The highly anticipated London derby between Premier League giants Chelsea and Arsenal may have ended in a 0:0 draw, but the match was an intense spectacle, nonetheless. After a humiliating 4 to 0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, the Gunners put up a solid defensive performance against the Blues at Stamford Bridge today. It is no secret that Arsenal has had a poor record against Chelsea in recent years, even though they managed to beat their London rivals in both the FA Cup final and the Community Shield at Wembley this year.
The Gunners have, in fact, failed to secure any points in the Premier League at Chelsea’s home turf since 2011 when Robin van Persie scored a magnificent hat-trick in a stunning 5 to 3 win over Chelsea. So, even though the match ended in a goalless draw, Arsenal fans can at least take solace in the fact that their team has finally managed to pick up a point at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 6 years. What’s more, Arsene Wenger’s men have also set two impressive records in the process.
According to Metro, Arsenal is the first side to prevent Chelsea from scoring in a competitive match at Stamford Bridge since Italian manager Antonio Conte took over in 2016. Over the last 27 games at home, Chelsea has never failed to score at least one goal until today’s 0 to 0 draw against the Gunners. Furthermore, this was the first time the Blues drew at home under Conte. So while neither side managed to score any goals, these two records show just how disciplined Arsenal’s defense has performed today.
There were plenty of highlights and talking points in the match as well. The much-criticized Welshman Aaron Ramsey, for instance, put in a splendid performance against Chelsea for which he was praised by many Arsenal fans on social media. Ramsey also came closest to scoring a goal for the North London club when he dribbled through Chelsea’s defense and ended up hitting the woodwork. Alvaro Morata and Shkodran Mustafi’s constant tussles in Arsenal’s half was another highlight in the match. The two players kept battling it out until Morata received a yellow card for showing dissent towards the assistant referee.
However, it is Brazilian defender David Luiz who will most likely make the headlines after today’s derby. During the final stages of the match, Luiz was being closed down by both Alexis Sanchez and Sead Kolasinac. In frustration, the Brazilian international delivered a powerful kick to Kolasinac’s shin and was immediately sent off by referee Michael Oliver.
During the post-match press conference, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger briefly commented on the clash between Luiz and Kolasinac, saying that “it was excessive force.” The Frenchman further added that “Luiz will accept he went on too strong,” as reported by Mirror Online.
[Featured Image by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images]