Mikel Arteta pleased with Arsenal’s ‘spirit, character and fight’ after last-gasp draw at Chelsea

Mikel Arteta was pleased with Arsenal’s ‘spirit, character and fight’ after he watched them twice battle back from behind to earn a point at Chelsea.

Gunners skipper Hector Bellerin equalised three minutes after opposing captain Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had claimed a victory for Chelsea with a neat late finish.

Azpilicueta turned home Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross with six minutes to play to spark delirium in Stamford Bridge as Frank Lampard’s men took a 2-1 lead.

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Jorginho coolly converted his second penalty in three matches after David Luiz was sent off for hauling down Tammy Abraham just when the Chelsea striker was about to tap into an empty net.

Gabriel Martinelli pounced on a rare N’Golo Kante error to drag Arsenal level after the break however, and for large swathes this match appeared destined for a 1-1 draw despite Arsenal playing with 10 men since the 26th minute.


Ratings: Chelsea vs Arsenal





1/22 Kepa Arrizabalaga 4

2/22 Cesar Azpilicueta 7

3/22 Antonio Rudiger 6

4/22 Andreas Christensen 5

5/22 Emerson Palmieri 5

6/22 N’Golo Kante 5

7/22 Mateo Kovacic 5

8/22 Jorginho 7

9/22 Callum Hudson-Odoi 6

10/22 Willian 5

11/22 Tammy Abraham 6

12/22 Bernd Leno 6

13/22 Hector Bellerin 6

14/22 Shkodran Mustafi 4

15/22 David Luiz 3

16/22 Bukayo Saka 6

17/22 Granit Xhaka 6

18/22 Lucas Torreira 6

19/22 Mesut Ozil 5

20/22 Nicolas Pepe 5

21/22 Alexandre Lacazette 6

22/22 Gabriel Martinelli 8

1/22 Kepa Arrizabalaga 4

2/22 Cesar Azpilicueta 7

3/22 Antonio Rudiger 6

4/22 Andreas Christensen 5

5/22 Emerson Palmieri 5

6/22 N’Golo Kante 5

7/22 Mateo Kovacic 5

8/22 Jorginho 7

9/22 Callum Hudson-Odoi 6

10/22 Willian 5

11/22 Tammy Abraham 6

12/22 Bernd Leno 6

13/22 Hector Bellerin 6

14/22 Shkodran Mustafi 4

15/22 David Luiz 3

16/22 Bukayo Saka 6

17/22 Granit Xhaka 6

18/22 Lucas Torreira 6

19/22 Mesut Ozil 5

20/22 Nicolas Pepe 5

21/22 Alexandre Lacazette 6

22/22 Gabriel Martinelli 8

It could well have been defeat for the visitors before a late rally, something manager Arteta was pleased to see.

“The spirit, character, fight and leadership was there,” he said afterwards. “When someone makes a mistake and someone has to take a red card for him it can happen. 

“What has to happen is you have to stand up for him and every single player did that. If you put in everything, anything can happen.”

Granit Xhaka, who was forced into the centre of defence after Luiz’s dismissal, felt the players showed their character.

“We played very well – it is always difficult with one man less but it was great team spirit,” he added. “A lot of people talked about us before, saying we were not ready.

“After this game, nobody will speak about us – we showed a lot of character.”

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