Gabriel Martinelli impressed heavily as ten-man Arsenal came back from behind twice to hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
In what was a roller-coaster affair, Chelsea took the lead in the 28th minute courtesy a Jorginho penalty, after David Luiz had fouled Tammy Abraham in the box, which earned the Brazilian a red card. The Gunners fought their way back into the game, equalising through a sensational solo effort from Gabriel Martinelli in the 63rd minute.
But, Chelsea got back their lead as captain Cesar Azpilicueta turned in a Callum Hudson-Odoi cross to make it 2-1 with six minutes left on the clock. However, Arsenal struck back again through their skipper Hector Bellerin, who curled home a left-footed strike from the edge of the box to salvage a point for his team.
NEVER. GIVE. UP. ✊#CHEARS
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 21, 2020
It was a spirited comeback from Mikel Arteta’s side despite having had to play with a man down for most of the game. And here’s how we rated the performances of the Arsenal stars on the night at Stamford Bridge.
Bernd Leno: 7/10
Let down by his defence once again, there was little he could have done about Chelsea’s goals on the night. But did make quite a few important saves in the second period, denying Willian, Tammy Abraham and a Ross Barkley header with a sensational stop.
Hector Bellerin: 8/10
Back into the lineup after almost a six-week injury layoff, the Spaniard looked short on pace at times, but did not let that affect his performance. Defended solidly as Chelsea came at Arsenal, doing very well to negate the impact of Willian. The Gunners’ stand-in skipper then produced a stunning strike to erase Chelsea’s lead and save a point for his side. A true captain’s performance.
Shkodran Mustafi: 3/10
A horrific display. Started off shakily, playing poor passes forward that were getting intercepted by the opposition before commiting a real howler as his poorly hit back pass set Abraham through on goal and left Leno stranded, leading to Luiz bringing the Chelsea forward down and conceding the penalty. Did make a few vital clearances after the break, but the damage had already been done.
David Luiz: 3/10
Started off fairly well, helping the young Bukayo Saka on his left side as Chelsea targeted that flank, although his distribution from the back was not up to scratch.
Put into a difficult situation from Mustafi’s disastrous back pass and he chose to dive into a challenge leading to a penalty and a red card. Poor call by the Brazilian.
Bukayo Saka: 6.5/10
Another encouraging display as a makeshift left-back by the youngster. Had a difficult start to the game as Callum Hudson-Odoi got the beating of him constantly, but improved as the game wore on and finished with the most number of tackles on the night (5). Offered an outlet down the left side, getting forward at every possible opportunity.
Lucas Torreira: 7/10
Another player who was off to a sluggish start, as his positioning was suspect at times, but grew into the game with time. Torreira was excellent for most of the game though as he put in a real shift, working really hard off the ball, jumping into tackles and making important interceptions throughout.
Granit Xhaka: 7/10
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 21, 2020
Was put under a bit of pressure in the early exchanges, but coped fairly well. Dropped in as the auxiliary centre-back following Luiz’s sending off and put in admirable display. Showed good defensive instincts overall, while distributing well from the back, as he was afforded time to pick his passes. A leader on the field.
Nicolas Pepe: 6/10
Started off well, as he had the measure of Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri on a number of occasions. But, his impact faded with time as Arsenal had to play deeper after being reduced to ten men. Still, his pace and dribbling offered the Gunners an outlet when put under pressure.
Mesut Ozil: 5/10
The German playmaker was marshaled well by Mateo Kovacic early in the game, which prohibited him from stitching play together in the final third. Dropped into a deep-lying role after Luiz’s sending off, Ozil did not offer anything in terms of forward thrust. However, to his credit, he worked hard and was industrious in his defensive duties.
Gabriel Martinelli: 8/10
Martinelli showed his talent and abilities on the night, giving Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta a hard time throughout. Drove forward at every possible occasion and looked threatening each time he did.
But, Martinelli produced the moment of the game in the second period as he charged from his penalty box to the Chelsea box after a corner, before holding his composure to finish past Kepa and equalise. Ran over 60 yards in ten seconds for the goal, although N’Golo Kante’s slip did help him. Has now scored ten goals in his debut season. A special player in the making.
Alexandre Lacazette: 6/10
The Frenchman’s goal drought has extended to seven league games now, but there is no faulting the effort he put in against Chelsea. Held up the ball well at the top, tracked back effectively when not in possession, dropped deep in midfield when needed. However, he was caught napping for Chelsea’s second goal of the game.
Matteo Guendouzi: 6/10
Came on for Ozil in the 55th minute. Added energy in the middle of the park, but perhaps was a tad over-enthusiastic on occasions, which could have hurt his side.
Rob Holding: N/A
Thrown on for Pepe for the final ten minutes. Did what was asked of him, but should have cleared the ball in the lead-up to Chelsea’s second.
Joe Willock: N/A
Stoppage time substitute for Martinelli.