Chelsea’s lack of killer instinct costs them again vs 10-man Arsenal

Chelsea vs Arsenal

Tuesday’s late Premier League kick-off saw two English top-flight heavyweights going head-to-head as Chelsea played host to Arsenal.

Both club’s bosses are in the early years of their managerial careers with Mikel Arteta possessing less than three months of experience in his new role.

But despite their inexperience, both Frank Lampard and Arteta will likely be sharing a common goal this season, a top-four finish.

At the moment, said target looks much more realistic for the Blues as they began the game week 4th in the PL, five points clear of 5th place.

As for the Gunners, they kicked off at Stamford Bridge 10 points adrift of Chelsea.

Both sides would head into this tie in fairly average form. Chelsea lost their previous outing 1-0 vs Newcastle whilst Arsenal had amassed just one league victory in their last five outings.

The teams

Chelsea and Arsenal put out pretty standard starting elevens.

Reece James, who picked up an injury vs Newcastle, was the most noticeable absentee for the Blues while Gabriel Martinelli once again started for the Gunners with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still suspended.

David Luiz sees red

The first half-chance of the evening fell to Mateo Kovacic but the Croatian’s shot was blocked by Shkodran Mustafi.

Andreas Christensen then had a decent chance to put Chelsea into the lead from a corner but the central defender was unable to direct his header goalward.

The Blues’ dominance would continue in the opening 15 minutes as Tammy Abraham directed a header from point-blank range straight at Bernd Leno, an effort which the England international really should have scored.

The evening’s action then heated up as former Chelsea star David Luiz was shown a red card after chopping down Tammy Abraham who was past Leno and facing an empty net.

Jorginho then stepped up to convert the penalty earned from the Brazilian’s foul.

Luiz’s red and Chelsea’s opener then promoted the home crowd to ironically sing, ‘David Luiz, he’s one of our own’.

Rather surprisingly, Arsenal began to play better once they went a man down.

But despite their late pressure, the North London outfit went in at half-time with that one-goal deficit still needing to be overturned.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 21: Referee Stuart Attwell Awards David Luiz of Arsenal a red card during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge on January 21, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)

Arsenal come from behind twice

The second 45 began at a lower tempo with Chelsea struggling to take advantage of their extra man.

Arteta then made the first change of the day as Matteo Guendouzi came on in place of a rather lackluster Mesut Ozil.

The hour mark passed with Arsenal failing to muster up a single effort on Chelsea’s goal.

However, Chelsea once again looked to be lacking that killer instinct and there was a feeling Arteta’s side could indeed nick something from the tie.

Arsenal’s big chance then came in the 63rd minute.

Martinelli broke at pace from a Chelsea corner, gliding pass N’Golo Kante, who slipped over, before slotting the ball past Kepa to draw the Gunners level.

Lampard responded by bringing on Ross Barkley in place of Kovacic and then Mason Mount for Kante shortly after.

Chelsea’s final throw of the dice saw Michy Batshuayi replace Willian.

And with Arsenal looking content to play for the point, after taking off Nicolas Pepe for Rob Holding, Chelsea veteran Cezar Azpilicueta stabbed home from a Callum Hudson-Odoi cross to restore his side’s lead.

However, Chelsea’s lead lasted for mere moments with Hector Bellerin drawing things level in the 87th minute.

The tie eventually drew to a close at 2-2.

Worrying signs for Chelsea

For Arsenal, the game should largely be seen as a positive, especially given the fighting spirit they showed to come from behind twice with 10 men.

But for Chelsea, the game once again showcased the Blues’ lack of killer instinct and inability to kill off games.

Lampard spoke about his side needing to be more clinical and the need for that killer instinct in front of goal after their 1-0 loss to Newcastle at the weekend.

Against Arsenal though, Chelsea were once again lacking in attack and while Arsenal should be praised for coming from behind twice, the game should have already been over before Martinelli’s equaliser.

Manchester United now have the chance to close the gap on the Blues to just three points, should they pick up a win vs Burnley.

And unless Chelsea solve their attacking issues soon, they could easily dip out of the top four.

See also: Leicester vs West Ham betting tips: Premier League match preview & predictions

Tottenham vs Norwich betting tips: Premier League match preview & predictions

Manchester United vs Burnley betting tips: Premier League match preview & predictions


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