arsenal

After a lucky draw at West Brom, Arsenal face Chelsea’s firepower

Lucky West Brom 1 Lucky Arsenal 1

This Sky match was so boring that I gave up after 62 minutes and went upstairs to my computer and switched the Radio 5 Live, where co-commentator Steve Claridgewasn’t enjoying it either. He was quite disgusted and said so.

I left the TV on downstairs, where Jan was reading a book that I’d given her, edited by Tamsyn Imison, Hampstead School’s wonderful head teacher, and Mrs Palmer didn’t look up when I said, “Arsenal will win with a late goal.”

Sure enough, as I later saw, Arsenal got a free-kick outside the box and Alexis Sanchez took it and hit a shot that that was going wide. But the ball hit sub James McClean on the thigh and deflected past keeper Ben Foster.

After 83 minutes, a McClean own-goal had put Arsenal 1-0 up at the Hawthorns.

Then West Brom left back Kieran Gibbs kicked the ball against the arm of Calum Chambers in the box, a penalty was very harshly awarded by Mike Dean and Jay Rodriguez banged it down the middle.

Gibbs didn’t think it was a penalty. He didn’t appeal, just carried on playing.

Neither side deserved to win.

VERDICT : Arsenal were lucky to get an own-goal but unlucky to concede that penalty.

This 1-1 draw means that Arsenal jump to 5th.

But they are three points behind Liverpool and seven behind Chelsea after 21 games.

Arsenal v Chelsea is on Wednesday nightat 7pm and Conte’s champions are coming off a handsome 5-0 victory over Stoke.

If I was the manager of Arsenal, I’d be very apprehensive because Conte rested Hazard and FabregasAnd Chelsea are more professional than Arsenal.

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