Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal: 10-man Gunners come from behind twice to earn gritty point at the Bridge
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
10-man Arsenal showed heart and character to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
The visitors suffered a double blow on 26 minutes as they conceded a penalty and were reduced to 10-man as David Luiz - on his return to Stamford Bridge - was sent off for a foul on Tammy Abraham after Shkodran Mustafi's woeful backpass, with Jorginho scoring the spot kick.
Despite not having a shot before the hour mark, Arsenal were level on 63 minutes as Gabriel Martinelli's lung-busting run ended with him slotting home the equaliser - aided by a costly slip from N'Golo Kante.
The Gunners then switched off from a short corner on 84 minutes as Cesar Azpilicueta ghosted in to score, but Hector Bellerin curled home a sublime effort just three minutes later to share the spoils after a display full of character from Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta made one change from the side that drew with Sheffield United on Saturday as Hector Bellerin returned from a hamstring injury in place of Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right-back.
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The Spaniard was also named captain for the night after Alexandre Lacazette had worn the armband at the weekend.
The Gunners were without defender Sokratis who missed out through illness, while top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang served the second game of his three-match ban after being sent off at Crystal Palace.
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The hosts dominated the early stages of the game and went close on a couple of occassions inside 20 minutes as Tammy Abraham headed straight at Bernd Leno and Callum Hudson-Odoi hit the crossbar with a curling shot from a tight angle.
Then came the games's key moment on 26 minutes as Arsenal conceded a penalty and went down to 10-men in a double blow for Arteta's side.
A dreadful backpass from Mustafi was pounced upon by Abraham who went round Leno before being hauled down by Luiz, whose return to Stamford Bridge came to a premature end with Stuart Atwell brandishing the red card and pointing to the spot.
Jorginho stepped up and kept hs cool, slotting past Leno to put Chelsea in front and leave the Gunners with a mountain to climb.
The Gunners managed to make it to half-time without conceding a second goal despite being a man down, and they somehow found a way back into the game on 63 minutes - despite not having a shot up until that point - thanks to the boy wonder Martinelli.
The Brazilian got the ball on the edge of his own box after a corner was cleared and he raced headlong at the two covering Chelsea defenders. A slip on the halfway line from Kante proved costly as the Arsenal man ran clear and slotted past Kepa Arrizabalaga to level the game, sending the travelling support into raptures.
But, just like in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Arsenal switched off at the back and conceded late on, with a short corner catching them asleep and the cross being stabbed home by Azpilicueta.
With the away side down to 10-man and the seconds ticking down that looked to be it, but Arteta's men somehow fought back again with a goal that come out of nothing.
Bellerin received the ball out on the right and was allowed time to drift inside before picking his spot and curling a left footed shot beyond Arrizabalaga and into the far corner, sharing the spoils in a topsy-turvy game at the Bridge.