by second-tier Sheffield Wednesday.

“I am very happy about the players and for the club, it is an important victory for the club,” Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal said.

Mourinho’s side has endured a torrid start to their title defense, losing five of their opening 10 matches in the league and finds themselves 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and Arsenal.

Looking for a morale-booster following a 2-1 defeat on Saturday to West Ham United, Mourinho picked a strong starting lineup, with only defender Baba Rahman and midfielder Mikel not recognized regulars.

Stoke forward Jonathan Walters scored early after the interval following a goalless first half. He turned on the edge of the area before unleashing a strike into the roof of the net. That goal looked likely to settle the tie until substitute Loic Remy struck in stoppage-time.

That forced the game into extra time and after Phil Bardsley was dismissed for a second bookable offense, the tie swung in Chelsea’s favor.

Despite a series of shots at Jack Butland’s goal, the visitors were unable to find the breakthrough, forcing the game into a penalty shootout. After nine expertly taken attempts, Hazard stepped up with sudden death looming. However his effort was tipped over by Butland to put Stoke into the quarter-finals.

Arsenal also exited the competition and their loss was marred further after Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hobbled off with injuries.

First-half goals from Ross Wallace and Lucas Joao stunned the Gunners, who lost momentum following the double substitution. Oxlade-Chamberlain left the field in the fifth minute clutching his hamstring and his replacement Walcott lasted 13 minutes before being withdrawn.

Sam Hutchinson added a third for Wednesday after the interval to prolong Arsenal’s dismal record at Hillsborough, with Arsene Wenger’s side failing to record a victory in their past six visits.

“It was a very bad night for us. We lost two important players in the first part of the game and then we were not at the level we needed to be,” Wenger said.

“Congratulations to them, they were faster, sharper and more decisive than us,” he said. “We could not create anything. We were very naive when defending.”

Penalty shootouts also decided the evening’s other two ties, with Everton beating Norwich City 4-3 following a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park and Hull City beating Leicester City 5-4 after another 1-1 stalemate.

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