Arsenal saw off West Brom through a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in normal time, whilst Chelsea eased past League One Swindon Town with a 2-0 win, as goals from Fernando Torres and Ramires had the game wrapped up before half time.
Upon hearing the draw, Arsenal boss Wenger simply responded by saying; “Interesting.” – and that’s exactly what this fourth round tie promises to be.
In the last round, Wenger fielded a weakened side, allowing some of his youngsters to play, with Ryo Miyaichi, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfeld starting to the game. To their credit, they took West Brom all the way to penalties, and the Baggies are a solid Premier League side.
However, the game against Chelsea could be slightly different. There is more than a place in the next round on offer, with bragging rights to the fans of the winning side at stake, and the rivalry between Wenger and Mourinho renewed for the first time since the latter was sacked by Chelsea in 2007.
Arsenal’s start to the season has been mightily impressive, with just the one defeat in all competitions – and that was to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season, almost two months ago. Buoyed by the improved form of Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, as well as the marquee purchase of German playmaker Mesut Ozil, there is a sense of optimism around the Emirates Stadium that hasn’t been experienced for a long time.
Meanwhile, over at Stamford Bridge, it’s been an indifferent beginning to Jose Mourinho’s second stint as Chelsea manager. Rumours over the future of Juan Mata and shock defeats to Everton and FC Basel have people questioning whether ‘The Special One’ has lost his magic touch, but Mourinho has Chelsea third in the Premier League table, just two points behind joint-leaders Arsenal and Liverpool.