Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea: London rivals thrill
- Courtois stars between sticks
- Wilshere opens scoring
- Hazard wins, converts PK
- Alonso puts Chelsea ahead
- Bellerin levels in stoppage
Hector Bellerin’s stoppage time goal was the final marker of a 2-2 thriller between Arsenal an Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso scored and Thibaut Courtois was strong in goal as Chelsea came back to take a lead on Arsenal 2-1.
Jack Wilshere had put Arsenal deservedly ahead in the 63rd minute, but the match was only level for four minutes.
The draw means Chelsea stays third behind Manchester United, while Arsenal remains sixth. That’s a point behind North London Derby rivals Spurs, who play West Ham to finish the festive fixture season on Thursday.
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There was heightened intensity at the Emirates, leading to some overcooked passes and stylish interventions, but goals looked likely four times in the first 30 minutes.
- Alvaro Morata ran onto an overcooked cross and had a 1v1 with Petr Cech, but screwed his effort wide of the net.
- Alexis Sanchez stepped onto a ball inside the 18 and forced Thibaut Courtois to push the ball off not one, but both goal posts.
- Eden Hazard danced through the Arsenal defense to set up ex-Gunners mid Cesc Fabregas, but the Spaniard blazed over the bar.
- Alexandre Lacazette turned neatly near the penalty spot off a Sanchez feed, but Courtois again got his paw on the ball from a horizontal perspective.
Granit Xhaka fouled Tiemoue Bakayoko on the edge of the Arsenal 18, opening the door for Marcos Alonso’s dangerous left peg. The Spanish defender’s effort wasn’t his best, though, as it ballooned over the bar to keep the match scoreless
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Another good-looking turn from Lacazette sent Gary Cahill to the moon and cued up an early second half chance for Arsenal, but Courtois made a wonderful leg save.
The breakthrough came in the 63rd minute through longtime Gunners midfielder Wilshere, who belted a deflected and loose ball into the roof of the goal.
Courtois returned to his game-saving ways, deterring a Lacazette shot moments later.
Hazard then drew and converted a penalty and had it level in the 67th minute, as Hector Bellerin kicked Hazard’s boot in a duel for a bouncing ball. 1-1.
Morata then bodied Chambers off a breakaway ball, but his chip failed to find the frame. That wouldn’t be the case for Alonso, who finished his sixth goal of the season off a hard low pass from substitute Davide Zappacosta.
But Bellerin scored in stoppage time before Zappacosta ripped an effort off the cross bar at the other end!