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19th of January 2018

Nigeria News



As It Happened: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea

Good evening and welcome to Nigerianeye's live text coverage of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

The home side go into their first game of 2018 sitting six points off the Champions League places and with only two wins from their last seven Premier League outings.

Chelsea, meanwhile, would move back up to second with victory tonight and have taken 13 points from the last 15 on offer in the top flight, including clean sheets in their last four games.

Make sure you don't miss a moment of the action courtesy of our minute-by-minute updates below.

OFFICIAL LINE-UPS

ARSENAL: Cech; Chambers, Mustafi, Holding; Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere; Maitland-Niles; Ozil, Lacazette, SanchezARSENAL SUBS: Ospina, Mertesacker, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck

CHELSEA: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard; MorataCHELSEA SUBS: Caballero, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Willian, Pedro, Batshuayi

Arsenal just keep serving up these thrillers in these big games at the moment and, while they aren't getting as many points from them as they might like, it is certainly good for the neutral! Thanks for joining our live coverage of the match!

This one was a thrilling, end-to-end contest from the first whistle until the last, with Hector Bellerin eventually rescuing a point in stoppage time after Marcos Alonso had seemingly wrapped up the win for chelsea. Incredible match.

90+4 min FULL TIME: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea

90+3 min OFF THE BAR! My word, this is incredible! Seconds after losing their lead, Chelsea should really be back in front! A ball over the top releases Morata, but the Spaniard's finish is once again really weak - the third one on one he has missed tonight. The ball drops at the feet of Zappacosta and he smashes a first time effort towards goal, but it crashes off the bar. Incredible!

90+2 min This match just keeps on giving! More late drama here as Bellerin surely earns his side a point with a brilliant finish, steering the ball into the far corner on the half-volley after it had dropped to him.

90+2 min GOAL! Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea (Hector Bellerin)

90+1 min There will be four minutes of added time at the end of this match. 89 min YELLOW CARD! Courtois picks up a late yellow card for time-wasting.

89 min Brilliant defending from Cahill as he throws himself in the way of a magnificent volley from Mustafi on the edge of the box.

84 min GOAL! Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (Marcos Alonso)

82 min CHELSEA SUB: Interesting final change for Chelsea here as Hazard goes off to be replaced by Willian.

80 min ARSENAL SUB: Change for Arsenal here as Danny Welbeck replaces Lacazette.

79 min Not a stat that Wenger will be happy to hear, particular considering the nature of the last two...

77 min There have been some brilliant individual performances so far tonight on both sides. Hazard has been close to his sparkling best, while the likes of Ozil and Maitland-Niles have stood out for Arsenal. Not to mention both goalkeepers, of course, who have probably been the two best players on the park.

75 min YELLOW CARD! Mesut Ozil picked up a yellow card in the protests after that penalty. 73 min CLOSE! Chelsea come close again here as Bakayoko tees up Kante, whose striker is half-blocked and spins just wide of the post.

71 min CHELSEA SUB: Another change for the visitors as Danny Drinkwater replaces Fabregas, who gets a good reception at his former ground.

70 min CHANCE! Another big chance for Morata to open his tally for the evening! Fabregas slides the ball through for the striker, who shows good strength to beat Chambers to the ball and shrug him off. The defender just about does enough, though, with Morata clipping his finish off target. 69 min I said in the build-up to this match that this could be a low-scoring affair, but it could have been something like 4-4 tonight quite easily. It has been a pulsating contest between two teams really going for this one. 67 min Arsene Wenger wasn't happy with the penalty his side conceded against West Brom, and he isn't happy again here. In fairness to the Arsenal boss, he has a point here.

Hazard sees an initial cross blocked, but as Bellerin swings at the loose ball Hazard just beats him to it. The Belgian goes down theatrically despite there not being a huge amount of contact, but Anthony Taylor points to the spot.

Hazard steps up himself and fires his spot kick straight down the middle.

67 min GOAL! Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea (Eden Hazard, penalty)

66 min PENALTY TO CHELSEA!

65 min CHANCE! Arsenal pour forward again here as Sanchez is released down the right channel before finding Lacazette, but the Frenchman's strike from a difficult angle is tipped wide by Courtois.

63 min finally Arsenal have the breakthrough! It has been coming, but it was always going to take something pretty thunderous to beat Courtois this evening.

Holding's pass takes a nick off Morata on the way through which only takes it into the path of Wilshere, who lashes an unstoppable effort past Courtois at his near post.

63 min GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (Jack Wilshere)

62 min CHANCE! More lovely football from Arsenal as Ozil and Lacazette exchanges passes down the left channel, but the German's final ball across to Sanchez is cut out! Ozil could have gone for goal himself, but he was unselfish.

60 min Ozil has been superb tonight - Arsenal really will miss him if and when he goes. He slides a pass in to Bellerin this time, but a Chelsea defender just gets a toe to it.

58 min Alonso hoists a testing cross into the middle which dips into a dangerous area, but once again Cech does well to claw it away. 58 min Here is that double save from Cech early in this second half...

56 min CHELSEA SUB: Chelsea make their first change of the evening as Moses is replaced by Davide Zappacosta.

55 min Another controversial moment in this action-packed match! Wilshere goes down rather theatrically just outside the area and wants a free kick, but the referee lets play continue rather than awarding either a free kick or showing Wilshere a second yellow for diving. 53 min YELLOW CARD! Holding does go into the book now for a late foul on Fabregas. 53 min At the other end Chelsea come forward following an inadvertent interception by the referee. It comes to Hazard at the back post, but he doesn't connect well with his volley and Alonso fouls Cech when going for the bouncing ball.

52 min CHANCE! Another huge chance for Arsenal, but once again it is Courtois to the rescue! It is lovely football, mixed in with a bit of luck as the ball bounces to Lacazette off Cahill, but the striker is thwarted from point-blank range.

51 min At the other end Maitland-Niles beats Moses all ends up before delivering a cross to the back post, but it is just a couple of inches too high for Sanchez.

50 min CHANCE! The resulting corner is played short and then into the feet of Bakayoko, but he curls his effort well over.

50 min CHANCES! This is turning into a goalkeeping masterclass between these two former teammates! This time it is Cech in the spotlight as Fabregas slide the ball through for Hazard, whose low drive is well saved by the feet of the Arsenal keeper. Chelsea come right back at the hosts, though, and Alonso steers a header towards the bottom corner which Cech does well to turn around the post.

48 min Holding is very fortunate to avoid a yellow card here as he trips Morata after being turned by the Spaniard. It was cynical, but surprisingly Anthony Taylor lets it go without further punishment.

46 min KICKOFF: Chelsea get us back underway for this second half.

Both sides have seen glorious chances wasted by some of their best players in an open and attacking contest, and if the same happens in the second half then it is difficult to see this one ending 0-0.

45+1 min HALF TIME: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

45+1 min Just the one minute of added time at the end of this first half.

45 min CHANCE! Chance for Fabregas to give Chelsea the lead just before half time. It is brilliant for Hazard as he ducks inside from the left before exquisitely laying the ball off for Fabregas, but he fires it off target from the edge of the area. 43 min YELLOW CARD! Wilshere picked up a yellow for a challenge on Fabregas earlier, and he has returned the favour now. This one is a harsh one, though, as he got the ball. 41 min It is Arsenal ending this half on top at the moment. Again Ozil is left in space and is allowed to turn on the ball, but his attempted through-pass to Sanchez is just about cut out.

39 min SAVE! Brilliant stop from Courtois again as he denies Ozil! The German drilled an effort towards the bottom corner from 25 yards and it looked destined to end up in the back of the net, but Courtois's fingertips turned it around the post. 38 min SHOT! Alonso does indeed go for goal, but he curls it over the wall and over the crossbar too. Perhaps that was too close is anything. 37 min Big chance for Chelsea here as Xhaka bundles into Bakayoko from behind right on the edge of the box. Alonso is standing over it...

35 min The balance between Arsenal defence and attack could be the difference tonight. They have looked shaky at the back - Chambers in particular - but going forward Ozil and Sanchez are causing real problems. This one is very finely poised. 33 min Just over 10 minutes remaining until half time in this one now, and somehow it is still goalless. Both teams have squandered great chances to break the deadlock, and it is a lot more open than many might have expected. 31 min YELLOW CARD! Wilshere can have no complaints about being the first name in the book here having gone into a crunching and late challenge on Fabregas.

29 min Chambers gifts possession back to Chelsea inside his own half and immediately the Blues get the ball to Hazard. The Belgian cuts back onto his right foot and goes for goal, but there are no shortage of Arsenal players throwing themselves in the say of it. Chambers has not had the best of games so far tonight. 27 min CHANCE! Just as I say that Chelsea have another clear chance as the ball is played into Bakayoko, who hammers a powerful effort towards goal. It is high and close to Cech, though, which allows him to stick a strong hand up and make a good save.

27 min Arsene Wenger will be pleased with the opening half an hour or so to this match, despite their missed chances. Chelsea have squandered a golden opportunity of their own, but Arsenal could and should be ahead here.

25 min Chelsea win a corner which Bakayoko wins in the air, but he can never get over the ball and nods it well over the crossbar.

23 min CHANCE! Courtois is keeping his side in this game now! The ball is fed into the feet of Lacazette, who turns sharply inside the box and quickly gets a shot away which Courtois gets down really well to save.

21 min The replay of the penalty claim has just been shown, and it looks as though Maitland-Niles tripped over his own leg. There may have been the slightest touch off Moses, but the Chelsea player did nothing to do that. It is a good decision from the referee as in real time it looked like it could have been a spot kick.

19 min Those are two huge chances in quick succession at both ends of the field - we have a game on our hands people!

17 min OFF THE POST! Oh my word, how has this not gone in?! Arsenal have a penalty shout for a trip on Maitland-Niles turned down, but they are immediately back onto it. Some neat interchange in the box sees Sanchez exchange passes with a teammate in the box before getting his shot away, but Courtois gets the slightest touch to the ball to divert it onto the inside of the post. The ball then trickles across the line before hitting the other post, and a grateful Courtois drops on it before it can be tapped in. It doesn't get much closer!

15 min CHANCE! Almost a chance for Chelsea again as Moses plays a low ball into the box which somehow makes it all the way through to Cech. Morata had the chance to poke it past the keeper from close range, but he was just short of connecting with it.

14 min CHANCE! Oh what a chance this is, but Morata makes a huge mess of it! A long ball over the defence sees Chambers leave it for his own keeper, but Cech is never coming for it so it is poor defending. Morata races through on goal and only has the keeper to beat, but his finish is dreadful as he scuffs one well wide. 13 min This game is beginning to open up a little now! After a fairly tentative start there have been a few encouraging attacks at both ends in recent minutes. 11 min Chelsea respond with an almost-chance of their own as Hazard breaks into the box down the left channel, but his eventual shot is well blocked before it can trouble Cech. 10 min Almost a chance for Arsenal as Ozil works the ball out to Sanchez before darting into the box, but the Chilean's delivery is too far beyond his teammate.

9 min It looks as though Arsenal are playing something similar to Chelsea's 3-5-2 system in these opening exchanges, matching the visitors' shape with Sanchez up front and Ozil a little deeper.

7 min SHOT! Just like against West Brom, Sanchez's free kick takes a deflection off the wall, but this time it loops wide of the target. Courtois was left stranded by that one!

6 min Good early chance for Arsenal to test Courtois here as Kante clatters into Lacazette in a dangerous position. Free kick to the hosts, with Sanchez over it... 4 min Arsenal get their foot on the ball for the first time tonight, which should help them to just settle into the game. This is a huge match for them tonight.

2 min Quick start from Chelsea to this game as they win a free kick and take it while Arsenal are sleeping. The Gunners escape without suffering any serious damage, but they have made a slow start to this one.

1 min KICKOFF: Here we go, then! Arsenal get us underway at the Emirates!

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