Chelsea were held to a frustrating goalless draw in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s side were never at their fluent best and when they did have sights of goal, they found Arsenal keeper David Ospina in solid form.
Ospina twice denied Victor Moses in the first half while Cesc Fabregas and Andreas Christensen wasted good headed opportunities either side of the break.
It leaves the tie in the balance going into the return leg at the Emirates on 24 January.
Despite Chelsea’s bright start, the first big chance fell to Arsenal as Jack Wilshere – who later went off injured – fed Alexandre Lacazette, but the striker blazed wide.
Moses then twice tested Ospina, who needed two attempts to gather in the first shot before making a more convincing save at his near post.
Arsenal breathed a sigh of relief when an unmarked Fabregas nodded straight at Ospina just before half-time and had a bigger let off soon after the restart when Christensen missed from four yards out
Ospina pushed away Alvaro Morata’s shot on the turn from 25 yards, did well to hold Willian’s dipping effort and also gathered in from Marcos Alonso, while Thibaut Courtois’ only involvement was to collect a Granit Xhaka shot.
Chelsea wanted a penalty late on, when Fabregas went down under Danny Welbeck’s challenge, but after consultation with the remote video assistant referee, on-field official Martin Atkinson turned it down.
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Drinkwater (Willian 67), Alonso; Hazard (Bakayoko 84), Morata (Batshuayi 87).
Subs not used: Eduardo, Zappacosta, Luiz, Pedro.