Hector Bellerin rescues 10-man Arsenal in predictably chaotic draw against Chelsea

Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal: Spanish full-back equalised with just three minutes remaining after David Luiz’s early red card

Nicolas Pépé on the 'incredible atmosphere' of the north London derby

In a match between two managers who have been appointed because they “get” how these clubs are supposed to play, it was all too farcically appropriate so many of the key figures entirely played to type. Even the chaos of this Chelsea-Arsenal 2-2 felt fitting, so much of its unpredictability so predictable. That’s what happens with two unformed squads.

First and foremost, front and centre, there was David Luiz’s red card at his old stadium, following on from a piece of Shkodran Mustafi mayhem.

There was then a Frank Lampard side so recklessly conceding an equaliser from a counter-attack as Gabriel Martinelli again played the wonderboy, Arsenal allowing Chelsea to walk through them, before Kepa Arrizabalaga let a heroic late Hector Bellerin shot through him.

As if to sum it up, and emphasise that these squads don’t yet fully “get” – yes – their young managers’ approaches, the game ended a fairly chaotic 2-2. Neither that down, neither too happy. Neither yet that good, or that bad. That result was borne of trial and error much more than tried and trusted values, which of course raises bigger questions about exactly how much can be expected of Lampard and Mikel Arteta at this point in their reigns – and with these players.

Arteta’s appointment has naturally brought a lot of talk about restoring Arsenal’s best characteristics and, while that may well prove true, his defence here so classically adhered to their best-known recent characteristics: calamity.

This was one of those moments, well, that you really could script. The leading characters certainly played up their roles.

Under pressure from Tammy Abraham, Shkodran Mustafi didn’t handle it well or get his feet right, as he lobbed an attempted pass back straight into the striker’s path. It couldn’t have been teed up better – but not just for the finish. Also for some vintage David Luiz. With a stranded Bernd Leno left with no option but to let Abraham go around him so as not to risk a red card, the Brazilian had no such qualms. He bundled into the back of Abraham before then fully tripping him.

Referee Stuart Atwell consulted VAR, gave the penalty, and sent David Luiz off.

The fact the centre-half seemed to make no attempt to get the ball negated the calls for double jeopardy, unless they referred to the fact Mustafi was still on the pitch. There would, however, be another twist to that.

Jorginho in the meantime went and typically rolled it past the keeper. Another case of resorting to type.

David Luiz was sent off in the first half

It will be difficult to get some of the worse traits out of the team if you can’t get certain players out of team, although one of the fair expectations of ideologue young coaches like this is that they start to actually improve under-performing squad members.

There hasn’t been much evidence of that with Arsenal yet, nor much evidence of the idea of play that was so pronounced in the Manchester United game. That now appears mostly a consequence of the impetus of the occasion, rather than Arteta really having an imposed a style of play. It certainly wasn’t identifiable here.

That was pretty much the story of the play up to that point. The difference in the sides came down to the difference in approach. They both looked exactly like what they are: one at the very start of a regime under a young former player, the other a bit further along, with a bit more experience, and a bit more quality to the squad.

There was still something classically Lampard Chelsea about the game, too, mind. They were much sloppier than they needed to be, even with the man advantage.

Teenager Gabriel Martinelli scored a brilliant solo goal

Chelsea were coughing up play needlessly at the back, and squandering chances upfront, Abraham at one point heading the ball straight at Leno when presented with an easy chance. They are still lacking in some deeper conviction to make the concept really work.

And that is something that Arteta feels he can at least give Arsenal – conviction. They had a lot of it in those otherwise farcical closing stages, that was kicked off by that first Martinelli equaliser.

If Kante making the error was entirely out of character, however, the manner of the goal something we’ve seen so often before: a Lampard side caught on the break. The French midfielder was merely the last man when Arsenal broke, meaning his slip on the halfway line left Martinelli with a completely free run at goal. He took it, in what was his side’s first shot of the game.

There was the extra little twist, too, as it was Mustafi that technically provided the assist. It should similarly be noted that came mere minutes after Arteta took the assertive decision to remove the entirely unproductive Mesut Ozil. It should be widely criticised, meanwhile, that Chelsea somehow conceded from their own corner against 10 men.

Cesar Azpilicueta came from nowhere to score an admittedly uncharacteristic goal, in one of the matches few quirks, before Bellerin restored… well, it’s hard to say if order is the right word. It restored a balance, something both managers are looking for in these sides.

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