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5 talking points as Arsenal leave it late to draw with Chelsea

The Gunners took the lead through Wilshere but were pegged back when Bellerin was judged to have brought down Hazard


Hector Bellerin struck in stoppage time to secure a dramatic draw for Arsenal against Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger was left fuming after Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso staged what had appeared to be a stunning smash and grab raid for Chelsea.

Jack Wilshere had shot Arsenal to within 25 minutes of only their third victory in their last eight Premier League games.

The strike was the midfielder’s first goal in 43 Premier League matches, with his last against West Brom in May 2015.

But referee Anthony Taylor ruled Hector Bellerin had fouled Eden Hazard in the box just two minutes later. The Belgian then netted from the spot.

Wilshere celebrates giving Arsenal the lead in the second half (Image: AFP)

The game was levelled by Hazard from the spot (Image: REUTERS)

With six minutes left Alonso rifled in from close range from substitute Davide Zappacosta’s cross.

But with the clock ticking, Bellerin struck for the Gunners.

Here are five key talking points from the thriller at the Emirates.

Alonso thought he had won the game late on for Chelsea (Image: REUTERS)

Bellerin wheels away after scoring the winner (Image: Action Images via Reuters)
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1. Wilshere tremendous once again

He has been terrific in his bid to win friends and influence people, namely Wenger, the man who makes the decisions over a new deal.

The question marks over his ability to influence a high-intensity game, however, remained. Not any more. What tremendous character he showed here.

At times he was given the runaround by Cesc Fabregas who was offensively more astute and defensively more productive.

Wilshere’s 33rd-minute yellow card, for clattering into his Spanish counterpart, looked to be frustration.

Smashing in that 64th minute sizzler was a far better way of expressing it. Wilshere is back - and he means business.

Wilshere celebrates after putting Arsenal ahead (Image: AFP)

2. Sanchez has exploded into life again

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Fascinating how he has suddenly exploded into life again after a subdued four weeks or so.

There have been times over the past month or so when Sanchez has looked as though he has been marking time as he runs his contract down.

Now, with the window open, Chelsea and Manchester City in need of reinforcements and Liverpool about to lose Coutinho, Sanchez is on fire again.

Just to refocus a few minds that might have forgotten what he brings to the party.

He is in a win-win situation of course - a big club this month, big money if he leaves on a free in the summer.

But if you didn’t know better, you’d think someone was angling to get out of north London before February.

Sanchez was one of Arsenal's key men once again (Image: AFP)

3. Clean sheets could help Chelsea's charge

If any one can put together a run to get anywhere near City at the moment it is Chelsea.

They have had their injuries and (as always) their political problems, but right now they are back in the zone.

We all know what they can do going forward but at the back they are as solid as a rock.

They’d come into this match hunting their fifth successive league clean sheet.

They rode their luck here for sure when Alexis Sanchez’s shot was pushed onto one post, rolled across the goal line and hit the other.

But overall during their current run, they have made their own luck with their ferocious work rate.

Courtois was in fine form once again for Chelsea (Image: REUTERS)

4. Courtois kept Chelsea in the game

He might not have signed a new deal just yet, he might still have some who pine for the glory days of Petr Cech, but Courtois showed here just why he is so important to Chelsea. The brilliant Belgian kept them in it.

He was smartly down to his left to save one-handed when Alexandre Lacazette span his defender in the box and fired goalward.

Before that Courtois was simply outstanding to push Sanchez’s shot onto the post when the Chilean looked for all the world as if he had opened the scoring. And what a tremendous block that was, minutes after half time, from Lacazette.

He has no chance with that Wilshere strike but he'd been let down for that by his defence. Courtois is still the man for the big occasion for Chelsea.

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Cech has still got it (Image: Action Images via Reuters)

5. Cech matches the Chelsea keeper

Anything Courtois can do, Cech can do just as well.

The former Blue is always fired up against his former club and this occasion was no exception.

He made himself big in the 14th minute to worry Morata out of a one-on-one from which the Spaniard looked certain to score.

He saved again, a minute later, from Morata at his near post. He parried Bakayoko’s shot on the 28th minute.

He saved superbly with his legs from Hazard five minutes after the break.

From the follow-up Cech pushed away Marcos Alonso’s header. There is life in the old dog yet. His old club will bear witness to that.

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