Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea: Five things we learned from another thriller at the Emirates

Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea: Five things we learned from another thriller at the Emirates

The Gunners kick-started their 2018 in style, as Hector Bellerin earned a late point in a classic London Derby

Matthew Sheppard

It seems that some things never change at the Emirates, as Arsenal entered 2018 with yet another see-saw 'top six' roller-coaster against Chelsea.

Goalless at half-time, but far from short of entertainment, the goals started to flood in midway through the second half. Jack Wilshere marked his six consecutive start in the league, with a net-breaking strike to hand the Gunners the lead with just under half-an-hour remaining.

Though, that lead lasted a couple of minutes, as Chelsea were swiftly awarded a penalty which Eden Hazard converted, after being brought down by Hector Bellerin.

The drama was far from over there, as with just over five minutes to go, Marcus Alonso sent the visitors in to a 2-1 lead, which looked set to hand Antonio Conte's team all three points.

But redemption was sweet for Bellerin, as deep into injury time he saved Arsenal, with a stunning finish to cap off a truly remarkable game of football. Here are five things that we can take away from Arsenal's performance in yet another mad game.

New Ozil contract has to be a priority 

Mesut Ozil was outstanding once more last night, as he dictated that midfield battle against the power of N'Golo Kante and 
Tiémoué Bakayoko

It once again leads to the question, of whether the German maestro will sign that new contract? Like with a couple of big names in that Arsenal squad, Ozil could be allowed to leave for nothing come the summer, if this situation is not resolved, and as each week passes, the more the Arsenal fans begin to lose faith.

It seems nailed on that Alexis Sanchez will most definitely not be signing a new deal at the club, leaving the door open for him to make his desired move to Manchester City. Though, it's evident that Ozil enjoys life at Arsenal, and his attitude this season so far, has been absolutely faultless. 

If Arsenal can manage to get a new deal over the line for Ozil, then it would be their most significant piece of business for many years to come.

Defence is still all over the place

Well it was another evening where every Arsenal fan had their hearts in their mouths whenever the opposing side came forward. Like with Liverpool, Chelsea were fantastic on the counter-attack, and it was another messy evening for that backline.

And the signs were for all to see within the opening few minutes, as one long ball from Victor Moses, literally, somehow carved the whole defence open. Though, the finish from Alvaro Morata was just as poor.

There just seems to be a mistake at any moment with that backline, whoever starts. And when Wilshere gave the Gunners the lead, fans couldn't sit comfortably, purely because they knew that Chelsea would be gifted a golden chance very soon. Though Arsenal will not be playing against the quality of Chelsea and Liverpool each week, it is still a worrying issue.

Super Jack is back!

Six consecutive Premier League starts now for Wilshere, and he has completed 90 minutes in each of them. Though, last night was the best of the lot so far by a country mile.

A stellar performance alongside Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park, as the Gunners were hardly lacking flair and tenacity. Wilshere marked an outstanding performance with a thumping finish to give the Gunners a lead early on in the second half, which incredibly was his first in the league since May 2015.

The next step now for Wilshere is surely nailing down that new contract, as it's evident that Arsenal need him big time. His comeback has been nothing short of sensational, and Arsenal are always a better team with him in it. 



A frustrating evening for Lacazette

No goal now for Alexandre Lacazette since he netted in the 3-1 defeat against Manchester United back at the beginning of December. It was another night where the Frenchman will feel a tad disappointed that he didn’t get on the scoresheet.

His runs and link-up play has been one of his biggest assets since arriving in the summer, though he would feel that he should be at least in to double figures for the season in terms of goals. 

The biggest chance before Wilshere gave the Gunners the lead fell to Lacazette, when he was brilliantly denied a point blank range from Chelsea keeper, Thibaut Courtois

Is Aaron Ramsey getting back in to this Arsenal team?

When Aaron Ramsey suffered his latest injury at the beginning of December, there was a lot of fear that Arsenal would struggle massively without one of their star men of the campaign so far.

But, the return of Wilshere and the step up in form of Xhaka, is most likely going to leave Arsene Wenger in a bit of a predicament. Wilshere is in the best form since his breakthrough season at the club, and to take him out of the team now would be absolutely harrowing, let alone what the fans would make of it all. 

Whilst the option of replacing Xhaka with Ramsey makes sense for many Arsenal fans, but in reality, isn't the wisest. Xhaka gives Arsenal some balance and discipline in that midfield, with the idea of a Wilshere-Ramsey midfield duo seeming deadly going forwards, the results at the other end of the pitch would be shocking. It certainly will be interesting to see what Wenger does to accommodate the Welshman once he returns.