Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2
Wilshere 63 Hazard 67 (pen) Alonso 84 Bellerin 90 +2
Thibaut Courtois kept Chelsea in the game in the first half.
Arsenal were playing as if their season was at stake.
There were some early signs that this might be Arsenal’s night, despite their shaky-looking back three of Chambers-Mustafi-Holding.
In 14 minutes Morata, normally so clinical, missed a one-on-one chance.
Then a shot by Alexis Sanchez was tipped onto the post by Courtois and rebounded across the goal and hit to the opposite post without going in.
Seeing the replay of the Sanchez shot, I thought, “How the hell did he get a touch to that?”
By then it looked as if Wenger’s swarm-football, outnumbering and out-passing Chelsea all over the pitch, would be be vindicated in the second half, especially if Pedro and Willian didn’t come on.
Ozil, in particular, was very smooth and lively. While Bakayoko was having a nightmare, adding nothing to Chelsea’s fluency.
After Ozil fired a screamer two feet wide, Fabregas was harshly carded for a tackle on Wilshere, then wasted a chance Hazard set up for him.
HT SCORE: 0-0
Jamie Carragher said that Bakayoko was “all over the place.”
Conte had Drinkwater on the bench with Pedro and Willian, and it looked like he would have to use two of them sooner rather than later.
Having scored in the last 24 Premier League home games, Arsenal looked likely to score against a team who didn’t support their attacks with runs in wide areas. Even so, Petr Cech made saves from Hazard and Alonso.
At the other end, Courtois was still keeping Chelsea in the contest. Moses had looked sluggish against Maitland-Niles and was very reluctant to take him on, so he was replaced by Zappacosta.
In 63, Jack Wilshere broke the deadlock. After some sweet passing, the ball went off the toe of Morata to the midfielder, who fired a rising shot right out of the Bryan Robson playbook.
Then Lacazette hit the side-netting.
Then the tricky Hazard invited a lunge by Bellerin, whose boot just caught the Belgian.
It was a suicidally silly wave of the leg towards a ball Bellerin was never going to reach. And especially foolish against the cleverest footballer in London.
Hazard collapsed in the box and got up to bang the penalty home for 1-1.
It was exciting entertainment and the arrival of Drinkwater for Fabregas suggested that Conte thought Chelsea were in danger of dropping three points.
When Welbeck replaced Lacazette in 80, Sanchez went to centre forward.
Willian came on for Hazard and then Zappacosta beat Maitland-Niles on the outside and cut the ball back across the penalty area for the left-footed Marcos Alonso to clip a right foot shot that beat Cech comfortably.
Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2
After that Arsenal pinned Chelsea back and Bellerin smashed a fine half-volley in stoppage time to make it 2-2.
When the feeble Morata lobbed a shot straight at Cech, the rebound reached Zappacosta, whose shot hit the bar.
Morata missed three sitters and that was why Chelsea didn’t win.
If Diego Costa had played, Arsenal would have lost 4-2.
Overall, a highly entertaining London derby, strongly endorsed by Mrs Palmer: “One of the best games I’ve watched for a very long time.”
VERDICT: Both teams dropped two points.
Arsenal are now sixth in the Premier League table.
Chelsea are third, so Wilshere scoring that Bryan Robson goal led to a great result for Man United.
Will Spurs beat West Ham tonight?
Well, they won 3-2 at the London Stadium in November but that was two weeks before David Moyes was appointed as manager.