"Arsenal's objectives have changed" - Three things learnt from Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal
Chelsea and Arsenal met at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon in a clash which will have left fans licking their lips at the prospect, but neither side could find a way through and ended the game sharing a point apiece.
Arsenal thought they had taken the lead when Shkodran Mustafi’s header was ruled out for offside, whilst David Luiz’s late sending off provided another twist. Their draw instead gave a boost to challengers like Manchester City and United, both of whom enjoyed a rout this weekend.
These are three things that The Boot Room learnt from the game…
David Luiz’s stupidity could cost Chelsea dearly
After a commanding display in which David Luiz appeared to have shown just how far he has come over the past 12 months, he returned to his old traits with a dangerous late challenge on Sead Kolasinac in a needless and foolish tackle on the halfway line in the closing moments.
Luiz’s sending off will see him miss the fixture against Manchester City, just when the Citizens have shown their attacking prowess. Now, Antonio Conte will have to opt for Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen in his place at the time when he most needed the experience of Luiz.
Arsenal’s objectives have changed
Their first clean sheet at Stamford Bridge since 2005, it was clear that Arsenal’s aim for the game was different this time. With Alexis Sanchez on the bench and players like Aaron Ramsey praising the result post-match, some fans could question whether their side were playing for a draw on Sunday.
Arsenal were well organised and could even have emerged with a win had Shkodran Mustafi been aware of the offside rule, but the Gunners seemed fairly content with merely a point. It was a valuable one, but not all will be pleased to see such a conservative approach.
Eden Hazard’s return can’t come soon enough
Chelsea knew that Arsenal were there for the taking but lacked a cutting edge to find a way through. The last time the two sides met at Stamford Bridge, Hazard ran through the Arsenal side and scored a sensational goal but this time his introduction in the second half was too little too late.
That the front three were the three players taken off by Antonio Conte said a lot about the frustration of the afternoon, with not enough quality in the final third to create something out of nothing and beat Petr Cech.