Mikel Arteta hailed Arsenal’s fight after they twice recovered from a goal down to snatch a point against Chelsea, whose failure to take advantage of David Luiz’s early red card infuriated Frank Lampard.
A stunning goal from Gabriel Martinelli and a late equaliser by Héctor Bellerín were enough for Arsenal to earn a 2-2 draw on a wild night at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal played with 10 men for more than an hour after David Luiz was sent off against his former side and Chelsea’s difficulties increased when Tammy Abraham suffered an ankle injury in the build-up to Bellerín’s goal.
Chelsea remain fourth but Manchester United will go three points behind them if they beat Burnley on Wednesday. Lampard was furious. Jorginho put Chelsea in front with a penalty after an error from Shkodran Mustafi led to David Luiz fouling Abraham but Arteta was delighted with Arsenal’s response to adversity. “The spirit, character, fight and leadership was there,” Arsenal’s manager said. “When someone makes a mistake and someone has to take a red card for him it can happen. What has to happen is you have to stand up for him and every single player did that. If you put in everything, anything can happen.”
Arteta, who has made a decent start since his appointment by Arsenal last month, defended David Luiz. “It was a very special game for him and he was disappointed to get sent off,” he said. “But he’s proud of his teammates. We have to accept the decision.”
Lampard was unsure about the severity of Abraham’s ankle injury and he insisted he has enough cover for Chelsea’s leading goalscorer. However he was unhappy with Chelsea’s inability to hold on after César Azpilicueta had restored their lead in the 84th minute, with attention falling on Kepa Arrizabalaga’s inability to keep out Bellerín’s tame shot.
“I know there’s a focus on him at the minute, that’s top-line football,” Chelsea’s manager said. “With his feet a couple of times, he took too long, nearly gave it away and that can change the momentum of a game.
“People will look at you, that’s when you stand up and show the mettle you’ve got. He’s not the only one. We’re in fourth position, that’s seen as pretty good but we know there should be another 10 points on the board.”
Martinelli’s goal stemmed from a Chelsea corner. “We know how we set up on the edge of the box when we have a corner,” Lampard said. “And then if players do differently on the pitch that is just not good enough. If they can’t do it right then someone else will have to do it right.”
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