London, Thursday @PeopleSports11
It was one of those games. Marcos Alonso looked to have won it for Chelsea, then made the mistake that gave Arsenal their injury-time equaliser. Hector Bellerin gave away the penalty that brought Chelsea back into the game, then earned Arsenal a point with almost his last kick.
And Jack Wilshere scored his first Premier League goal since May 24, 2015, a momentous occasion Arsenal celebrated by holding that lead for all of four minutes. In other words, a mess.
An exhilarating, entertaining, lovely mess, but a mess nonetheless for two teams angling to secure places in next season’s Champions League. The result probably suited Chelsea more as they are higher up the table and were away from home, but there were still grounds for concern. When a striker has three one-on-one chances and misses all of them, a manager should worry.
Alvaro Morata was supposed to replace the intimidating presence of Diego Costa. On Wednesday night, he appeared to be channelling the spirit of Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge. And not in a good way.
We have come to expect games like this against the elite at the Emirates Stadium this season. Losing to Manchester United, drawing with Liverpool, it was very much the same. Knockabout; no structure.
Manchester City can concede goals, we know that, but they have a clearly defined game plan. Arsenal have a go, then the other lot have a go. It finished 2-2, it could have been 5-5. Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech made excellent saves.
Morata and Alexandre Lacazette missed plenty. Even after Bellerin had made it level, Davide Zappacosta had time to hit the bar. It is thrilling, but will it get Arsenal back in the Champions League next season? Probably not via domestic qualification.
If Tottenham beat West Ham last night, Arsenal will be four points and at least 10 goals adrift of them in sixth place, and they are already five points off Liverpool in fourth. This was great fun for the neutrals, but it lacked the precision required to nail down Arsenal’s future.
They may have to take the Europa League route pioneered by Jose Mourinho at Manchester United last season. Watch UEFA get the vapours if England get five clubs into the Champions League, back to back. That’s for another day, though. For now, what a game.
Four goals in the last 27 minutes and every one changed the balance of power. Arsenal led, Chelsea equalised. Chelsea led, Arsenal equalised. Both sides will feel as if they won, and lost. -DAILYMAIL