Aaron Ramsey urges Arsenal to build on draw at Chelsea

Gunners battle back to earn vital point at Stamford Bridge

Aaron Ramsey Cesc Fabregas Chelsea Arsenal
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey battles with Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas
(Image credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

This London derby ended goalless but for the Gunners it was a gritty performance that earned them their first point at Stamford Bridge in six years.

Going into the game there had been a degree of trepidation on the part of Arsenal fans that they could be on the wrong end of another humiliating hammering. Their last away trip in the Premier League ended in a 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool, and recent visits to Chelsea have included a 6-0 drubbing.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

But it was an old-fashioned display from Arsenal, reminiscent of the late 1990s when they always showed courage and character on the road.

It was only the second time in 18 league matches that Arsenal kept a clean sheet at the Bridge, and not surprisingly Arsene Wenger was a happy man at the final whistle.

“It was about mentality and a response from our last away game,” said the Frenchman, who has been under mounting pressure since the start of the season. “It was an intense game. The battle was total… but we were focused and determined.”

Wenger claimed that Arsenal “could have won it”, and he was right in his assessment. Danny Welbeck and Alexandre Lacazette both missed sitters in the first-half - the French striker blazing over from five yards out - while Aaron Ramsey also rattled an upright before the break.

Chelsea also had opportunities, however, with only a fine save from Petr Cech denying Pedro a goal as the Blues failed to score in a competitive home match under Conte for the first time.

There were few chances in the second period although Arsenal thought they had taken the lead when Shkodran Mustafi headed in Granit Xhaka’s free-kick. The linesman correctly flagged for offside and that was as close as either side came to a goal in match that frustrated both sides as it wore on.

Chelsea’s David Luiz let his emotions get the better of him on 87 minutes when he chopped down Sead Kolasinac and the Brazilian defender was shown a straight red.

Although Antonio Conte had little to say about the red card, the Chelsea boss was more forthcoming on the match itself. “It was a good, open game with both teams trying to win,” he said. “Every game against Arsenal is always very tough, we knew very well what type of game to face. Both teams are great teams, it’s a good draw.”

Nonetheless it’s a result that leaves the Blues in third, three points adrift of the two Manchester clubs who both won at the weekend.

Arsenal remain stuck in the bottom half of the table but despite their lowly position of 12th, Aaron Ramsey believes they’re on the way up.

“We needed that after the Liverpool game,” said the Welshman. “We played in their half, higher up. We wanted to get a result and we got one. We are in a good place, we just have to build on it.”

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.