Chelsea ended Arsenal’s eight-match winning run as the two London rivals fought out an at times dull 0-0 draw at the Emirates last night. Chelsea took another step towards clinching the Premier League title after the goalless draw ensured they remain 10 points clear at the top of the league. Jose Mourhino’s side will clinch the title if they follow victory at revitalised Leicester City on Wednesday with three points against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge next Sunday. Arsenal’s fans vented their frustration with chants of “boring boring Chelsea” at the final whistle after the Gunners failed to make the most of their second-half chances.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will have been as frustrated as his team’s fans, having now gone 13 games without a win against his old adversary Mourinho. The Gunners had plenty of possession but could not find the inspiration to alter that grim statistic. Chelsea mounted a defensive rearguard action after the break with Per Mertesacker and substitute Danny Welbeck missing from the rare opportunities that fell Arsenal’s way. Chelsea would feel that they should have won one of the 3 penalty appeals but referee Oliver did not penalise Hector Bellerin when Oscar fell under his challenge and the same player was involved again when he was cleaned out by Arsenal keeper David Ospina as they challenged for Fabregas’s pass.The third claim came when Fabregas fell theatrically to the floor after coming into contact with Santi Cazorla. The only outcome, much to the delight of Arsenal’s fans, was their former idol being shown a yellow card for diving.
Amid this chaos, chances were at a premium but Ospina came to Arsenal’s rescue with a fine low save from Ramires after he ran on to Willian’s pass. Arsenal had a rare opening when Courtois could only half-clear a free-kick but the loose ball did not fall to the ideal person, giant defender Mertesacker screwing a finish well wide. Welbeck then scuffed a clear chance in front of goal in stoppage time as Arsenal did most of the second half pressing – and Chelsea held out to leave their supporters celebrating a vital point.