MX23RW : Tuesday, July 17 09:58:51
Jan 3, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 59,379
Arsenal
2-2
Chelsea
Wilshere (63'), Bellerin (92')
Wilshere (31'), Holding (53'), Ozil (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Hazard (67' pen.), Alonso (84')
Fabregas (43'), Courtois (89')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea - as it happened

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea - as it happened
© Offside
Relive the thrilling 2-2 draw between Arsenal and Chelsea as Hector Bellerin rescues a late draw in the London derby at the Emirates.

Hector Bellerin scored a 92nd-minute equaliser to rescue Arsenal a point from a thrilling 2-2 draw with London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium this evening.

Both sides spurned a host of clear chances before the Gunners finally broke the deadlock shortly after the hour mark when Jack Wilshere lashed his finish past Thibaut Courtois at the near post.

Eden Hazard levelled from the spot within four minutes after winning a controversial penalty, though, and Marcos Alonso looked to have sealed a come-from-behind victory for the visitors when he tucked home just six minutes from time.

However, an enthralling contest had one final twist in the tale when Bellerin's late strike restored parity once again.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute updates below.


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6.45pmGood evening! The football keeps on coming at this time of the year and tonight it is time for the first top-six showdown of 2018 as London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea do battle at the Emirates Stadium!

Seven points and three places separate these two sides in the table as things stand, and this is a fixture which has gone a long way towards shaping both of these team's seasons over the past year-and-a-half. Tonight could prove to be pivotal again, with defeat for Arsenal leaving them playing serious catch-up in the top-four race.

We will have a closer look at both teams in a short while, but first let's check out the team news from North London...


6.47pmARSENAL STARTING XI: Cech; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere; Maitland-Niles; Ozil, Lacazette, Sanchez

6.47pmARSENAL SUBS: Ospina, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck

6.49pmCHELSEA STARTING XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard; Morata

6.49pmCHELSEA SUBS: Caballero, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi

6.51pmWhat can we make of those two teams, then?

Well, the headline news as far as the home side are concerned is that Mesut Ozil returns to the starting lineup having missed the New Year's Eve draw with West Bromwich Albion due to a minor knee problem.

The relentless speculation over his future is only likely to intensify this month now that he is able to discuss terms with other clubs, but having been a major doubt for this evening's game he has indeed recovered in time for start. The German may not be at the Emirates for much longer, but he is still a key part of this team.

Mesut Ozil celebrates getting the opener during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Newcastle United on December 16, 2017© Offside


6.53pmIn a similar boat to Mesut Ozil is Alexis Sanchez, who is desperate to leave the Emirates this month rather than waiting until the end of his contract in the summer, according to reports.

Sanchez's attitude and workrate have been questioned at time this season, and there has even been talk of it causing a rift in the squad, but the Chilean has started showing some of his best form in recent weeks and, after scoring a brace against Crystal Palace recently, it was his free kick which forced the own goal against West Brom last time out too.

He may be dividing opinion between fans at the moment, but there is no doubt that Arsenal will miss Sanchez whenever he leaves.


6.55pmOzil, Lacazette and Sanchez make for a very strong front three which is capable of undoing any defence, but taking into account the full starting XI, this is certainly not the strongest Arsenal team that Chelsea will have ever come up against.

In fairness to the Gunners, they have been hit badly by injuries recently. Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny - two almost guaranteed starters in the first team - joined the likes of Ramsey, Giroud, Monreal and Cazorla on the injury list against West Brom, leaving Wenger with a rather makeshift and inexperienced defensive line tonight.


6.57pmYou won't find many more experienced goalkeepers behind them, though, and tonight former Chelsea favourite Petr Cech will go in search of his 200th Premier League clean sheet - a milestone no keeper has ever reached before.

Elsewhere there is another start for Jack Wilshere - his sixth in a row to make it his longest Premier League starting streak for Arsenal since October 2013 - while Holding and Maitland-Niles come in as the only two changes from the West Brom draw.


6.59pmAs for Chelsea, their headline is the return of Eden Hazard as expected. The Belgian was rested for the 5-0 drubbing of Stoke last time out, but even considering the emphatic nature of that result he was always going to come back in for this match.

Hazard scored a memorable solo goal when these two sides met last season so Arsenal will know all about the threats he poses, and today he is expected to once again start in a free role slightly off Alvaro Morata.


7.01pmHazard's return is one of four changes made by manager Antonio Conte this evening as he reverts to a 3-5-1-1 formation, with Kante, Bakayoko and former Arsenal playmaker Cesc Fabregas making up the three central midfielders.

Fabregas, like Hazard, was rested against Stoke, but he is very much an important part of Conte's first-team plans now having at one stage looked like he was close to leaving. Arsenal will need no reminding about the ability he has to unlock defences.

A frustrated Cesc Fabregas during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Southampton on December 16, 2017© Offside


7.03pmBakayoko is another of those who didn't start against Stoke, with Danny Drinkwater the man to make way in the middle of the park despite scoring his first ever Chelsea goal against the Potters - and in some style too.

Indeed, Drinkwater is not the only player who impressed last time out but is not included today, with all five goalscorers from that match left on the bench this evening. Zappacosta also started the Stoke game on the bench, but Rudiger, Drinkwater, Willian and Pedro all drop out.


7.05pmAndreas Christensen returns to the side in place of Rudiger with David Luiz still sidelined, although the Brazilian is now back in training so it will be interesting to see how the pecking order changes once he returns. There has even been speculation that Arsenal could look to sign Luiz.

At the other end of the field Alvaro Morata leads the line once again for Chelsea having scored 10 goals so far this season, six of which have come with his head.


7.07pmArsene Wenger will be taking charge of his 812th Premier League game this evening, extending the record which he set in the New Year's Eve draw with West Brom, although he will be hoping for a happier ending tonight than he had last time out.

Wenger and his players were left incensed by Mike Dean's decision to award the Baggies a penalty in the dying stages at The Hawthorns, allowing the hosts to rescue a point in the 89th minute. The penalty itself was a hugely controversial call - widely deemed to be a wrong one by most observes - yet Wenger was still charged with alleged using abusive language towards a match official by the FA yesterday.


7.09pmThe calls for Wenger to end his long reign at the club have not been quite as vociferous this year as they have the last - possibly to do with the two-year deal he signed during the summer and possible because Manchester City are making every other challenger look ordinary this season too.

However, the Gunners are six points and two places worse off than they were at the same stage of last season and sit six points adrift of the Champions League places heading into the New Year. A win tonight would lift them back above tottenham, but that could only be temporary until Spurs face West Ham United tomorrow.


7.11pmJanuary is often the month which undoes Arsenal's season, but they can ill-afford that to be the case again this team around having also suffered a pretty bleak December in the Premier League.

The Gunners won just two of their seven Premier League games last month, drawing four and losing one whilst conceding 11 goals and scoring just 10. That said, they also come into this match on an eight-game unbeaten streak across all competitions including six in the Premier League, which is their longest run since December 2016.


7.13pmArsenal will no doubt be looking to strengthen in January, although it is unlikely that they will be able to solve all of their problems this month having scored the fewest goals in the top six and conceded the most in the top seven.

These matches in particular have proven to be costly for Arsenal this season, having conceded at least three goals in four of their six league matches against other teams that finished in the top six last season, although the reverse fixture with Chelsea was one of the two exceptions to that.

Shkodran Mustafi scores a disallowed goal during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal on September 17, 2017© Offside


7.15pmArsenal have proven themselves to be tough to beat here at the Emirates Stadium too, with the thrilling 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United - a game they could have won but for David de Gea's heroics - their only loss in their last 23 home games across all competitions.

That run stretches back to Bayern Munich's visit in March and includes 17 Premier League outings here, during which time they have won 14, drawn two and lost just that one to picked up 44 points from the 51 on offer.


7.17pmHowever, following a run of 12 straight home Premier League wins Arsenal have only won one of their last three, with that victory over Newcastle being sandwiched between defeat to Manchester United and a draw with Liverpool which they could have easily lost.

Even so, only Manchester City boast a better points-per-game ratio in front of their own fans this season, while the league leaders are also the only team to have treated their home fans to more goals too.


7.19pmThe main problem for Arsenal this season has been their away form; while they have dropped only five points here at the Emirates, if only away form counted this season they would be languishing down in ninth place, with only 13 points and 13 goals to their names.

There is a similar disparity when it comes to Arsenal's defensive efforts too. Wenger side have kept clean sheets from their 10 home league games this season, compared to just three from 11 outings on the road. Arsenal have also scored in 24 consecutive home Premier League games stretching back to October 2016.


7.21pmChelsea have had no such troubles on the road this season, with only the relentless Manchester City averaging more points per game than them on the road - and only Pep Guardiola's side conceding fewer goals awat from home too.

However the Blues have only won one of their last four away games in the Premier League, taking five points from a possible 12 in that time, and in all competitions their form has been mixed with four wins and three defeats from their last nine.


7.23pmChelsea are still, of course, the defending champions, and it was this fixture last season which was widely credited with turning their season around. Arsenal raced into a 3-0 lead inside 40 minutes at the Emirates, prompting Conte to switch to the three-at-the-back system which took the league by storm from that point on.

Chelsea immediately went on a 13-match winning run - the joint-longest in a single season before this term - and the switch has been so successful that pretty much every manager in the division has experimented with it since.


7.25pmChelsea were then beaten in the FA Cup final by Arsenal to prevent them from winning the double, so it is fair to say that this fixture shaped their season more than any other last term.

That could be the case again this time around with Arsenal having already lifted the Community Shield at Chelsea's expense and this two set to come up against each other another three times in the next three weeks courtesy of being drawn against each other in the EFL Cup semi-finals.


7.27pmTonight the focus is well and truly on the Premier League, though, and victory for Chelsea here would be enough to lift them back up above Manchester United into second place in the table.

Manchester City look like being out of reach, but the race for a top-four spot is far from over as Chelsea would move temporarily eight points clear of fifth place with a win tonight too - not to mention 10 clear of sixth-placed Arsenal.

Antonio Conte celebrates during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Newcastle United on December 2, 2017© SilverHub


7.29pmCompared to last season's tallies Chelsea are actually even further behind their own pace than Arsenal, sitting seven points and two places worse off at the 21-game marker, although even at last season's title-winning pace they would still be 10 points adrift of Manchester City.

The champions certainly come into this match in good form, though, winning four of their last five Premier League games and taking 13 points from a possible 15 in the process.


7.31pmIndeed, a shock defeat to West Ham last month is Chelsea only Premier League loss in their last 13 stretching back to their successive losses at the hands of Manchester City and Crystal Palace, while in all competitions they have lost only one of their last 14, with 10 wins in that time.

That includes a six-game unbeaten streak heading into this match, with Chelsea also keeping four clean sheets in that time.


7.33pmIndeed, Chelsea have now kept four clean sheets on the bounce, and another one this evening would see them become the first Premier League team to record a run of five in a row this season.

At the other end, though, the Blues have failed to score in two of their last three Premier League away games, while they could lose three successive top-flight London derbies for the first time since October to December 2001, when the third defeat was inflicted by Arsenal.


7.35pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at the Emirates, which means that it is time for a prediction!

The stats point to this being a fairly low scoring affair, and with Arsenal good at home and Chelsea good away, that adds another level on intrigue onto the game. However, Arsenal are missing a number of key players in defence and midfield so I am backing Chelsea to come out on top.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea


7.37pmChelsea have certainly had the better of this fixture in the Premier League recently, with Arsenal's 3-0 triumph in the corresponding game last season being their only triumph in the last 12 top-flight showdowns.

Chelsea have won seven in that time, and their 3-0 loss here last term also ended a five-match unbeaten streak at the Emirates in the Premier League.


7.39pmIndeed, no visiting team has won at this stadium more often than Chelsea, whose five victories is equalled only by Manchester United. Home and away Arsenal have failed to even score in seven of their last nine games against Chelsea in the Premier League, netting just four goals in that time with three of those coming in last season's clash here.

The last time Arsenal didn't lose either Premier League meeting with Chelsea in a season was 2011-12, while the last time they kept a clean sheet in both meetings was 1998-99.


7.41pmArsenal are, however, unbeaten in their last three matches against their London rivals, beating them in the FA Cup final and Community Shield before a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture in September.

The Gunners have been aided by red cards in all of those games though, with Chelsea having had a man sent off in each. Indeed, there have been six red cards in the last seven meetings between these two sides across all competitions.


7.43pmRight, the players are out and we're almost ready to get started for this mouth-watering London derby. Let's have a quick reminder of the teams tonight...

ARSENAL STARTING XI: Cech; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere; Maitland-Niles; Ozil, Lacazette, Sanchez

CHELSEA STARTING XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard; Morata


1 minKICKOFF: Here we go, then! Arsenal get us underway at the Emirates!

2 minQuick start from Chelsea to this game as they win a free kick and take it while Arsenal are sleeping. The Gunners escape without suffering any serious damage, but they have made a slow start to this one.

4 minArsenal get their foot on the ball for the first time tonight, which should help them to just settle into the game. This is a huge match for them tonight.

6 minGood early chance for Arsenal to test Courtois here as Kante clatters into Lacazette in a dangerous position. Free kick to the hosts, with Sanchez over it...

7 minSHOT! Just like against West Brom, Sanchez's free kick takes a deflection off the wall, but this time it loops wide of the target. Courtois was left stranded by that one!

9 minIt looks as though Arsenal are playing something similar to Chelsea's 3-5-2 system in these opening exchanges, matching the visitors' shape with Sanchez up front and Ozil a little deeper.

10 minAlmost a chance for Arsenal as Ozil works the ball out to Sanchez before darting into the box, but the Chilean's delivery is too far beyond his teammate.

11 minChelsea respond with an almost-chance of their own as Hazard breaks into the box down the left channel, but his eventual shot is well blocked before it can trouble Cech.

13 minThis game is beginning to open up a little now! After a fairly tentative start there have been a few encouraging attacks at both ends in recent minutes.

14 minCHANCE! Oh what a chance this is, but Morata makes a huge mess of it! A long ball over the defence sees Chambers leave it for his own keeper, but Cech is never coming for it so it is poor defending. Morata races through on goal and only has the keeper to beat, but his finish is dreadful as he scuffs one well wide.

15 minCHANCE! Almost a chance for Chelsea again as Moses plays a low ball into the box which somehow makes it all the way through to Cech. Morata had the chance to poke it past the keeper from close range, but he was just short of connecting with it.

17 minOFF THE POST! Oh my word, how has this not gone in?! Arsenal have a penalty shout for a trip on Maitland-Niles turned down, but they are immediately back onto it. Some neat interchange in the box sees Sanchez exchange passes with a teammate in the box before getting his shot away, but Courtois gets the slightest touch to the ball to divert it onto the inside of the post. The ball then trickles across the line before hitting the other post, and a grateful Courtois drops on it before it can be tapped in. It doesn't get much closer!

Thibaut Courtois thwarts Mesut Ozil after Alexis Sanchez's rebound during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea on January 3, 2018© Offside


19 minThose are two huge chances in quick succession at both ends of the field - we have a game on our hands people!

21 minThe replay of the penalty claim has just been shown, and it looks as though Maitland-Niles tripped over his own leg. There may have been the slightest touch off Moses, but the Chelsea player did nothing to do that. It is a good decision from the referee as in real time it looked like it could have been a spot kick.

23 minCHANCE! Courtois is keeping his side in this game now! The ball is fed into the feet of Lacazette, who turns sharply inside the box and quickly gets a shot away which Courtois gets down really well to save.

25 minChelsea win a corner which Bakayoko wins in the air, but he can never get over the ball and nods it well over the crossbar.

27 minArsene Wenger will be pleased with the opening half an hour or so to this match, despite their missed chances. Chelsea have squandered a golden opportunity of their own, but Arsenal could and should be ahead here.

27 minCHANCE! Just as I say that Chelsea have another clear chance as the ball is played into Bakayoko, who hammers a powerful effort towards goal. It is high and close to Cech, though, which allows him to stick a strong hand up and make a good save.

29 minChambers gifts possession back to Chelsea inside his own half and immediately the Blues get the ball to Hazard. The Belgian cuts back onto his right foot and goes for goal, but there are no shortage of Arsenal players throwing themselves in the say of it. Chambers has not had the best of games so far tonight.

31 minYELLOW CARD! Wilshere can have no complaints about being the first name in the book here having gone into a crunching and late challenge on Fabregas.

33 minJust over 10 minutes remaining until half time in this one now, and somehow it is still goalless. Both teams have squandered great chances to break the deadlock, and it is a lot more open than many might have expected.

35 minThe balance between Arsenal defence and attack could be the difference tonight. They have looked shaky at the back - Chambers in particular - but going forward Ozil and Sanchez are causing real problems. This one is very finely poised.

37 minBig chance for Chelsea here as Xhaka bundles into Bakayoko from behind right on the edge of the box. Alonso is standing over it...

38 minSHOT! Alonso does indeed go for goal, but he curls it over the wall and over the crossbar too. Perhaps that was too close is anything.

39 minSAVE! Brilliant stop from Courtois again as he denies Ozil! The German drilled an effort towards the bottom corner from 25 yards and it looked destined to end up in the back of the net, but Courtois's fingertips turned it around the post.

41 minIt is Arsenal ending this half on top at the moment. Again Ozil is left in space and is allowed to turn on the ball, but his attempted through-pass to Sanchez is just about cut out.

43 minYELLOW CARD! Wilshere picked up a yellow for a challenge on Fabregas earlier, and he has returned the favour now. This one is a harsh one, though, as he got the ball.

45 minCHANCE! Chance for Fabregas to give Chelsea the lead just before half time. It is brilliant for Hazard as he ducks inside from the left before exquisitely laying the ball off for Fabregas, but he fires it off target from the edge of the area.

45+1 minJust the one minute of added time at the end of this first half.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

8.40pmThe first half comes to an end at the Emirates Stadium, and it was a really entertaining opening 45 minutes despite it ended goalless between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Both sides have seen glorious chances wasted by some of their best players in an open and attacking contest, and if the same happens in the second half then it is difficult to see this one ending 0-0.


8.42pmChelsea had the first clear chance when Alvaro Morata raced clean through on goal following a defensive mix-up between Calum Chambers and Petr Cech, but with only the keeper to beat he completely fluffed his lines and put his finish some way wide.

Morata almost got on the end of a low Moses cross moments later while Bakayoko had also drawn a save from Cech with a really good chance. Fabregas wasted another right on the stroke of half time too, blazing his finish off target after some delicious play by Hazard.


8.44pmArsenal could easily be ahead themselves, though, and it has taken a superb first-half performance from Courtois - in addition to a little help from Lady Luck - to keep the Gunners at bay so far.

The closest the hosts have come was when Sanchez poked an effort towards goal from inside the box which Courtois got a stunning hand to. The Belgian turned the ball against the inside of one post and them watched as it trickled across the line and struck the other, when he was finally able to drop on it.


8.46pmCourtois has also made fine saves to deny Lacazette and Ozil, with the Belgian having kept his side in this match to a certain extent in that first half.

The concern for Arsenal may be that they have seen their best openings go begging, but both sides will go into this second half confident that they can come away with all three points after that first-half display.


46 minKICKOFF: Chelsea get us back underway for this second half.

48 minHolding is very fortunate to avoid a yellow card here as he trips Morata after being turned by the Spaniard. It was cynical, but surprisingly Anthony Taylor lets it go without further punishment.

50 minCHANCES! This is turning into a goalkeeping masterclass between these two former teammates! This time it is Cech in the spotlight as Fabregas slide the ball through for Hazard, whose low drive is well saved by the feet of the Arsenal keeper. Chelsea come right back at the hosts, though, and Alonso steers a header towards the bottom corner which Cech does well to turn around the post.

50 minCHANCE! The resulting corner is played short and then into the feet of Bakayoko, but he curls his effort well over.

51 minat the other end Maitland-Niles beats Moses all ends up before delivering a cross to the back post, but it is just a couple of inches too high for Sanchez.

52 minCHANCE! Another huge chance for Arsenal, but once again it is Courtois to the rescue! It is lovely football, mixed in with a bit of luck as the ball bounces to Lacazette off Cahill, but the striker is thwarted from point-blank range.

53 minAt the other end Chelsea come forward following an inadvertent interception by the referee. It comes to Hazard at the back post, but he doesn't connect well with his volley and Alonso fouls Cech when going for the bouncing ball.

53 minYELLOW CARD! Holding does go into the book now for a late foul on Fabregas.

55 minAnother controversial moment in this action-packed match! Wilshere goes down rather theatrically just outside the area and wants a free kick, but the referee lets play continue rather than awarding either a free kick or showing Wilshere a second yellow for diving.

56 minCHELSEA SUB: Chelsea make their first change of the evening as Moses is replaced by Davide Zappacosta.

58 minHere is that double save from Cech early in this second half...



58 minAlonso hoists a testing cross into the middle which dips into a dangerous area, but once again Cech does well to claw it away.

60 minOzil has been superb tonight - Arsenal really will miss him if and when he goes. He slides a pass in to Bellerin this time, but a Chelsea defender just gets a toe to it.

62 minCHANCE! More lovely football from Arsenal as Ozil and Lacazette exchanges passes down the left channel, but the German's final ball across to Sanchez is cut out! Ozil could have gone for goal himself, but he was unselfish.

63 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (Jack Wilshere)

63 minfinally Arsenal have the breakthrough! It has been coming, but it was always going to take something pretty thunderous to beat Courtois this evening.

Holding's pass takes a nick off Morata on the way through which only takes it into the path of Wilshere, who lashes an unstoppable effort past Courtois at his near post.

Jack Wilshere scores the opener during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea on January 3, 2018© Offside


65 minCHANCE! Arsenal pour forward again here as Sanchez is released down the right channel before finding Lacazette, but the Frenchman's strike from a difficult angle is tipped wide by Courtois.

66 minPENALTY TO CHELSEA!

67 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (Eden Hazard, penalty)

67 minArsene Wenger wasn't happy with the penalty his side conceded against West Brom, and he isn't happy again here. In fairness to the Arsenal boss, he has a point here.

Hazard sees an initial cross blocked, but as Bellerin swings at the loose ball Hazard just beats him to it. The Belgian goes down theatrically despite there not being a huge amount of contact, but Anthony Taylor points to the spot.

Hazard steps up himself and fires his spot kick straight down the middle.

Eden Hazard scores from the spot past Petr Cech during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea on January 3, 2018© Offside


69 minI said in the build-up to this match that this could be a low-scoring affair, but it could have been something like 4-4 tonight quite easily. It has been a pulsating contest between two teams really going for this one.

70 minCHANCE! Another big chance for Morata to open his tally for the evening! Fabregas slides the ball through for the striker, who shows good strength to beat Chambers to the ball and shrug him off. The defender just about does enough, though, with Morata clipping his finish off target.

71 minCHELSEA SUB: Another change for the visitors as Danny Drinkwater replaces Fabregas, who gets a good reception at his former ground.

73 minCLOSE! Chelsea come close again here as Bakayoko tees up Kante, whose striker is half-blocked and spins just wide of the post.

75 minYELLOW CARD! Mesut Ozil picked up a yellow card in the protests after that penalty.

77 minThere have been some brilliant individual performances so far tonight on both sides. Hazard has been close to his sparkling best, while the likes of Ozil and Maitland-Niles have stood out for Arsenal. Not to mention both goalkeepers, of course, who have probably been the two best players on the park.

79 minNot a stat that Wenger will be happy to hear, particular considering the nature of the last two...



80 minARSENAL SUB: Change for Arsenal here as Danny Welbeck replaces Lacazette.

82 minCHELSEA SUB: Interesting final change for Chelsea here as Hazard goes off to be replaced by Willian.

84 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (Marcos Alonso)

84 minMarcos Alonso is such a goal threat, and he may well have won this game for Chelsea here!

Willian sends a fine cross-field ball out to Zappacosta, who turns past a tiring Maitland-Niles before drilling a low cross into the box. It is not Morata or Willian in there, but Alonso getting in front of his man at the near post to steer a really good finish past Cech.


86 minIt is all-out attack for Arsenal now as they look to rescue something from this game. It is very similar to the loss to Manchester United earlier in the season, where they played really well but saw an inspired goalkeeping performance thwart them.

88 minARSENAL SUB: Final throw of the dice for Arsenal as Theo Walcott replaces Chambers.

89 minBrilliant defending from Cahill as he throws himself in the way of a magnificent volley from Mustafi on the edge of the box.

89 minYELLOW CARD! Courtois picks up a late yellow card for time-wasting.

90+1 minThere will be four minutes of added time at the end of this match.

90+2 minGOAL! Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea (Hector Bellerin)

90+2 minThis match just keeps on giving! More late drama here as Bellerin surely earns his side a point with a brilliant finish, steering the ball into the far corner on the half-volley after it had dropped to him.

90+3 minOFF THE BAR! My word, this is incredible! Seconds after losing their lead, Chelsea should really be back in front! A ball over the top releases Morata, but the Spaniard's finish is once again really weak - the third one on one he has missed tonight. The ball drops at the feet of Zappacosta and he smashes a first time effort towards goal, but it crashes off the bar. Incredible!

90+4 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea

9.43pmWhat. A. Game.

Arsenal just keep serving up these thrillers in these big games at the moment and, while they aren't getting as many points from them as they might like, it is certainly good for the neutral!

This one was a thrilling, end-to-end contest from the first whistle until the last, with Hector Bellerin eventually rescuing a point in stoppage time after Marcos Alonso had seemingly wrapped up the win for chelsea. Incredible match.


9.45pmRight, unfortunately that is all we have time for tonight following that pulsating London derby.

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's incredible contest as Arsenal and Chelsea ultimately share the spoils in a four-goal thriller at the Emirates. I will leave you with our action-packed match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!


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Alvaro Morata holds off Laurent Koscielny during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal on September 17, 2017
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