THE LONDON ENCOUNTER ENDS IN A STALEMATE
The London rivalry set the stage for a thrilling encounter at the start of the Holidays. Wenger’s men came into the match eyeing the pole position at the top of the league table while a win for Chelsea could have send them right behind the league leaders Liverpool, ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures.
The past record of the managers favoured the Blues as Jose Mourinho had never lost against Arsene Wenger as an opposition manager. Moreover, Arsenal were out of a win in their last three Premier League outings including a 6-3 thumping at the hands of Manchester City at the Etihad. A win for either of the teams could have set them on track for the title.
Jack Wilshere missed out for the Gunners following his suspension for an obscene gesture at the Manchester City fans with Laurent Koscielny missed out due to a knee injury. Thomas Varmaelan started in place of Koscielny. Torres made it to the starting line-up for the Blues while Willian was picked ahead of the in-form, Oscar.
The match went underway on the wet and windy late night pitch at Emirates. Arsenal enjoyed most of the possession of the first half while Chelsea tried to remain disciplined and attacked on the counter. The match took the first thirty minutes to set into gear with the England international, Frank Lampard hitting the bar for the Blues. Mikel was lucky to be on the pitch after a nasty foul on his namesake, Mikel Arteta . Arsenal’s Theo Walcott could have been awarded a penalty, however, the referee Mike Dean refused to blow the whistle on their favor. The first half ended goalless with frustration for the home side while the visitors were seemed happy with their performance.
The second half again lacked the tempo. But the Blues were the ones who were making efforts to get the ball into the back of the net while the home side were denied every chance by the Chelsea defenders. The match sprung into life in the last fifteen minutes as a couple of shots from Giroud came close and Sagna’s header was cleared off the line.
The match ended in a stalemate with Arsenal going joint-top with Liverpool on points and Chelsea going down to the fourth place.
Watch the MOTD highlights below.
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