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After beating Manchester City before the international break, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta would have been concerned with 20 minutes to go at Stamford Bridge after an abject 70 minutes from his side. However, after being gifted a way back into the match by Robert Sanchez, his team rallied and rescued a point from a desperate situation.
After a fast start, Chelsea took the lead from the penalty spot after William Saliba was penalised by VAR for handling the ball in the penalty area. After a dispute over who would take the spot kick, Cole Palmer stepped up and sent Raya the wrong way to give his team the lead.
After further pressure, Chelsea doubled their lead shortly after half time when a Mudryk cross looped over Raya into the back of the net. The game appeared to be fizzling out with Arsenal offering nothing when Robert Sanchez gifted the visitors a goal with ten minutes to go when he passed the ball straight to Declan Rice who fired the ball into the vacant net.
The gift from Sanchez lit a fire in the Arsenal camp and they levelled the scores shortly after via substitute, Leandro Trossard. The Belgian got on the end of a Bukayo Saka cross and from nowhere, Arsenal were level. The away team pressed for a late winner to no avail but will have no complaints with the point they somehow earned.
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal player ratings
15′ – GOAL: Cole Palmer gives Brighton the lead from the penalty spot following a William Saliba own goal.
30′ – Palmer comes close to doubling Chelsea’s lead but his effort whistles past David Raya’s post.
49′ – GOAL: Mykhailo Mudryk makes it 2-0 to Chelsea with a cross that loops over David Raya’s head into the far corner.
58′ – David Raya’s loose pass is intercepted by Palmer but the young forward can’t finish the opportunity.
65′ – Nicolas Jackson finds himself through on goal but Raya pounces to deny him.
77′ – GOAL: Declan Rice gives Arsenal renewed hope, rifling in from long distance after a poor pass from Robert Sanchez.
84′ – GOAL: Leandro Trossard levels things with a back post finish following a great delivery from Saka.
86′ – Nketiah has a great chance to give Arsenal the lead but his effort drifts past the far post.
Star man – Cole Palmer – 8/10
In addition to scoring the opening goal of the game, Cole Palmer was at the centre of everything positive that Chelsea did. For the 84 minutes he was on the pitch, he was assured in possession and seemed to enjoy the freedom that Pochettino gave him to drift wherever he liked.
Despite his young age, he knew when to push forward and when to keep things simple in midfield. After he was taken off in the 84th minute, the game suddenly got a lot more chaotic for Chelsea and that can’t have been a coincidence. If he can keep up this level of performance then it won’t be long until he’s a regular in the England setup.
21 – Aged 21 years and 168 days, Cole Palmer is the third-youngest player to score a penalty in back-to-back Premier League appearances, behind only Bukayo Saka (20y 230d) and Peter Ndlovu (21y 50d). Responsibility. pic.twitter.com/8c14V7GwWD
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 21, 2023
Chelsea player ratings
Robert Sanchez 4/10 – Gave Arsenal a free way back into the match.
Malo Gusto 6/10 – Caught napping at the back post for the equaliser.
Thiago Silva 7/10 – Organised the defence well and made some key blocks.
Levi Colwill 7/10 – Looked assured throughout.
Marc Cucurella 6/10 – One of his better performances for Chelsea.
Conor Gallagher 6/10 – Was energetic in midfield but lacked quality.
Moises Caicedo 7/10 – Was imperious for the majority of the match but lost a grip of it towards the end.
Enzo Fernandez 7/10 – Controlled the tempo of the match until the final ten minutes.
Cole Palmer 8/10 – Oozed class and took his penalty well.
Raheem Sterling 8/10 – Looks back to his best. Tormented Zinchenko.
Mykhailo Mudryk 7/10 – His goal was a fluke but they all count.
WOW! MUDRYK LOBS RAYA! 🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/YGMpdAaNJN
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 21, 2023
Nicolas Jackson 6/10 – Could have made it 3-0 but lacked composure.
Reece James N/A
Noni Madueke N/A
Arsenal player ratings
David Raya 4/10 – Won’t want to see Chelsea’s second goal back.
Ben White 6/10 – Did okay defensively.
William Saliba 6/10 – Conceded a penalty but couldn’t have done much about it.
Gabriel 6/10 – Was caught napping a few times but made up for it with some important blocks.
Oleksandr Zinchenko 5/10 – Hooked at half time after being torn apart by Sterling.
Jorginho 5/10 – Too slow in and out of possession.
Declan Rice 6/10 – Was having a poor game until Sanchez gave him a free shot at an open net.
Rice punishes Sanchez error!! ⭕
GAME ON 🚨 pic.twitter.com/Mg7rNklMJX
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 21, 2023
Martin Odegaard 4/10 – An anonymous display from the Arsenal captain.
Bukayo Saka 6/10 – Came up with an inch perfect cross when his team needed it.
Gabriel Jesus 5/10 – Worked hard but didn’t produce much quality.
Gabriel Martinelli 6/10 – Tried his best and did well against Gusto.
Takehiro Tomiyasu 6/10 – Dealt with Sterling better than Zinchenko did.
Emile Smith-Rowe 5/10 – Didn’t really add anything.
Eddie Nketiah 5/10 – Should have won it late on.
Leandro Trossard 7/10 – A big goal to equalise.
Kai Havertz N/A
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal player ratings: The final word
Although the final score would suggest this was an event contest, the actual game between Arsenal and Chelsea was far from it. Chelsea bossed the match throughout the 90 minutes and were more than deserving of the three points they gave away. The fact Arsenal managed to get a point from the match will please Mikel Arteta while Chelsea’ performance will give Mauricio Pochettino renewed belief that the work on the training pitch is beginning to pay off.
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