Bellerin rescues point for Arsenal in EPL derby against Chelsea

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin after equalizing against London rivals Chelsea. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 04 January 2018
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Bellerin rescues point for Arsenal in EPL derby against Chelsea

LONDON: Hector Bellerin’s fantastic strike earned Arsenal a deserved point against London rivals Chelsea in an exciting game at the Emirates on Wednesday.
The Spaniard made amends for conceding a controversial penalty, in which Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard  appeared to go down too easily, with a controlled shot to level the score.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger called the decision to award Chelsea a penalty farcical, “at some stage in football you have to stand up to the referee’s decisions,” Wenger said.
“Maybe I would have gone home and committed suicide,” he joked. “I was so close to that.”
The pace set in the first-half was electric as both teams sought to gain the advantage.
Alvaro Morata should have put Chelsea ahead when he was clear through on goal but shot harmlessly wide. At the other end, Alexis Sanchez managed to hit both posts with one shot after a fine save from Thibaut Courtois, who also did fantastically well to deny Alexandre Lacazette as the sides went into half-time level.
Belgian goalkeeper Courtois was called into action once more early in the second half — producing a stunning save from Lacazette again.
The deadlock was finally broken midway through the second interval when Jack Wilshere powered home with an unstoppable shot to give the home side the lead.
Almost immediately, however, Chelsea were back level after Eden Hazard was fouled by Bellerin in the box and the midfielder dusted himself down to take the spot-kick and cooly slot past Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal.
And with six minutes left, the Blues turned the game on its head when Marcos Alonso got in front of Shkodran Mustafi and steered the ball into the net to put Antonio Conte’s side ahead.
The Bellerin equalizer makes no difference to either team’s league position as Chelsea remain in third, a point behind Manchester United and 16 points behind leaders Manchester City. Meanwhile, Arsenal remain sixth and some five points off Liverpool in the final Champions League spot.


Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

Updated 28 min 38 sec ago
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Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

  • Manchester United come from behind to make FA Cup final.
  • Mauricio Pochettino yet to win a trophy as manager.

A third cup final with Manchester United for Jose Mourinho. More FA Cup semifinal misery for Tottenham.
While Mauricio Pochettino wins admiration for his style of football, the manager has yet to actually win a trophy in management.
A 2-1 collapse to United at Wembley Stadium on Saturday left Tottenham reeling from an eighth successive loss in the FA Cup semifinals.
Pochettino is responsible for two of the setbacks, having also fallen short against Chelsea last season.
At the stadium where Tottenham have been playing their home matches this season, Dele Alli's goal gave the 1991 FA Cup winners hope of turning around their miserable record in world football's oldest knockout competition.
But Alexis Sanchez leveled in the 24th minute and Ander Herrera struck the winner in the second half. It ensured Mourinho, who won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at United, has a chance to also end this campaign with silverware against Chelsea or Southampton in the FA Cup final.
"We're getting used to being in finals," Herrera said. "This club is all about titles and finals."
While Mourinho has fallen short in the English Premier League behind newly crowned champion Manchester City, United are second and on course for their highest finish since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Tottenham would settle with holding onto fourth place to secure a third season in a row in the Champions League.
Liverpool missed a chance to considerably stretch its advantage over Tottenham in one of Saturday's two league games. Juergen Klopp's side threw away a two-goal lead to draw with last-place West Bromwich Albion 2-2 and move only three points ahead of Tottenham.
Chelsea, who plays Southampton in the other FA Cup semifinal on Sunday, are five points behind Tottenham with four games remaining.

POGBA TRANSFORMED
When United fell behind to Tottenham, Paul Pogba was culpable.
A high ball was launched forward by Tottenham, a lethargic Pogba didn't try to break sweat in an attempt to prevent it reaching Eriksen. It allowed the Dane to whip in a cross for Alli to slide onto at the far post and strike past David De Gea in 11th minute
Had Harry Kane made a connection at the far post with Son Heung-min's cross three minutes later, Tottenham might have extended their lead.
Instead, United were able to draw level. Pogba made amends for his earlier inertia by dispossessing Mousa Dembele and delivering a cross that Sanchez headed past static goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Sanchez did the hard work to create the winner in the 62nd, holding off Kieran Trippier and rolling the ball into the penalty area where Jesse Lingard teed up Herrera to shoot past Vorm.