Arsenal and Chelsea play out entertaining London derby - My Arsenal Blog

My Arsenal Blog

Arsenal and Chelsea play out entertaining London derby

Posted on January 03, 2018 by David Nugent

Arsenal and reigning Premier League champions Chelsea drew 2-2 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

The first attempt on goal arrived on seven minutes and fell for the home side. Alexis Sanchez hit a free-kick from around 25 yards out that deflected wide of by the Chelsea wall.

At the other end of the pitch, Rob Holding blocked an Eden Hazard shot, as the Blues looked to hit the Gunners on the break. The visitors missed a fantastic chance on 13 minutes.

Victor Moses played a hopeful ball over the top of the Arsenal defence to Alvaro Morata, who was in acres of space. The Spaniard advanced on Petr Cech but fired wide of the Czech’s far post with the former Chelsea star bearing down on him.

Arsenal were desperately unlucky on 16 minutes. The Gunners saw a penalty appeal turned down before Sanchez found space in the Chelsea area and curled an effort that Courtois got a hand to before it hit one post and then hit the other post, only for the Belgian goalkeeper to gather the rebound.

Alexandre Lacazette came close to giving the home side soon afterwards. The French striker turned Gary Cahill in the area, before seeing a low effort on goal well saved by Courtois.

Petr Cech was called into action on 27 minutes, producing a good save from Bakayoko, after Cesc Fabregas had played the midfielder in on goal. Marcos Alonso curled a free-kick from the edge of the Arsenal area over the bar on 37 minutes after minutes scrappy play.

Mesut Ozil fired just wide of Courtois’s far post soon afterwards, as the game suddenly burst into life again. Chelsea should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time. Eden Hazard produced a dazzling run and pulled the ball back to former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas in the area, only for the Spaniard to fire off target.

The Blues had the first attempt of the second period on 49 minutes, as Hazard got through on goal and Cech saved his effort superbly with his feet. The Blues came close soon afterwards, as Alonso’s header from Bakayoko saved superbly once again.

Arsenal launched their own attack on 53 minutes. Lacazette turned Cahill again and hit a powerful effort at goal, only for Courtois to produce a good save with is his body.

The home side took the lead on 63 minutes. Rob Holding’s pass into the box deflected off Morata and bounced to Jack Wilshere in the area and the midfielder fired a powerful effort past Courtois at his near post.

The Gunners came close to doubling their lead almost straight from the kick-off. However, Courtois produced a good save from a Lacazette effort from inside the area.

Chelsea were awarded a controversial penalty on 67 minutes, as Hazard went down in the area under a challenge from Hector Bellerin. Replays showed there was very little contact and the decision was harsh on the Spaniard. Hazard dusted himself down and scored with the penalty kick.

The visitors should have taken the lead on 70 minutes. Fabregas produced a superb through-ball to Morata who advanced on goal held off Calum Chambers, only to fired wide of the near post. Chelsea threatened again on 72 minutes, as N’Golo Kante saw an effort from the edge of the area deflect wide of the far post and out for a corner kick.

The Blues took the lead on 84 minutes. Substitute Davide Zappacosta beat youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles and found Alonso in the box, who showed good feet from close-range to beat Cech.

Arsenal defender Mustafi saw a powerful volley from the edge of the area blocked by Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill. Arsenal scored a dramatic equaliser two minutes into stoppage-time.

Alonso failed to clear from a goalmouth scramble and Hector Bellerin fired a half-volley superbly past Courtois. However, there was still time for Chelsea to attempt to steal the winner and the Blues came close to nicking a winner straight after the equaliser.

A long ball put Morata through on goal once again. However, the Spaniard hit his effort straight at Cech. The rebound came back to Zappacosta on the half volley and the wing-back’s powerful effort smashed back off the bar.

The effort was the last of a pulsating London derby. The draw leaves Arsenal five points behind fourth-place Liverpool.

Did Arsenal deserve to beat Chelsea?

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