Premier League
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Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere scored his first Premier League goal since May 2015

Hector Bellerin's stunning injury-time strike earned Arsenal a point against Chelsea in one of the most entertaining matches of the Premier League season so far.

The two sides shared an incredible 33 chances, with the heroic keeping of Gunners' Petr Cech and Blues' Thibaut Courtois ensuring only four goals were conceded.

Courtois had made exceptional stops to deny Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette before he was finally beaten when Jack Wilshere fired high past him in the 63rd minute.

The lead only lasted four minutes, Eden Hazard converting from the spot to level after his foot had been caught by Bellerin.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger labelled Anthony Taylor's decision "farcical", adding "you could give 10 penalties like that a game".

Chelsea must have thought they had secured all three points when Marcos Alonso flicked home substitute Davide Zappacosta's low cross after 84 minutes.

But in the second minute of stoppage time, Bellerin produced an exceptional half-volley to earn the Gunners a point.

There was more drama seconds from the end when Zappacosta's shot thundered off Cech's crossbar.

Stunning strikes earn Gunners point

Bad refereeing decisions cost us - Wenger

It was error-strewn and exhilarating end to a back-breaking festive period for both sides.

Arsenal, playing their sixth game in 19 days, just had the upper-hand in the opening exchanges.

Sanchez saw a shot come off both posts after a stunning stop from Courtois, before the Belgian pushed away a low strike from Lacazette.

The French summer signing was a constant menace to the Blues' defence. He had another low effort come off the heel of Courtois and was denied again when his turn and shot was pushed around the post.

However, it was the unlikely sources of Wilshere and Bellerin - with just two goals between them in all competitions this season at kick-off - who managed to find a way past Courtois.

Wilshere, who had not scored in the top flight since May 2015, gave the Gunners the lead when he smashed home high past the goalkeeper from eight yards.

And with the Gunners staring at defeat, Bellerin, who conceded the penalty, produced a brilliant side-foot half-volley to raise the roof at the Emirates.

Off-target Morata costs Chelsea

Marcos Alonso (left)
Marcos Alonso (left) continued his great recent scoring form but Morata was out of luck at the Emirates Stadium

Chelsea had 19 of the 33 chances on goal in the match, with top-scorer Alvaro Morata wasting three one-on-one opportunities.

His first should have given Chelsea the lead, but he inexplicably slid the ball well wide. He then beat Rob Holding for pace but his dinked finish drifted over the bar.

And moments after Bellerin scored, the Spaniard was faced with another one-on-one but fired straight at Cech before Zappacosta followed up with a vicious strike that came off the bar.

Cech was brilliant and made two great low saves from Hazard and Alonso before he was beaten by the pair.

Hazard, with another effervescent display, scored the equaliser from the spot after Bellerin caught his foot with his studs.

And then wing-back Alonso scored his third goal in his last five appearance when he swept in after good work from Zappacosta on the right.

Man of the match - Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Eden Hazard
Hazard was once again in stellar form - he had six efforts on goal and both won and scored the penalty

'Morata has not had luck this period' - reaction

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: "I think it is a pity because when you have so many chances to score you must win the game. Instead we are talking about a draw against a good team, but in this game we deserved to win as we created a lot of chances.

"We must be disappointed, we had a great chance to win, but we must accept the final result. We win together, we lose together, we draw together."

On the performance of Morata: "It is not luck in this period, he has to continue to work and continue to improve. For a striker it is very important to score. It is a pity, he had many chances to score, but I'm very happy with his commitment and effort for the team."

We deserved three points - Conte

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "It was a great football game. That's what you want people to talk about. The media and social networks drive everyone crazy today, but what is important to me is a good football game.

"We played three games in six days and you could see the team gave absolutely everything. We have a busy schedule and have made bad decisions but there is still great quality in our games."

Wilshere ends 43-game drought - stats

  • Arsenal have avoided defeat against Chelsea in their two league meetings of the season (drawn two) for the first time since 2011-12.
  • Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has enjoyed just one victory in his six meetings with the Gunners in all competitions since the start of last season (D3 L2).
  • This game was Wenger's 60th meeting with Chelsea in all competitions - making them the side he has faced the most as Arsenal boss (W22 D17 L21).
  • Wilshere scored his first goal in his last 43 Premier League games, since netting against West Brom in May 2015.
  • Each of the 14 penalties Cech has faced in the Premier League with Arsenal has been scored.
  • Since the start of last season, Marcos Alonso has been directly involved in 16 Premier League goals (12 goals, four assists), four more than any other defender.
  • Hector Bellerin bagged his first goal in his last 22 Premier League games, since netting at the tail-end of last season against Everton.

What's next?

Arsenal are at Championship club Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday (16:00 GMT) and face Chelsea again in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg next Wednesday (20:00 GMT). Before that match Chelsea are at Norwich's Carrow Road on Saturday (17:30 GMT) for their FA Cup tie.

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 33Cech
  • 21ChambersSubstituted forWalcottat 88'minutes
  • 20Mustafi
  • 16HoldingBooked at 53mins
  • 24Bellerín
  • 29Xhaka
  • 10WilshereBooked at 31mins
  • 30Maitland-Niles
  • 11ÖzilBooked at 67mins
  • 7Sánchez
  • 9LacazetteSubstituted forWelbeckat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Mertesacker
  • 13Ospina
  • 14Walcott
  • 17Iwobi
  • 23Welbeck
  • 34Coquelin
  • 35Elneny

Chelsea

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 13CourtoisBooked at 89mins
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 27Christensen
  • 24Cahill
  • 15MosesSubstituted forZappacostaat 56'minutes
  • 14Bakayoko
  • 7Kanté
  • 4FàbregasBooked at 43minsSubstituted forDrinkwaterat 71'minutes
  • 3Alonso
  • 10E HazardSubstituted forWillianat 82'minutes
  • 9Morata

Substitutes

  • 1Caballero
  • 2Rüdiger
  • 6Drinkwater
  • 11Pedro
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 22Willian
  • 23Batshuayi
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
59,379

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamChelsea
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home14
Away19
Shots on Target
Home6
Away6
Corners
Home10
Away8
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 2, Chelsea 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Chelsea 2.

  3. Post update

    Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by César Azpilicueta with a through ball.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 2, Chelsea 2. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Rob Holding (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Álvaro Morata (Chelsea).

  9. Post update

    Offside, Arsenal. Shkodran Mustafi tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.

  10. Booking

    Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Theo Walcott replaces Calum Chambers.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Andreas Christensen.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

  15. Goal!

    Goal! Arsenal 1, Chelsea 2. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Davide Zappacosta with a cross.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Willian replaces Eden Hazard.

  17. Post update

    Calum Chambers (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Álvaro Morata (Chelsea).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Danny Welbeck replaces Alexandre Lacazette.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal).

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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City22202064135162
2Man Utd22145345162947
3Chelsea22144441162546
4Liverpool22128250252544
5Tottenham21124541202140
6Arsenal22116540281239
7Burnley229761919034
8Leicester228683432230
9Everton227692534-927
10Watford2274113140-925
11Huddersfield2266101835-1724
12Brighton225891727-1023
13Newcastle2264122030-1022
14Crystal Palace2257102033-1322
15Bournemouth2256112234-1221
16West Ham2156102439-1521
17Southampton2248102132-1120
18Stoke2255122347-2420
19West Brom22210101630-1416
20Swansea2244141334-2116
View full Premier League table

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