Ten-man Arsenal twice came from behind at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening to secure a dramatic point against London rivals Chelsea.
The hosts took the lead midway through the first-half as a dreadful mistake from Shkodran Mustafi resulted in a penalty and a red card for former Chelsea man David Luiz for a foul on Tammy Abraham. Jorginho assumed the responsibility and kept up his impressive form from the penalty spot as he tucked home. It looked a long way back for Arsenal at that point but Gabriel Martinelli equalised with a razor-sharp finish following a lethal counter-attack.
Frank Lampard’s men had thought they had secured a late win as Cesar Azpilicueta scored from close range in the 84th minute, only for fellow Spaniard Hector Bellerin to secure a morale-boosting point for the Gunners just seconds later with a glorious finish.
Early Chelsea opportunities
Chelsea fizzed the ball around well in the opening stages and a lovely move almost saw them open the scoring early on but Mateo Kovacic’s shot was well-blocked by Mustafi.
Abraham then should have done better as he connected with Antonio Rudiger’s header across goal but his nodded effort was straight at Bernd Leno. Hudson-Odoi made it a trio of missed opportunities as his deep cross clipped the top of the Arsenal crossbar.
David Luiz sees red for Mustafi mistake
With Chelsea almost carving the Gunners open at will, Mikel Arteta’s men then gave them two gifts as they opened the scoring. First, Mustafi’s horrendous pass-back was easily picked off by Abraham and he tore down on goal, skipping past Leno in the process. Just as he was about to tuck the ball into the empty net, former Blue Luiz tripped him up, resulting in a penalty and a red card to the delight of the Stamford Bridge faithful. Jorginho was the coolest man in West London as he nonchalantly rolled the ball into the bottom corner.
Arsenal equalise on the break
Despite the man disadvantage, the Gunners silenced the Bridge with an equaliser from Martinelli. Breaking from a Chelsea corner, the teenage striker attempted to take on N’Golo Kante. The Frenchman slipped, allowing a clear route on goal and Martinelli stayed ice cool to fire the ball low into the corner with a clinical finish.
There continued to be chances for both sides and substitute Ross Barkley could have secured the win for Chelsea but Leno held firm to deny the midfielder.
Late drama at Stamford Bridge
That late goal did come though and there was none more popular goalscorer than Azpilicueta. Ghosting onto the end of Hudson-Odoi’s brilliant low cross at the near post, he passed it beyond the despairing dive of Leno first-time for his second goal of the season.
The drama was not done there though and it was a controversial equaliser from Bellerin. With Abraham down injured, there were ferocious calls from the Stamford Bridge crowd to put the ball out of play, which neither Chelsea or Arsenal managed to do. It eventually came to the Spanish full-back on the right and just like his compatriot, he showed lethal finishing instincts to guide it into the far corner of the net to secure a brilliant draw for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal.
What a truly brilliant game of football. It looked ominous for Arsenal in the first-half a goal and a man down. However, their fighting spirit to twice come from behind and secure a point surely has to be praised. On the other hand, Chelsea didn’t do well enough to push the Gunners considering their numerical advantage. They should have pushed for more goals and as a result this will feel like two points dropped as their tricky run at Stamford Bridge continues.
Chelsea: Kepa (6); Emerson (6), Rudiger (6), Christensen (5), Azpilicueta (6); Kovacic (6) (Barkley (5), 66′), Jorginho (7), Kante (6) (Mount (6), 69′); Willian (5) (Batshuayi (N/A), 79′), Hudson-Odoi (6), Abraham (6).
Arsenal: Leno (6); Saka (6), Luiz (5), Mustafi (4), Bellerin (7); Xhaka (6), Torreira (6); Martinelli (7) (Willock (N/A), 90′), Ozil (4) (Guendouzi (6), 55′), Pepe (6) (Holding (N/A), 81′); Lacazette (5).
Goals: Jorginho (PEN 28′), Martinelli (63′), Azpilicueta (84′), Bellerin (87′)
Referee: Stuart Atwell
Yellow Cards: Emerson (21′), Christensen (59′), Guendouzi (76′)
Red Cards: Luiz (26′)
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