Big-match focus: Chelsea v Arsenal

Posted September 18, 2017

David Luiz apologizing after his bad tackle on Kolasinac.

A Chelsea sending off, it seems, has become more regular than a Crystal Palace goal. Fabregas had been unable to track the runners from the Arsenal midfield and the switch benefitted Chelsea's defensive structure. This excellent performance at Chelsea without them made you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Tiemoue Bakayoko - 7, came on and controlled the game from the start, he completed every pass and take on that he attempted during his 45 minutes on the pitch - the only player to do so.

Conte said he would address the need to maintain discipline again with his players. "For sure, it's odd". We work to improve tactical and physical situations. Also, you have to be more lucky in the future.

The red card forced Conte to take off striker Alvaro Morata, but he's insisting that Alexis should have been penalised for what he did to make Luiz lose possession beforehand.

Wenger has since detailed the extent of Welbeck's injury and said that it was "not an easy one", though remains unsure about the severity of the injury.

Chelsea have a fairly thin squad defensively and can not afford to lose players on red cards.

This game had a lot of weight to it as Arsenal have struggled so far this season, and lost heavily to Liverpool 4-0 two weeks ago. Luiz's red card will only rekindle these concerns.

"We started the game very well in the first 20 minutes, and then we suffered a bit in the middle of the first half".

Yet, against a fierce rival who usually get the better of them, Arsene Wenger's men put in a solid performance to hold out for a point, and they may rightly feel that they could have gotten more. Sanchez was match fit but left on the bench by Wenger. Victory under those circumstances highlighted Conte's aptitude to win in tough conditions, but it is not a viable long-term strategy for success in the league.

City were narrowly beaten at the Bridge last season, a goal from Sergio Aguero not enough as Eden Hazard scored a brace to give the eventual champions a 2-1 win.