Frank Lampard will have looked to this game above others to get back on track following a poor result away at Newcastle United on the weekend. What followed was another disappointing at home as Chelsea and Arsenal played out a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
The away side played more than an hour with ten men after Shkrodran Mustafi’s short back pass led to Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham bearing down on goal which led to David Luiz bringing down his former colleague and receiving a red card. From there the north London side went a goal behind in the first half as penalty master Jorginho slotted home from the spot, which resulted in the home crowd singing “one of our own” towards Luiz after departing in the summer to Arsenal.
The 1-nil lead sprung the game into life and woke Chelsea up as they continue to dominate for the first 30 minutes, with Callum Hudson-Odoi on the right a constant threat. The home side registered nine corners in the opening 20 minutes and none led to serious chances except for a short corner which led to Hudson-Odoi’s looping cross striking the frame of the goal.
Arsenal always looked dangerous on the counter, even with just ten men on the field and none of them their top goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. In his place was 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli who scored a solo goal from his own goal, and raced past N’Golo Kante in the process who unfortunately slipped on the halfway line.
Frank Lampard sent on Michy Batshuayi to partner Abraham as well as England duo Mason Mount and Ross Barkley to try and win the game, and Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal from Hudson-Odoi’s cross looked to have done just that.
Arsenal have shown fighting spirit since Mikel Arteta walked through the door and with three regulation minutes left to play, the away side leveled through their captain Hector Bellerin. The Spaniard cut in from the right flank and curled his shot into the far corner, once again questions will be asked as to whether Kepa could have done more.
This was a result that Arsenal needed, but most of all it was a fine display from Arteta’s men after Luiz’s earlier dismissal. As for Chelsea, Lampard will be questioned as to the mentality of his players after going 1-nil up with the opponents being reduced to 10 men. Again they have given other teams in the top four race a real chance of catching up to them.
This side doesn’t seem to be killing teams off when they are in control of the game, the only real cut chances came from the flanks as Arsenal restricted Chelsea to thumping hopeful crosses into the box with no-one getting on the end of them. It asks serious questions of Chelsea as to how they failed to win a London derby that they led twice through Jorginho’s penalty and Azpilicueta’s late goal.
Chelsea fans will want to see an improvement on the weekend as Lampard’s side travel to Championship side Hull City in the FA Cup fourth round. Maybe now is the time to actually attempt to do some business in this window as it seems when Abraham doesn’t score, Chelsea don’t win the match.