Arsenal rescue point against Chelsea with injury time strike
Late Bellerin strike earns derby point for Arsenal as Wilshere is praised for 'outstanding' performance against Chelsea
04 January, 2018 — By Tom Foot
FA Premier League
ARSENAL 2 (Wilshere 63, Bellerin 90+2)
CHELSEA 2 (Hazard 67 pen, Alonso 84)
ARSENAL salvaged a 2-2 draw with Chelsea in injury time of a rip-roaring Premier League London derby at the Emirates Stadium last night (Wednesday).
Jack Wilshere sparked wild celebrations when he broke the deadlock on 63 minutes, capping a superb all-round performance for the resurgent midfielder.
The Gunners were all over Chelsea at that point but – once again – they were undone by a super-soft penalty.
Four minutes after Wilshere’s breakthrough, Hector Bellerin flicked Eden Hazard’s heel in the box and the Chelsea man went tumbling. He got back up easily enough and converted coolly from the spot.
Marcus Alonso tapped in on 85 minutes after Arsenal’s defence went to sleep. But deep into added-on time Bellerin laced in a scorcher past Thibault Courtois.
There was still time for Chelsea to miss a one-on-one and hit the crossbar, but when the final whistle went it still felt like a robbery.
Up until the goals it had been an unusually solid Arsenal performance despite a shaky-looking defensive back three of Calum Chambers, Shkrodan Mustafi and Rob Holding. Ainsley Maitland-Niles made some spring-heeled runs down the left wing and looked like he might be worth a run in the side.
Alvaro Morata had a shocking miss on 15 minutes, let clean through with time and space he shanked wide. The Chelsea frontman looked distinctly average throughout the match.
Alexis Sanchez had a strong shot palmed onto both posts by Courtois in the first half while Alexandre Lacazette forced a decent save after spinning the Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill. The new signing – now on a seven-game drought – did not manufacture enough meaningful chances.
Wilshere was on top form throughout and deserved his goal – his first in the Premier League in more than two years.
After the match Arsene Wenger said: “Wilshere was outstanding … Everyone had given up on him, but now no one would be surprised if he was selected for England again. He deserves great credit for what he has done.”
Wenger added that he was “fed-up” with poor refereeing and would not be muzzled by disciplinary hearings.
ARSENAL: Cech, Bellerin, Chambers (Walcott, 87), Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette (Welbeck, 80).
Subs not used: Ospina, Elneny, Iwobi, Coquelin, Mertesacker.
CHELSEA: Courtois, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Moses (Zappacosta 56), Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas (Drinkwater 71), Hazard, Morata
Subs not used: Caballero, Batshuayi, Pedro, Rudiger