Match Report

Match Review: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea

Well, a good first half was followed by an even better second half as the spoils were shared between Arsenal and Chelsea yet again!

First half

There were half-chances from both sides early on as a free kick from Alexis Sanchez was deflected wide and an effort Eden Hazard was pushed away.

The first real effort on goal came from Alvaro Morata in the 13th minute when he was one-on-one with Petr Cech but somehow, managed to fluff his effort. You’d have thought he was going to score for that sort of position there!

Soon after, there was a flashpoint where Victor Moses was thought to have fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the area, but referee Anthony Taylor saw nothing. Most thought the Arsenal winger tripped himself, but I’ll let you decide.

Alexis Sanchez, as did many others watching on, thought as though he should’ve scored when his effort bounced off the left post, then the right, but somehow did not go in. Chelsea were lucky to still be level at that point!

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Nevertheless, the home side continued to create chances with Alexandre Lacazette seeing his opportunity from close range saved by Thibaut Courtois at the near post.

Chelsea did have an opportunity at goal though when Granit Xhaka fouled Tiemoue Bakayoko on the edge of the box. Marcos Alonso stepped up to take the resulting free kick which he scuffed high and wide of the target. No real problem for Cech.

Arsenal were back threatening as Mesut Ozil tested Courtois with a shot from outside the box, but couldn’t quite hit the target.

The first half was pretty entertaining and there was more to come in the second!

Second half

Hazard saw his opportunity foiled by ex- Chelsea keeper Cech as the Belgian attempted to put his side in the lead from close range. The visitor almost struck again through a headed effort from Alonso – which Cech saved.  

With just over two-thirds of the game gone, Jack Wilshere broke the deadlock with a goal (his first since May 2015). Wilshere found himself in the right position at the right time to latch onto an assist from Calum Chambers.

Their lead was nearly doubled following an effort from close range by Lacazette who saw his chance saved by Courtois. The performances between him and Cech was like for like as both pulled off important saves throughout the game.

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With 25 minutes to go, Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Hector Bellerin was adjudged to have fouled Hazard in the area. I felt the Belgian forward milked that a little bit. Nevertheless, Hazard sent his former teammate the wrong way to equalise for his side.

Morata was close to putting his side in the lead with a little over 20 minutes left but was thwarted by Chambers who made a last-ditch tackle to prevent him from scoring.

With six minutes remaining of regulation time, Alonso put his side in the lead following an assist by Italian right-back Davide Zappacosta. If you thought that was the end, you were wrong!

In added time, Bellerin scored what proved to be the decisive goal as both sides shared a point for the second time this season.

Thoughts on the game

I don’t what it is with the Emirates, but each game Arsenal have played at home so far, the tempo is raised in stark contrast to (most) away games.

On the game itself, the neutral would found it entertaining as both sides added to the end-to-end action.

Key points

First and foremost, we must come to the penalty Chelsea were awarded. Was it a penalty, or did Eden Hazard go to ground easily? Are Arsenal the victim of having decisions go against them, given that this was now the sixth time this season they’ve been on the wrong end of such decisions?

The way I see it, Chelsea were fortunate to be awarded the penalty as I didn’t see anything in the challenge.

Secondly, should Jack Wilshere have seen red for diving?

What’s next

Before both sides meet again next week in the League Cup semi-finals, they’re in FA Cup action over the weekend, as Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest on Sunday and Chelsea head to Norwich City the day before.

Feature image credit: Ctwino

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