FULL TIME: CHELSEA WIN!!!
90+7min: Chelsea defend a long Leno free kick, and that should be that.
90+6min: Hudson-Odoi goes for a bit of a jog after a 1-2 with Mount as Chelsea look to run down the clock.
90+4min: Rüdiger and Kepa get into it verbally after the former hacks clear hurriedly under no pressure. We carry on.
90+3min: Chelsea counter with numbers, but Abraham goes at it alone. His shot is over the bar however.
90+1min: Pepe latest into the book. Then Mount and Guendouzi get a bit chippy.
90min: 7 minutes added on.
87min: GOAL, CHELSEA!!!!!! After Hudson-Odoi gives the ball away but Arsenal do not take advantage, Chelsea counter through Abraham, who feeds Willian. His touch seems too long, but he still gets his cutback in back to Tammy. He turns Mustafi and finishes between Leno’s legs. 2-1!!!!!
86min: Pepe on for Arsenal.
83min: GOAL, CHELSEA!!! Mount swings in the free kick and LENO COMPLETELY MISSES IT AND JORGINHO’S WALKS IT INTO THE NET! LOL. 1-1!!!
82min: Hudson-Odoi sees a shot blocked, then Willian’s cutback is cut out. Lacazette then fouls Jorginho and looks anxious for a moment, but no card from Pawson this time.
79min: Chelsea peppering in a few crosses, but Arsenal’s defense, led by David Luiz, continuing to do a solid job of clearing the aerial assault.
78min: Kanté wins the ball from PE-A in the area but tries to dribble out and loses the ball. Fortunately Willock lashes his shot wide.
76min: Jorginho pulls back Guendouzi in the middle of the pitch but it’s Lacazette who gets a yellow instead for yelling at the referee.
75min: Özil takes his time as he trudges off to be replaced by Willock.
74min: Slick Chelsea passing through the middle leads to a Mount cutback from the left. It’s cleared for a corner, which Willian swings in. Abraham wins the duel at the far post, but his header’s straight at Leno.
73min: Torreira in the book for pulling back Mount.
72min: Chelsea continue to press and CHO’s immediately into the action, but opts for a cross when a shot might have been a better choice after cutting in from the left flank.
70min: Hudson-Odoi on for Kovačić as Chelsea go even more attacking with a 4-2-3-1
66min: Lamptey with a wonderful run infield and reverse ball for Abraham. He times his shot just right, but David Luiz gets a toe to it to block. Unlucky.
65min: Lamptey cuts out a counter opportunity, but Özil stops Chelsea from moving forward by taking out Kovačić. No card.
64min: Willian whips in a couple crosses from the right, but Arsenal clearing them well enough each time.
62min: The game resumes, with both players apparently okay to play, Rüdiger sporting a bandage on his head to stop some sort of bleeding.
59min: Lamptey on for Tomori as Lampard hands out another debut to an Academy youth.
58min: Kanté wins a corner, which Willian takes. He plays short to Mount, who plays back to Kanté in acres of space outside the corner of the area. He whips in a cross, which Rüdiger and Mustafi both go for and end up clashing heads, so the game is stopped.
56min: Jorginho into the book for dragging back Lacazette. Aubameyang then almost gets a chance in the box, but Zouma clears with a sliding tackle.
54min: Kanté wins the ball from Özil and Chelsea have some space ahead, which Mount takes advantage of. He then plays in Willian, but he takes his eye off the ball and lets it run out for a throw.
53min: Chelsea pushing, which keeps leaving space for Arsenal to counter. Lacazette strays offside to prevent the latest.
51min: The speedy Nelson on the counter again, but can’t get past Zouma after avoiding Jorginho.
50min: Chelsea press and win the ball, but Mount cannot find a pass and has to check back square to Kanté. Aubameyang chases back as he’s done all game to prevent any further danger.
49min: Tomori and Willian combine for a cross from the right; Abraham wins the first header but again no one’s there to finish off his knockdown and Leno can collect.
48min: David Luiz takes out his old friend Willian and earns himself a yellow card. Mount chips it towards the far post, where Azpilicueta heads back across but Arsenal clear. Kanté tries a first-time volley at the top of the box as the ball comes out to him, but can’t make good contact or get it on target.
46min: Arsenal get the game back underway. No changes for either side.
HALF-TIME: Chelsea have improved after an atrocious first 30 minutes and a change in system, but are losing 1-0 thanks to yet another set piece goal.
45+5min: Kovačić wins the ball in midfield and feeds Willian out wide. He plays in Tomori on the underlap, but he can’t escape Aubameyang’s attentions and Leno grabs the ball at the near post.
45+4min: Azpilicueta checks back on the left and swings in a right-footed cross, but it’s over the head of the Abraham, making the near post run, and Leno catches easily.
45+3min: Chelsea with some sustained pressure to end the half, but can’t quite find a good final ball. We pass it around left to right, right to left, then Jorginho looks for Abraham, but no one’s there to get on the end of his knockdown and Arsenal can clear.
45min: Tomori’s cross from deep is way too deep and Arsenal have a goal kick. 5 minutes added on given the injury stoppage for Chambers earlier in the half.
44min: Chelsea probe on the right, but Willian’s flick after cutting inside from the right doesn’t quick come off. Cheslea quickly win the ball back, showing much better impetus and quality since the change.
42min: Arsenal with a bit of possession, lulling Chelsea into sleep before Aubameyang bursts through in the left channel. Fortunately, he hits his powerful drive only into the side-netting.
37min: Kanté nicks the ball from Guendouzi, finds Abraham, who plays in Willian. His cross is blocked for a corner, while Abraham gets pulled back by Guendouzi, which is hilariously ignored by VAR. Willian takes, Azpilicueta flicks it on at the near post, but Zouma whiffs on at the far post and Arsenal can counter. Kanté’s back to defend 1-v-1 and win the ball from Nelson.
34min: Lampard changes the system that’s clearly not working. Jorginho on for Emerson, as we go 4-3-3. Azpilicueta switches to left back and Tomori slides out to right back.
33min: Kanté squeezes past a couple players up the right touchline, but gets his cross completely wrong. At the other end, Rüdiger’s the latest to go into the book for a late challenge on Torreira.
30min: Mount and Kanté into the book in quick succession, the former a bit more deservedly than the latter. Chelsea’s worryingly poor still.
29min: Chelsea with a slightly better spell of possession this time, even manage to make some progress into the final third, before another errant crossfield switch, this time from Rüdiger to Emerson, gives Arsenal possession back.
25min: Another errant crossfield switch towards Azpilicueta ends a brief period of Chelsea possession, which followed another long ball behind the full back for one of Arsenal’s quick forwards to chase.
23min: Chambers able to hobble off under his own power, with the stretcher in close attendance, but his day looks to be over. Mustafi is on in his stead.
20min: Chambers down with what looks like a fairly serious injury on an awkward landing.
18min: Long ball behind the line for Nelson to chase. He catches up to it and whips it a good cross for Aubameyang. He lays it back to Lacazette at the top of the area, but he gets his shot all wrong under pressure from Kanté. Chelsea are rocking.
17min: Arsenal push, and Lacazette almost bullies his way all the way through into the area. He stumbles a couple times as he tangles with Zouma, but Pawson swallows his whistle fortunately. Chelsea eventually hack clear.
13min: GOAL, Aubameyang. Rüdiger blocks a cross for a corner, which Özil takes. Chambers wins the first header to flick it on at the front post and an unmarked Aubameyang heads into the back of the net from 5 yards out. All too easy. 1-0, Arsenal.
11min: Kovačić picks up a loose ball in midfield and feeds Willian, who tries to turn the corner on the left. Guendouzi comes across to take him out just outside the penalty area, and earn the game’s first yellow card. Willian and Mount stand over the ball and work a little routine: Willian lays it back to Mount who takes a quick shot. Leno gets a hand to it to knock it down and then jump on the loose ball. Close!
9min: Arsenal win a free kick 25-30 yards out. David Luiz lines it up, goes for one his swirling, dipping specials. Easy catch for Kepa. Chelsea give the ball away in the subsequent build-up again, but Willian wins a foul to get the ball back.
7min: Kanté and Özil trade cheap midfield giveaways, then a switch to Azpilicueta is took long and Arsenal have the ball. Sloppy.
5min: Tomori blocks a cross for a corner, which Özil takes. David Luiz gets to the ball again, and goes for a spectacular bicycle kick attempt, which goes well wide.
4min: Tomori fouls Maitland-Niles wide right, just about level with the penalty spot. Ozil whips it in, but David Luiz misses his header and Kanté clears.
2min: Decent start from Chelsea as we move the ball around, then Arsenal do the same for a bit as the two teams settle into the game.
KICK-OFF: Chelsea, in all blue with blue socks, Arsenal in their usual red and white. And we’re off!
Somehow, Chelsea remain in fourth despite some truly bad results as of late, but the gap (with a match-in-hand) is now just 1 point to Manchester United in fifth and 2 points to Spurs, who needed some heavy VAR help to earn even just a point at Norwich yesterday. Wolves and Sheffield United aren’t too far back either, but they play Liverpool and Manchester City, respectively, today.
The point is, we need points today. Preferably all three.
Looks like Alonso, James, and presumably Pulisic as well, all miss out with injuries as we stick to the 3-4-3. Youngster Tariq Lamptey is serving as the emergency full/wing-back backup.
UPDATE: Pulisic hamstring concern confirmed.
Reason Pulisic is not involved for Chelsea today is because he suffered a hamstring injury running/training after the Southampton game. It's precautionary at this stage.— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) December 29, 2019
Here we go.
Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
Leno | Saka, David Luiz, Chambers, Maitland-Niles | Guendouzi, Torreira | Aubameyang, Özil, Nelson | Lacazette
Substitutes from: Martinez, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Willock, Smith Rowe, Pepe, John-Jules
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3):
Arrizabalaga | Tomori, Zouma, Rüdiger | Emerson, Kovačić, Kanté, Azpilicueta | Mount, Abraham, Willian
Substitutes from: Caballero, Christensen, Lamptey, Jorginho, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi
Date / Time: Sunday, December 29, 14.00 GMT; 9am EST; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
Referee: Craig Pawson
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); Canal+ Sport 2, SuperSport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Universo Now (USA); HotStar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!