Chelsea needed a response after Saturday’s disappointment against Newcastle, and that’s precisely what we got ... for the first 20-25 minutes.
But then, after missing several gilt-edged opportunities (again!) and despite taking the lead from a Jorginho penalty and seeing David Luiz sent off to an early bath, Chelsea’s impetus disappeared and we ceded control to the visitors. Fortunately, they were unable to make their possession or their chances count before the referee blew for half-time.
It was all one-way traffic in the second half, but Chelsea somehow still managed to concede an equalizer as Martinelli countered from a corner and finished 1-v-1 after Kante slipped like Gerrard.
Facing massed ranks of red shirts, Chelsea were unsurprisingly unable to find a breakthrough ... until Cesar Azpilicueta took advantage of a defensive breakdown from a corner to score what looked like the winning goal — and this time it wasn’t ruled out unlike against Ajax or Liverpool.
But then Bellerin scored a rather fantastic goal as Chelsea were unable to keep control and stay composed. Abraham’s injury didn’t help, essentially forcing Chelsea down to 10 men.
There was time enough for Batshuayi to miss a sitter but that was that.
2-2 against 10 men. So it goes.
- Just two changes from Saturday, with Kovacic finally getting a recall in place of Mount, and Emerson replacing the injured Reece James.
- Like-for-like sub in Barkley for Kovacic, before a shift to 4-2-3-1 with the introduction of Mount and an even more attacking change with Batshuayi replacing Willian.
- Abraham’s injury a potential great concern.
- David Luiz the first returning Chelsea player to be sent off at Stamford Bridge since Vinnie Jones in 1995 (h/t: @OptaJoe)
- Next up: Hull City away in the FA Cup on Saturday