Under the lights at the bridge another derby story was written! Two of the youngest managers went head to head and that is not the only thing they have in common, both teams are going through a transition period.
Lampard opted for 4-3-3 formation while Arteta went for the 4-2-3-1 with Lacazette as the main striker with Pepe and Martinelli in the wings. The first 15 minutes saw Chelsea dominate and creating a few chances with Arsenal still finding a foot in the game! In the 28th minute a howler at the back of Arsenal’s defense by Mustafi led Tammy Abraham through leading to a dreadful decision by David Luiz who fouled him in the box leading to a penalty and a red card! Jorginho converted at the spot and things seemed to go from bad to worse for Arsenal as they had to play with 10 men so early in the game.
In the second half Chelsea had opportunities to kill off the game but failed to do so leading to a goal by a resilient Arsenal team showing new attitude under Arteta. Arsenal break from one end of the pitch saw Kante have a slip at the center circle leading to Martinelli sprinting past him and having a cool finish past Kepa! Martinelli who has now reached double figures in all competitions seemed to continue to flourish under Arteta. Azpilicueta’s goal in the 83rd from Hudson-Odoi’s cross seemed to have won the game but then Bellerin cut in from the right on his weaker left foot and struck a soft one past Arrizabalaga in the 87th minute!! It was all square until the final whistle!
For Frank Lampard and Chelsea it seemed a step backward with their performances in the decline in recent games. This result would feel like a loss where they couldn’t take their chances where Arsenal had two shots on target leading to two goals!
For Mikel Arteta and Arsenal things seem to get better in terms of attitude, performance and the willingness to fight. Some may argue that if it was the Arsenal of the past they might have capitulated after the red card and conceding early in the game. But now its a new era under Arteta! Arsenal though remain 10 points off a Champions League spot and, despite this battling performance, they have won just one of their last eight Premier League games. They also face the prospect of finishing outside the top six for the first time since 1994-95.