Arsenal, with their 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, became the first team to stop Antonio Conte’s Chelsea from scoring in a competitive home game since the Italian took charge last season. The Gunners put up a commanding performance at Chelsea on Sunday afternoon and were only unlucky not to have won the game.
Arsene Wenger’s men should really have secured a proper victory, as they squandered the best opportunities and had a man advantage for the final minutes after David Luiz was sent-off. But the Arsenal supporters who stayed behind to applaud their team are just relieved not to be going to work to face the same old jokes.
The fact a goalless draw was achieved at Stamford Bridge without the injured Mesut Ozil will not have gone unnoticed by those aware that Arsenal’s last significant away win came against Manchester City without the German. Ozil has often been accused of not turning up for the big games even when he has been on the pitch and it was clear that Arsenal were not carrying any passengers against Chelsea, as Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette forced the Blues defenders to look backwards and sideways with their passing.
An Arsenal defence that has so often been bullied into submission by Diego Costa also stood up to the test with Shkodran Mustafi getting the better of Costa’s replacement, Alvaro Morata, who was eventually booked for letting his frustration get the better of him.
The commitment of Alexis Sanchez may well be questioned once again as he appeared to find record signing Lacazette’s contender for miss of the season funny from the substitutes’ bench, but this was not a performance that will see the attitude of Arsenal’s players come under the spotlight once again.
Sanchez was dropped back down to the bench, where Olivier Giroud also started, after playing 90 minutes in the Europa League victory over Cologne. With Sanchez and Giroud both watching from the sidelines during the first half, the responsibility to threaten Chelsea’s goal fell to Welbeck and Lacazette, and the pair missed the best chances of the game.