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Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal

Amar Azam reports from Stamford Bridge

These two London rivals were left to share the points following this tightly contested affair at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

The draw ends a run of five successive defeats by Arsenal at the home of the current league champions.

Chelsea, however, were reduced to 10 men late on when defender David Luiz received his marching orders on 87 minutes for a late challenge on Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte refused to be drawn on his side’s disciplinary record after recording their third red card in five matches.

Conte, however, seemed to suggest that referee Michael Oliver should have blown his whistle moments earlier when substitute Alexis Sanchez appeared to have been fouling Luiz.

“I don’t like to comment about the referee,” said Conte. “I don’t do it in the past, or the present. You need to see what happened before the tackle.”

He added: “It was a good, open game with both teams trying to win. 

“Every game against Arsenal is always very tough, we knew very well what type of game to face. Both teams are great teams, it’s a good draw.”

The first half was evenly balanced and both had opportunities to take the lead.

Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck nearly put his side ahead with a glancing header on 16 minutes with Chelsea’s Pedro coming close a few minutes later.

Aaron Ramsey had the best of the chances when, on 40 minutes, he cut through Chelsea’s back line before attempting to chip goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The ball rebounded off the post.

Pedro was replaced by summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko at the interval as Conte looked to add cover to his midfield.

The second half did not see anywhere the action as both teams operated with more caution.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was praiseworthy of his side’s performance.

“We were focused and determined,” said Wenger. “We tried to play when we had the ball and we were close to winning the game. With a bit more freedom we would have won the game.”

On 65 minutes, Wenger brought on Alexis Sanchez with Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard coming on soon after. However, neither player could make an impact as the teams were left to share the points.
 

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