Hector Bellerin’s stoppage time goal earned Arsenal a 2-2 draw with champions Chelsea at the Emirates on Wednesday. Jack Wilshere’s stunning goal put Arsenal ahead in the second half, before Eden Hazard equalised for Chelsea from a penalty.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 3, 2018
Marcos Alonso’s 84th minute effort gave the Blues a 2-1 lead, but Bellerin ensured that the points are shared with an excellent goal in added time.
Arsenal were looking to repeat last season’s feat, which saw them beat Chelsea 3-0. The Gunners, however, were without their Nigerian Playmaker, Alex Iwobi, who was a spectator for the duration of the game.
For the visitors, Victor Moses retained his place in the starting eleven, but struggled to play to make any appreciable impact.
A difficult night for the Nigerian, who found youngster, Ainsley Maitland-Niles a difficult customer, as an evenly contested first half saw both teams go into the break with nothing to separate them.
After the break, though, it was the home side who started the brightest, and deservedly took the lead through Wilshere, who ran to a loose ball in the box before letting fly a shot that Thibaut Courtois couldn’t handle.
But the lead lasted just four minutes, as Hazard drew Chelsea level from the spot.
Bellerin kicks the Belgian, who was really going nowhere, leaving referee, Anthony Taylor with no choice but give the penalty. Hazard stepped up to the plate to easily convert past Petr Cech to level scores at 1-1.
Both sides had chances to had to the scoreline, though the away side came the closest and with six minutes left to play, Alonso put them 2-1 up.
Maitland-Niles was beaten for the first time in the game by Zappacosta, whose low cross was expertly put away by Alonso for his 12th goal since joining Chelsea.
With Arsenal behind, Wenger replaced Calum Chambers with Theo Walcott, and the Gunners piled on the pressure on their visitors. Chelsea were defending with their lives, while Wenger’s men attacked in numbers.
In added time, Arsenal’s positive approach was rewarded when Bellerin grabbed a late equaliser to snatch a point, but after Chelsea almost won at the dead, following a Morata effort, which the Spaniard shot straight at Cech, with Danny Drink water’s rebound rattling the crossbar.
Full-time: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 3, 2018
“This was an exciting game for the people that watched. Less for us because when you are winning 2-1 and there are two minutes to go I think you have to win,” a slightly disappointed Conte said after the game.
It ends in a draw, Arsenal stay in sixth, while Chelsea drop to third on 47points, one point behind Manchester United in second.