Stalemate keeps Blues in sixth

Arsenal hit the woodwork twice in the first half but failed to make the breakthrough as they drew 0-0 at home to Chelsea, who stay sixth.

Last Updated: 21/04/12 at 15:05 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Van Persie: Saw shot hit post

Van Persie: Saw shot hit post

Chelsea produced another solid defensive display to frustrate the Gunners as Saturday's Premier League clash ended goalless at the Emirates Stadium.

Roberto Di Matteo made sweeping changes to the side which had battled to a 1-0 home win over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

However, the gameplan remained very much the same, with the Gunners - thwarted by post and crossbar before the break - denied time and space as they failed to bounce back from the disappointment of Monday night's shock defeat here by Wigan.

Chelsea can head to Spain knowing more of the same will be good enough to progress against the odds, while Arsenal, who lost winger Theo Walcott to a potentially season-ending hamstring injury, still have some work to do themselves if they are to secure third place ahead of Tottenham and Newcastle.

Chelsea, with recalled Fernando Torres leading the line, felt they had an early penalty shout when Salomon Kalou got ahead of Bacary Sagna down the left.

However, despite the players coming together before the Chelsea forward, making his 250th appearance, went down, referee Mike Dean waved play on.

In the 13th minute, Michael Essien bundled over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to concede a free-kick 20 yards out on the left of centre.

Walcott whipped the ball over to the far post, where Robin van Persie arrived late to stab the ball against the outside of the woodwork.

Arsenal - whose 5-3 win at Stamford Bridge in October was the beginning of the end for former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas - continued to press Chelsea back, but lacked a telling pass in the final third.

The visitors, meanwhile, looked dangerous on the swift counter attack, with Florent Malouda making headway down the left and his cross into the six-yard box was hacked clear by Laurent Koscielny.

The tempo of the match dropped significantly, with Arsenal players showing a distinct lack of movement on and off the ball as the visitors easily turned over possession.

Just like Barcelona had in midweek, Arsenal hit the woodwork again five minutes before the break.

This time, Van Persie was the architect, his floated free-kick into the Chelsea box picking out Koscielny, whose header looped over Petr Cech, but came back off the crossbar.

Arsenal maintained the pressure, with Cech standing up well at the near post to deflect Van Persie's shot clear after another ball swept through the Chelsea box from the right by Alex Song.

Di Matteo switched Torres out to the flank for the second half, with Daniel Sturridge down the middle.

Arsenal remained too casual with their choice of final pass when in promising positions, while the visitors always looked dangerous on the break.

Thomas Vermaelen made a fine saving tackle to deny Sturridge on the edge of the area.

As the hour mark approached, Walcott pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

The England winger, though, was able to continue, only to then break down as he tried to get away down the right and was replaced by Gervinho.

Arsenal upped the tempo again, but Van Persie cracked a 25-yard free-kick high into the Clock End.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger made another change on 63 minutes, as the hard-working Tomas Rosicky was replaced by Abou Diaby, back from a series of injury problems.

Chelsea then replaced midfielder Oriol Romeu with John Obi Mikel.

Arsenal's final substitution came with 21 minutes left as Brazil wing-back Andre Santos replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Juan Mata - who was on Wenger's radar before his move to Stamford Bridge from Valencia - came on for Kalou as the match showed little signs of sparking into life as the last 15 minutes approached before former Gunner Ashley Cole replaced Ryan Bertrand to the expected warm reception from the home fans.

Van Persie went down in a heap under pressure from Gary Cahill, but the referee waved away the half-hearted penalty appeals.

The Dutchman then blazed wide after John Terry slipped to let him into the right side of the Chelsea box.

Arsenal had enough of the ball in the closing stages, but as for the majority of the match, failed to make the most of it.

For Chelsea, this was overall another hard-working effort, with plenty more of the same needed in the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.

Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

More Match Results

Wednesday, 16 April 2014
19:45
Everton 2-3 C Palace Report
Man City 2-2 Sunderland Report
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Arsenal 3-1 West Ham  
Sunday, 13 April 2014
16:07
Swansea 0-1 Chelsea Report
13:37
Liverpool 3-2 Man City  
Saturday, 12 April 2014
15:07
C Palace 1-0 A Villa Report
Fulham 1-0 Norwich Report
Southampton 0-1 Cardiff  
Stoke City 1-0 Newcastle  
Sunderland 0-1 Everton Report

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Liverpool 34 51 77
2 Chelsea 34 42 75
3 Man City 33 54 71
4 Arsenal 34 18 67
5 Everton 34 21 66
6 Tottenham 34 0 60
7 Man Utd 33 18 57
8 Southampton 34 5 48
9 Newcastle 34 -14 46
10 Stoke City 34 -10 43
11 C Palace 34 -14 40
12 West Ham 34 -9 37
13 Hull City 33 -6 36
14 A Villa 33 -14 34
15 Swansea 34 -5 33
16 West Brom 33 -11 33
17 Norwich 34 -27 32
18 Fulham 34 -40 30
19 Cardiff 34 -34 29
20 Sunderland 33 -25 26

Updated Thu, 17 Apr 2014

Footer 365

Contract news: Tim Howard has been handed an extension to his Everton contract

Tim Howard will be staying with Everton until at least 2018 after agreeing a two-year extension to his contract.

Neymar and Jordi Alba will miss the bulk of the remainder of the season

Barcelona forward Neymar has been ruled out for up to a month due to a left foot injury.

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property