Blues and Gunners in Stalemate
Written By: Robert Halter
After eight Premier League wins on the spin, the Gunners tried to bridge the ten points gap with table toppers Chelsea in a Super Sunday clash at the Emirates Stadium, end of April, as former Arsenal captain, Cesc Fabregas returned to the Gunners for the first time since joining the Blues. On eight minutes, Oscar took a tumble in the Arsenal penalty box, after minimal contact by Hector Bellerin. But on sixteen minutes, a ball over the top by Cesc Fabregas put through Oscar, but after he was charged down by David Ospina, the ball was headed away from the line by Bellerin, to avert the danger, as Ospina’s challenge went unpunished as Oscar required treatment. Midway through the first half, Fabrgeas fell in the area but was booked by referee Michael Oliver, after he went over Santi Cazorla’s trailing leg. Although on thirty four minutes, a decision went against Arsenal, when Bellerin put the ball over with his outstretched leg and from Cazorla’s instinctive strike, it was ball to hand on Gary Cahill, as he plummeted to the floor, but it was waved play on. On thirty eight minutes, Willian prized an opening but the final touch by Ramires, let him down as Ospina collected the ball. Two minutes later, the Gunners pressed again, with a ball across on the left flank by Cazorla, but the shot from Alexis Sanchez was dragged wide. Then on forty three minutes, Mesut Ozil tried his luck from the centre of the box but there was not enough pace on the ball to trouble Thibaut Courtois in front of the Chelsea posts. Before the second half resumed, as a precaution, Oscar was replaced by Didier Drogba. Six minutes into the re-start, a clumsy fall by Laurent Koscielny into Ospina, left the Gunners keeper worse for wear, after the Arsenal defender snuffed out a three way tussle with Fabregas. In the sixty sixth minute, after the ball was pulled back from Willian, a tamely hit low strike by Drogba was picked up by Ospina. Following a high kick by Willian into Koscielny, a chance was made available to Arsenal club captain, Per Mertesacker from a Cazorla free kick, but Mertesacker snatched his shot wide, in the sixty ninth minute. Then on seventy six minutes, from a left wing cross by Koscielny, an opportunity was squandered by Cazorla, who miscued an effort wide of the target. The Gunners made their first change by replacing Francis Coquelin with Danny Welbeck. On eighty two minutes, Welbeck was on the move, after being picked out by Ozil on the right side, but Courtois blocked him out at his near post. Following a corner by Ozil, an uncomfortable fall by Courtois while under threat from Olivier Grioud, left the Blues shot stopper requiring treatment momentarily, as Giroud was then replaced by Theo Walcott. Soon afterwards, to a mixed reception by the home crowd, Fabregas was taken off for Kurt Zouma. Towards the end, the Gunners could have sealed the game, when Nacho Monreal’s cross went past both Ozil and Welbeck, with neither player being able to find a touch when in front of the net. Before the final whistle, the Blues brought on Juan Cuadrado for Willian. But as the game remained deadlocked, it was a precious point for Chelsea in their march towards the Premiership title, as the Blues remained thirteen matches unbeaten, the same total of games that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had in tact with his hundred percent record against Arsenal teams managed by Arsene Wenger.