Arsene Wenger had little option but to name something of a makeshift defence for Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley.
Veteran Mikael Silvestre partnered captain Kolo Toure in the centre, with youngster Kieran Gibbs passing a fitness test on a groin problem.
Poland international Lukasz Fabianski started in goal on his 24th birthday.
In something of a surprise move, Abou Diaby and Denilson started in midfield, with Russian playmaker Andrey Arshavin, who was cup-tied for the midweek Champions League game, on the bench along with Samir Nasri.
Chelsea, meanwhile, were at near full-strength.
Captain John Terry returned to the side having been suspended for the European tie against Liverpool.
Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, whom Wenger was once close to signing at Arsenal, led the Chelsea attack, while former Gunners forward Nicolas Anelka faced his old club.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Eboue, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Walcott, Fabregas, Diaby, Denilson, Van Persie, Adebayor.
Subs: Mannone, Nasri, Vela, Ramsey, Song Billong, Arshavin, Bendtner.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Lampard, Essien, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba.
Subs: Hilario, Carvalho, Di Santo, Mikel, Kalou, Belletti, Mancienne.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)