Arsenal salvage a point at Chelsea: Martinelli shines, Mustafi gets savaged and Lampard is livid
Highlights and reactions from a dramatic London derby at Stamford Bridge
Premier League: Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2
How Chelsea didn’t take maximum points against Arsenal last night is a mystery that left Frank Lampard an angry and bewildered Blues manager.
His side dominated their visitors and took the lead from the penalty spot on 26 minutes after David Luiz had hauled down Tammy Abraham as he closed in on an open goal.
Luiz was given his marching orders and after he trudged off the pitch, Chelsea midfielder Jorginho stroked the spot kick past Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Cynical as Luiz’s foul was, he was left with little choice after Shkodran Mustafi’s shocking back-pass had gifted the ball to Abraham.
German centre-half Mustafi has built up an impressive back-catalogue of blunders in his four seasons at Arsenal but last night’s gaffe was surely the one that will close the book on his catastrophic career at the Emirates.
Yet despite the disaster, Arsenal showed what head coach Mikel Arteta described as “togetherness and leadership” to fight back against their London rivals.
Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli was the beating heart of the Gunners, the 18-year-old belying his youth to score a brilliant length-of-the-field goal on 63 minutes after a slip by N’Golo Kante.
There were more defensive blunders to come, first from Arsenal, who allowed Cesar Azpilicueta to restore Chelsea’s lead on 84 minutes with a tame effort, and then from the hosts, who gave Hector Bellerin the freedom of Stamford Bridge.
The Spaniard’s speculative effort from the edge of the penalty area three minutes from time crept into the far post to give Arsenal a point that few of their fans had expected when Luiz was sent off an hour earlier.
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
“To do that against this kind of opponent in this stadium, I really value,” said Arsenal boss Arteta, who has instilled a fighting spirit into his players in the last month if nothing else.
“The way they have done it, with the spirit they have done it, that’s great. I wasn’t here a few weeks ago but what I am demanding every day they are trying their best to do it. The togetherness and leadership they showed today, this is what I wanted to see.”
All Arteta has to do now is get the Gunners winning, for despite the joy at rescuing a point, the fact remains that Arsenal lie tenth in the table, only seven points above the relegation zone.
Chelsea are six places and ten points superior to their London rivals, but it was another inconsistent performance from the Blues that left Lampard fuming.
“We could have had three or four goals today, having shots, crosses and lots of ‘ooh’ moments,” said Lampard, who also saw striker Abraham hobble off at the end of the game after colliding with an advertising hoarding.
“You have to have the killer instinct. We’ve not got that at the moment… Then we didn’t defend and gifted them two goals.
“That’s people not doing their jobs which they should know. Moments like that lose you points at this level.”
Shkodran Mustafi gets savaged
BT Sport pundit Martin Keown
“I sense there’s a fear in this player, you can smell it. When he gets the ball, when he defends, and he thinks he’s going to make a mistake - and then he makes it.”
Joe Miles, The Sun
“Mikel Arteta needs to sell him now or he will make the same mistakes until his deal expires in 2021.”
TV presenter Piers Morgan
“Sub him now, and transfer him immediately. I’ll drive him to any UK airport.”
BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand
“I feel sorry for Arteta because he has to keep picking Mustafi. I don’t ever see a good performance in him, he makes mistake after mistake, there’s nothing in his performance that gives me any comfort or confidence.”
Today’s back pages
Premier League results and fixtures
Last night’s results
- Aston Villa 2 Watford 1
- AFC Bournemouth 3 Brighton & Hove Albion 1
- Crystal Palace 0 Southampton 2
- Everton 2 Newcastle United 2
- Sheffield United 0 Manchester City 1
- Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2
- Leicester City vs. West Ham United (7.30pm, live on BT Sport 2)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Norwich City (7.30pm)
- Manchester United vs. Burnley (8.15pm, live on BT Sport 1)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on BT Sport 1)