Disciplined Arsenal earn draw at Chelsea as David Luiz sees red
Premier League, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0
Arsenal produced a robust performance to earn a 0-0 draw with Premier League champions Chelsea as David Luiz saw red late on at Stamford Bridge.
Arsene Wenger was berated prior to the match for dropping Alexis Sanchez to the bench, but his tactic did not affect the team's mood as they produced an obdurate display to frustrate Antonio Conte's side with substitute Sanchez playing the final 25 minutes in a solid team performance.
Shkodran Mustafi had a goal disallowed on 77 minutes when he was offside while Chelsea's frustration boiled over on 87 minutes when David Luiz received a straight red for a high, two-footed challenge on Sead Kolasinac, who was lucky to escape serious injury.
It was the first draw at Stamford Bridge in 16 months, but an outcome that ended Arsenal's five-match losing run at the venue.
Shkodran Mustafi of Arsenal reacts to having his goal ruled for offiside during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.Eurosport
The visitors had lost two of their first four league matches with the record 4-0 loss at Liverpool fuelling the ongoing debate about Wenger's position as manager. But this will quell his critics at least for another week.
After defeats on the road at Stoke and Anfield, this was much more like it from Arsenal at a ground where they had not won since October 2011.
The result means Antonio Conte's Blues stay third, three points behind leaders Manchester City, while the Gunners pick up their first point on their travels this term and remain 12th.
Gritty Gunners provide blueprint for the future. A dogged, hard-fought away point. It's pretty much a case of 'about time' from the Gunners and in stark contrast to their collapse at Liverpool - another top-six rival - a few weeks ago.
Too often their stars have come up short in the big matches away from Emirates Stadium and it was interesting that they did it without Mesut Ozil (injured) and left Alexis Sanchez on the bench for over an hour before he replaced Alexandre Lacazette.
It brought to an end a run of a five straight league defeats at Stamford Bridge and seemed to surprise many observers.
Aaron Ramsey (C) reacts after hitting the post with an attempt during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.Eurosport
Arsenal fans have grown accustomed to seeing history repeat itself in recent years, but while they have now yet to win in 14 visits to last season's top six sides, this showing echoed memories of that 2-0 win at Man City back in January 2015.
They now need to use it as the blueprint for the future. Watch this space.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal). Epitomised Arsenal's new-found discipline on the road. Worked tirelessly alongside Granit Xhaka and almost capped a mature display with a goal when he hit the post in the first period.
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) and Alvaro Morata (Chelsea)Getty Images
16' - ARSENAL CHANCE. Bellerin plays a lovely one-two with Iwobi and delivers a lovely cross that Welbeck guides just wide of the far post.
18' - ARSENAL CHANCE. Bellerin with more great work down the right. He surges into the box and cuts it back for Lacazette who sees his first-time shot on the run well saved by Courtois.
21' CHELSEA CHANCE! Arsenal caught high up the pitch as Fabregas turns well deep in midfield and plays a wonderful through pass for Pedro to race onto. The Spaniard holds off a late challenge but his shot lacks conviction and Cech pulls off a smart save.
41' - ARSENAL HIT THE POST. Ramsey stumbles his way into the left of the area and past two challenges before firing in a low shot that comes back off the post. The rebound falls to Lacazette who somehow steers wide of target.
76' - GOOOA - OFFSIDE! Mustafi heads home the free kick from the right - but he's offside! Big sigh of relief from Chelsea.
88' - RED CARD! Luiz flies into a late lunge on Kolasinac after he lost control of the ball unde pressure from Sanchez. The studs were up and the referee had no choice but to give him a straight red card.
- Chelsea have been given as many red cards in their last five Premier League games (3) as they had in their previous 73.
- The Gunners have now gone three top-flight away matches without a goal for the first time since 1994-95.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in 27 top-flight home matches played on a Sunday (W19, D8).
- Chelsea failed to score in a competitive home match under Antonio Conte for the first time (27 games).