The German schemer has been arguably Arsenal’s best player over the previous two months or so and he maintained his wizadry in last night’s classic stalemate in North London.
Lee Dixon praised Hector Bellerin for his last-gasp equaliser to rescue a point in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea at The Emirates on Wednesday night. However, staying fit will be the biggest challenge for Wilshere, whose almost nine-year-old professional career has been ravaged by injuries.
The result left Chelsea third, one point behind Manchester United in second, while Arsenal remained sixth. Wenger was asked how he would have felt if that effort had gone in and Chelsea had clinched all three points, on top of the penalty decision. Alvaro Morata was left with a very clear one-on-one opportunity after a mixup between the Englishman and Shkodran Mustafi but Morata put it well wide of the target.
With Swedish outfit Ostersund awaiting in the last 32 of the Europa League, that competition may now offer Arsene Wenger’s team their best hope of a return to European football’s premier competition next season.
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil nearly opened the scoring just before half-time with a stinging drive that whistled narrowly wide. Sanchez made a shot from the eight yards behind which was stopped by the goalkeeper Courtois by his hand and later hit to the post.
So much so that his loan to Bournemouth in the 2016-17 season was seen as the final act of his Arsenal career.
Courtois had to be alert to tip Lacazette’s deflected shot past the near post on the right a minute later, and it proved a crucial save as the west Londoners equalised in the 67th minute.
Chelsea had two quick chances to take the lead, first from Hazard whose low shot was saved by Cech’s outstretched leg before diving full length to punch away Alonso’s goal bound header.
Yet the crucial moment in a pulsating clash came just four minutes later.
While there was some controversy over referee Anthony Taylor’s call – Arsene Wenger described the decision as “farcical” – Arsenal’s record goal scorer Henry has backed the official.
Hazard duly converted the spot-kick which levelled the scores at 1-1 following Jack Wilshere’s opener for the Gunners merely four minutes prior.
Three thoughts on Arsenal and Chelsea’s 2-2 draw in the Premier League.
The Frenchman has already been charged by the Football Association for his angry protests at the weekend, but his expression after the decision suggests another blast is in the offing.
Both Morata and Zappacosta came close to score the victor for Chelsea in the 93rd miunte, but neither could convert.
Hector Bellerin then won the Gunners a point with his incredible 92nd-minute strike but that wasn’t the talking point for Wenger.