Aaron Ramsey typifies Arsenal resolve in Stamford Bridge stalemate

Aaron Ramsey typifies Arsenal resolve in Stamford Bridge stalemate
From ESPN - September 17, 2017

Arsenal hit the post and had a goal disallowed as an encouraging performance saw them take a point at Chelsea in a 0-0 draw.

Going into Sunday's game with a record of five consecutive defeats at Chelsea, this was a much improved display from Arsenal and they could even have taken maximum points -- not a claim that can often be made when visiting another of the big sides.

Aaron Ramsey, so poor in the 4-0 defeat away to Liverpool at the end of August, hit the post after a mazy run through the Chelsea defence on 41 minutes. In the second half, Shkodran Mustafi had a headed goal ruled out for offside.

In the dying stages, Arsenal were given a sniff of a potential winner when David Luiz was shown a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Sead Kolasinac, but a point was good enough.


That 4-0 defeat away at Liverpool prior to the international break still looms large but Arsenal looked far more structured and disciplined than they often do on such visits and Antonio Conte's decision to bring on Tiemoue Bakayoko at half time was testament to the impact they were having.

A clean sheet was a big boost, so too the eradication of naivety or vulnerability in the centre of midfield.


Club record signing Alexandre Lacazette did not offer enough in the central striker's role before he was taken off and a win was arguably there for the taking.

Manager rating out of 10

8 --Arsene Wenger has a poor record away at the bigger teams in recent seasons, but this was a big improvement. Having seen off Chelsea in the FA Cup final and Community Shield, as well as taking three points at home against them last season, Wenger seems to have the edge over Conte.

Leaving Alexis Sanchez on the bench was a big call, so too resisting a change back to a back four, but Arsenal's performance backed up Wenger's decisions.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Petr Cech, 6 -- Looked alert against his former side, making a stop to deny Pedro on 21 minutes and plucking a firm effort from substitute Eden Hazard out of the air on 79 minutes. Did not put a foot wrong.

DF Laurent Koscielny, 6 -- His presence tends to transmit an element of calm and Koscielny organised the back three effectively at Stamford Bridge. He did enough to put Pedro off when through on goal on 21 minutes.


Continue reading at ESPN »