On Tuesday night, Arsenal travelled to Stamford Bridge needing a victory over Chelsea to keep their top-four hopes alive. Here are five things we learned from the 2-2 draw.
Well, Arsenal shot themselves in the foot, twice, and still managed to snatch a draw from their treacherous trip to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea dominated the early proceedings, opened the goalscoring after David Luiz’s foul and sending off, and looked on their way to a serene victory. And then the Gunners did what they so rarely have done before: they fought. They battled, scrapped, worked relentlessly, and stole a point thanks to two goals from two shots.
Here are five things we learned from the 2-2 draw.
5. What heart; what character
As Granit Xhaka said in his post-match interview with BT Sport, in this scrappy 2-2 draw with a man and goal disadvantage, he and his Arsenal teammates showed what so many people have doubted they possess: heart and character.
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Man for man, Arsenal were tireless. Xhaka throwing his head into challenges at centre-back, Bukayo Saka throttling Callum Hudson-Odoi after a tricky opening 20 minutes, Hector Bellerin scoring upon his return from injury after an excellently hard-working performance at right-back, Lucas Torreira running around like his hair was on fire in midfield.
There was little quality, admittedly. Arsenal only had two shots and created very little bar the two goals, which, in and of themselves, came from nothing. They did not play attractive football, this was not a neat and tidy performance. It was scrappy, it was ugly, it was dirty, and it was nothing short of brilliant.