A rotated Chelsea side ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in their Capital One Cup fourth-round fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, sending out a strong message to Gunners fans that they aren't ready for a Premier League title push.

Gary Cahill was the only player to make the starting eleven against Arsenal, with Jose Mourinho dropping 10 players from Sunday's 2-1 win over Manchester City.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also rotated his squad for Tuesday night's Cup match, but his side looked considerably weaker compared to a strong Chelsea eleven.

Despite moments of dominance from the Premier League leaders, they were unable to really test stand-in goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, forced into shooting from distance on a number of occasions.

Even with the game being at home, Chelsea looked the far more comfortable outfit, and put the game to bed from a stunning effort from Juan Mata with less than 30 minutes remaining.

Arsenal might be two points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, but so far in their opening nine fixtures have only come up against Tottenham Hotspur, with seven of their other fixtures against sides in the bottom half of the table.

The next few weeks are likely to define whether Arsenal have a realistic title chance this season, with fixtures against both Liverpool and Manchester United.

Before facing Manchester United, Wenger's side must travel to Borussia Dortmund in the reverse Champions League group stage fixture, in which they lost their home game 2-1 to last season's competition runners-up.

Arsenal are still at least four players short of a title winning side; with Nicklas Bendtner up front the Gunners looked poor in and around the box, and at no stage did the Dane look like threatening the Chelsea goal.

His passing was lacklustre and link-up play between the midfield and himself was non-existent, with it coming as a relief to fans when he was replaced by Oliver Giroud in the second half.

Even with Giroud's superb start to the season, he doesn't compare to the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

Wenger still needs to sign that world class striker, perhaps if they had succeeded in their pursuit of Suarez, then maybe they could be considered credible title favourites.

The spine of a side has become a crucial part of modern day football, look at the Manchester United title winning side last season, criticised for being one of Sir Alex Ferguson's worst teams, but a spine consisting of David De Gea, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Carrick, Rooney and Van Persie isn't half bad.

With the addition of club record signing Mesut Ozil, Arsenal have got arguably the most creative midfield in the league, but are still worrying at the back.

Wenger is still lacking a world class centre-back partnership, with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen all packing a mistake in their locker.

Vermaelen - supposed to be the club's captain - is yet to make a single start in the Premier League, with his only appearance as a substitute against Sunderland over a month ago, telling you how worrying their back line is.

Any title-winning side needs a world class goalkeeper, whether that be Petr Cech or De Gea, and once more Wenger needs to find one of those.

Signing Emiliano Vivano on loan from Palermo won't do either, he needs to go out there and replace Wojciech Szczesny with a keeper at the top of their game.

Rumours had it that Pepe Reina was in Arsenal's sights, but like they did with Gonzalo Higuain, they let him go to Napoli instead.

Once all these problems have been addressed then Arsenal will be back in the hunt for a Premier League trophy, their first in a decade - and counting.

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Arsenal
#Chelsea
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