Home / Sports / Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0: Mourinho’s men two wins away from the Premier League title after Emirates clash ends in stalemate

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0: Mourinho’s men two wins away from the Premier League title after Emirates clash ends in stalemate

30Chelsea edged closer to the Premier League title as manager Jose Mourinho extended his unbeaten run over rival Arsene Wenger with a 0-0 draw at Arsenal.
The Blues will win the League if they beat Leicester on Wednesday and Crystal Palace next Sunday after securing a hard-fought point at Emirates Stadium.
Mourinho has now not lost against Wenger in 13 meetings and although Arsenal threatened that record at times, particularly in a high-octane first half, Chelsea were able to maintain a measure of control so often the hallmark of their performances in big matches.
Cesc Fabregas was booed throughout on his first appearance since leaving Arsenal for Barcelona in 2011 but the Spaniard received a mixed reception as he was taken off in the dying moments with many home fans choosing to acknowledge his eight-year stay in north London.
Chelsea stand on the brink of their first title in five years while Arsenal drop to third behind Manchester City, although the Gunner have a game in hand on the current champions.
The opening 45 minutes was punctuated by a series of penalty appeals, predominantly for Chelsea. Oscar went down in the eighth minute under a challenge from Hector Bellerin but referee Michael Oliver was unmoved, much to the chagrin of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho’s ire was increased eight minutes later when Oscar raced clear after a fine Cesc Fabregas pass and lifted the ball over onrushing Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, who cleared out the Brazilian as the ball drifted off target.
Despite Ospina’s bruising challenge, Oliver again decided against a spot-kick with Mourinho left to remonstrate furiously with fourth official Lee Mason.
Mourinho infamously suggested at a “campaign” against his side earlier in the season and when Fabregas was harshly booked for diving after 23 minutes – becoming the fifth Chelsea player to be cautioned for simulation this season – he had further cause for complaint.
Chelsea were defending with typical resolution as Arsenal struggled to find sufficient tempo or cohesion in the final third to break down the League leaders.
The Gunners could have had a penalty of their own when Gary Cahill blocked Santi Cazorla’s 34th minute shot with his hand, although a spot-kick would have been a harsh decision on first viewing.
The best chance for either side came seven minutes before the interval. Willian sent Ramires in behind Arsenal’s defence but he could only stab a tame shot at Ospina.
Having started the game without a recognised striker, Chelsea introduced Didier Drogba at the break for Oscar, who had what the club termed slight concussion as a result of that earlier clash with Ospina.
Drogba remains a totemic figure for Chelsea but at 37 years of age, he palpably slowed the pace of the visitors’ attacks in the second half as they opted a more conservative approach many had predicted prior to kick-off.
Chances were few and far between. Per Mertesacker dragged a shot wide when Thibaut Courtois could only push Cazorla’s free-kick straight to the German 16 yards out.
Cazorla then fired wide when found from the left flank by Laurent Koscielny. Wenger’s intent to win the match was clear as he sacrificed holding midfielder Francis Coquelin for Danny Welbeck.
The Blues’ response was to keep possession with more caution than before, prompting chants of ‘Boring, boring Chelsea’ to ring around the stadium.
As the game went into added time, Sanchez and Nacho Monreal combined down the left but Mesut Ozil and then Welbeck miscued from close range as Chelsea stood firm and took a significant stride towards what would be their fourth Premier League title in 11 years since owner Roman Abramovich took charge.