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Match report: Arsenal hold Chelsea to a scoreless draw

One point for Arsenal.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The Gunners go home with a point after playing Chelsea to a scoreless draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea looked to be on the front foot early on, forcing a few saves out of Petr Cech from open play and from a corner, but Arsenal grew into the game and hassled Chelsea right up until the end of the half. Chelsea’s defense had their work cut out for them—although none went in, Arsenal finished the half with far more shots than Chelsea, including Danny Welbeck’s wide header of a Hector Bellerin cross after a brilliant string of passes, long-range belters from Sead Kolasinac and Granit Xhaka, and a shot off the bar from Aaron Ramsey after he had dribbled his way through about half the Chelsea defense (Alexandre Lacazette then fluffed his shot off the rebound).

Chelsea fought back in the second half, but Arsenal defended well and Cech made a few saves. Alexis replaced Lacazette with 66 minutes on the clock, to which Chelsea responded by bringing on Eden Hazard, and just seven minutes later Welbeck went down with what looked to be a groin injury, a worrying sight given his history with such things. Olivier Giroud took his place.

Arsenal came close to scoring once again when Ramsey won a free kick in the 75th minute. Xhaka lofted the ball into the box and Shkodran Mustafi headed home, but was flagged offside a moment later. The game continued at its frantic pace up until the 87th minute, when a terrifying studs-up challenge on Kolasinac earned David Luiz a straight red card. Kolasinac was able to continue, but Chelsea went a man down and had to take Alvaro Morata off in favor of centerback Andreas Christensen. Still, the Blues managed to force a few saves out of Cech, and Arsenal couldn’t quite find a way through before the end of the second half.

Given their recent record against other top-six teams, Arsenal will probably be happy to leave Stamford Bridge with a point and a clean sheet. The Gunners looked sharp both in attack and defense, and a point from one of their London rivals will give them something to build on. Next up on the schedule are Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday and West Brom on Monday, both at the Emirates.