Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2
Jorginho 28, Azpilicueta 84, Martinelli 63, Bellerin 87

David Luiz was sent off  after 26 minutes on his return to Stamford Bridge, but Arsenal came back twice to level and earn a point against Chelsea. It may be another draw for the Gunners, but following a pulsating 2-2 encounter against Chelsea which saw Luiz receive a straight red card not even that scoreline seemed likely following the early exchanges in west London. Luiz clattered into Tammy Abraham as he tried to recover possession after Shkodran Mustafi’s poorly weighted back pass to Bernd Leno.

Jorginho slotted past Leno from the resultant penalty and Mustafi looked crestfallen. At that stage, Chelsea were in control and on course to score more. Andreas Christenson headed wide and Antonio Rudiger’s header back across the Arsenal area to Abraham saw the Chelsea forward head straight at Leno. Bellerin had to be alert to clear from N’Golo Kante’s effort, while Callum Hudson-Odoi saw his shot clip Leno’s bar.

Hector Bellerin's late leveller earned Arsenal a point at Chelsea

Hector Bellerin's late leveller earned Arsenal a point at Chelsea

Mikel Arteta has called for better fitness levels from his players, and he was heartened by the workmanlike and industrious effort of his players to come back in this London derby and earn a draw when a loss looked more likely. Gabriel Martinelli began the Gunners comeback when he ran from deep in his own half, and then past the last defender Kante  after he slipped, to then coolly slot past Kepa Arrizzbalaga for the Arsenal equaliser just past the hour mark. Leno made a string of fine saves, none more impressive than his one handed save  from substitute Ross Barkley’s looping header in the second half. From the resultant corner however, Chelsea restored their lead.Cesar Azpilicueta stole in from Willian’s pass to beat Leno six minutes from time, and that seemed to be that.

However, the spirited ten men of Arsenal rallied for Hector Bellerin to curl in left footed shot from the 18 yard line to restore parity on 87 minutes.. Substitute Michy Batshuayi could have won it for the Blues in time added on, but saw his snatched shot fly wide of Leno’s upright. A point each means that Arsenal remain in tenth spot in the Premier League table on 29 points, ten points off fourth place Chelsea.

For Arteta, there was pride in his players and their spirit having played most of the match with a numerical disadvantage.

“I am [proud]. The spirit they showed, the character, the fight and the leadership was there as well. You have to really stand up. When someone makes a mistake, it can happen in football, so someone has to take a red card for him. It can happen. What cannot happen is that afterwards we don’t stand up for him. Every single player did it with belief as well. I could sense it at half-time that they believed they could get back in the game. I wasn’t expecting Hector to score with his left foot obviously, but I’m very pleased,” he said. The Arsenal head coach reserved special praise for Alexandre Lacazette on a night where although he didn’t score, the France striker worked tirelessly for his team.

“Amazing. Amazing. That’s right. He sacrificed a lot for the team. Sometimes he may lack a little bit of energy at the end because he’s doing extra work, but I’m so happy with him.”

Arsenal are next away at Bournemouth in their FA Cup 4th round tie on Monday where Arteta will not only hope to progress in the competition, but also earn aa first away win.