Chelsea again finished the North London Derby with 10 men in the field third time in a row with a stalemate of 0-0 at Stamford Bridge. Both teams might feel happy with this draw for different perspectives. Chelsea’s poor run against Arsenal in very recent time continued at Stamford Bridge also.
Both the sides were lacking firepower in their team and the players did not prove their quality in the field. Ozil was injured and was not present in the Arsenal squad. Alexis Sanchez also started from the bench in the match. Lacazette was leading the attack with Iwobi and Welbeck. On the other hand, Hazard was also on bench at the start of match for Chelsea. Fabregas and Kante paired up in the heart of midfield for them.
The match was exciting through out the course. Both the teams had attacking intent from the start. Chelsea started the game really well but Arsenal attacks began to come after that.
The two wing-backs of Chelsea, Moses and Alonso were in attacking zone for the first few minutes. So many gaps were created in the defense through out those holes. Bellerin and Kolasniac had kept both Moses and Alonso busy in defense.
Chelsea got the first open chance of the match when Fabregas provided a brilliant through ball to Pedro who had only Petr Cech to beat but he failed to do so as Cech narrowed the angle. The next open chance was there for Arsenal when Ramsey’s shot had struck the post and the rebound ball came back to Lacazette who had open net in front of him but his shot was clueless.
The first half had ended with both sides happy to keep the clean sheet. Pedro was injured in the first half and was not able to play with his full potential and he was replaced by Bakayoko at the beginning of the second half. Chelsea were playing with 5 players in the midfield and Willian and Morata were upfront.
Willian had displayed a very poor performance today. In the second half the midfield were very much congested. Xhaka and Ramsey were rock solid in the midfield and were not allowing Chelsea attacks to build up.
At the 65th minute mark of the match Wenger brought Alexis Sanchez in place of Lacazette who had shown a very less impact in the match. Eden Hazard also took the field in place of Willian for Chelsea.
Hazard and Bakayoko were providing Chelsea some creativity in the attack. The Belgian created a beautiful chance and his shot was saved by Cech who was brilliant for Arsenal today.
Welbeck was injured and had to be replaced by Oliver Giroud and Elneny also came in place of Iwobi to provide the fresh legs in the Arsenal attack. Then, the most significant event of the match happened at 87th minute.
David Luiz held the ball unnecessarily which he should have passed much earlier and at the end he committed a rush challenge towards Kolasniac. The referee had no choice left but to show him a straight red card.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men and Conte brought Christensen in place of Morata to provide support in the defense. Chelsea survived the scare of the Arsenal attacks in the 4 minutes of stoppage time and the match had ended with a 0-0 draw.
The Blues have now earned 10 points from their 5 encounters so far and remained in the third position behind the two Manchester clubs. Arsenal will be boosted with confidence this draw but they are still 3 points behind of Chelsea. Both teams will play in the Carabao Cup in the midweek.