It took Hector Bellerin’s brilliant stoppage-time equaliser to prevent Chelsea from moving back into second place in the Premier League as they drew 2-2 with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday in a hugely entertaining encounter.
Despite some brilliant end-to-end football, the first half ended goalless after some fine saves from Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech, but Jack Wilshere opened the scoring for the hosts just after the hour.
Eden Hazard equalised soon after from the spot after winning a contentious penalty, and Marcos Alonso then turned home what seemed to be winner from close range six minutes from time.
However, a thundering finish by Bellerin from the edge of the box beat Courtois in the dying stages to earn the hosts a point.
REVIEW OF ARSENAL VS CHELSEA
A Calum Chambers mistake in the 14th minute saw Alvaro Morata through one-on-one with Cech, but the Spaniard could surprisingly only blast wide.
Three minutes later, Courtois got his fingertips to an Alexis Sanchez effort from eight yards, and the ball hit one post and then the other before bouncing out from goal for the Belgian to claim.
The Blues goalkeeper made another smart save midway through the first half after Alexandre Lacazette’s quick turn and shot on the spot.
Cesc Fabregas then arguably should have done better on the stroke of half-time, when he could only blast over from the edge of the area after Hazard beautifully set him up for a free shot.
Cech made a fine double save five minutes into the second half, first stopping Hazard with his feet before turning Alonso’s header round the post.
Arsenal subsequently began to dominate the play, and Wilshere finally broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute after Courtois had again made a fine save from Lacazette.
Morata’s errant touch saw the ball fall to Wilshere on the left edge of the area, and he thundered a finish past Courtois at the near post for his first Premier League goal in more than two-and-a-half years.
It was a deserved opener for Arsenal after some excellent play. But Chelsea were given the opportunity to level barely three minutes later when Bellerin conceded a soft penalty for clashing with Hazard in the box.
The Blues playmaker made no mistake in tucking the finish past Cech from the spot to contribute to his 100th goal in the English top flight.
Brilliant play from Chelsea’s two wing-backs then looked to have won the game for Chelsea in the 84th minute as Alonso expertly steered home Davide Zappacosta’s ball from the right.
But in the second minute of stoppage time, a half-clearance fell to Bellerin on the edge of the box, and the Spaniard struck a sweet half-volley into the back of the net.
The drama was not over, as Morata failed to convert his third gilt-edged chance of the match. He instead shot tamely at Cech, only for Zappacosta to strike the follow-up against the crossbar.