David Luiz imperious before dismissal as Chelsea rue missed chances

September 17, 2017 2:57 PM

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David Luiz imperious before dismissal as Chelsea rue missed chances

Chelsea's winning run came to end after a 0-0 draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues flew out of the blocks and penned the visitors in their own half for the opening quarter of an hour but were unable to convert pressure into goals. Pedro was the biggest culprit, shooting tamely at Petr Cech when played through on goal.

Arsenal grew in confidence almost went ahead when Aaron Ramsey hit the post before Alexandre Lacazette fired the rebound over with the goal gaping.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Chelsea failing to make the most of their early territorial dominance. Arsenal then had a goal ruled out for offside and suddenly the game was end to end as both teams searched for a winner.

A fraught finale saw David Luiz shown a straight red card after a reckless rather than malicious challenge but Arsenal couldn't make the most of their numerical advantage.

Both halves began with excellent energy, slick passing combining with clever movement. Lessons had clearly been learned from the FA Cup final defeat against the same opponents and there was less space in midfield for Arsenal to exploit.

The failure to convert their chances and cash in when on top allowed Arsenal a foothold in the game which they used reasonably well. Some of the work in wide areas was not as good as it should been and their were lulls in play when the energy levels noticeably dropped.

6 -- It was surprising to see Tiemoue Bakayoko omitted from the starting lineup and Chelsea were a little brittle in midfield as a result. The 20 minute period when the alarmingly slow Cesc Fabregas played as a wide forward was also puzzling.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Thibaut Courtois, 7 -- Made a couple of sharp if routine saves. Commanded his area well and felt with any aerial threat.

DF Gary Cahill, 7 -- Had some difficult moments on the ball in the first half, largely due to a lack of movement ahead of him. Made a couple of important challenges after the break.

DF David Luiz, 8 -- Was Chelsea's best player until he saw red late on. Swept up brilliantly behind his fellow centre-backs and will be missed during his forthcoming three game ban.

DF Cesar Azpilicueta, 7 -- A couple of misjudgements in the opening 45 minutes made life difficult for himself but he was punished on either occasion. Almost made another assist for Alvaro Morata but the header went just wide.

MF Victor Moses, 6 -- More defensively sound than Marcos Alonso but equally ineffective going forward. Linked well enough rarely threatened.

MF N'Golo Kante, 7 -- A blur of perpetual motion, he broke the play up at will throughout the game. Even his passing was decent if uncomplicated as he sought to spring attacks.

MF Cesc Fabregas, 6 -- Started well but drifted out of the game with his influence waning. Not helped by playing three different positions during the match.

MF Marcos Alonso, 6 -- Was less effective than his usual dynamic self and didn't put one decent ball into the box all afternoon. Had his hands full with Hector Bellerin who got behind him on a few occasions.

FW Pedro Rodriguez, 6 -- Never stopped working but without anything coming off. Missed the best chance of the game and took a heavy touch on a separate occasion when it looked like the Arsenal defence had been opened up .

FW Willian, 6 -- A rare off day for Chelsea's most consistent player this season. Tried all his usual tricks but found himself closed down as his magic deserted him on this occasion.

FW Alvaro Morata, 7 -- His movement and touch was mesmerising at times and he caused problems for the Arsenal defence all afternoon. Was left frustrated by a lack of service and often resorted to trying to make something for himself.

MF Tiemoue Bakayoko, 8 -- Made a real impact after coming on, physically dominating the middle of the pitch.

FW Eden Hazard, N/R -- An excellent run and shot drew a good save out of Cech. Looks ready to start.

DF Andreas Christensen, N/R -- Came on after Luiz was dismissed and didn't put a foot wrong..

Phil is one of ESPN's Chelsea bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @PhilLythell.

Source: espnfc.com

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