Hector Bellerin scored an injury-time equaliser as we snatched a draw from a hugely-entertaining London derby at Emirates Stadium.
Jack Wilshere powered in his first Premier League goal since May 24, 2015 to give us the lead, but not long afterwards the visitors drew level when Eden Hazard went down in the box and slotted home the resulting spot kick.
With the game in the balance, Marcos Alonso then slammed in what looked like the winner with seven minutes remaining - before Bellerin kept his composure to sweep in a deserved leveller to secure us a point.
The game was played with real pace and power right from the off, with Alvaro Morata having the first chance went put through but surprisingly he screwed his shot well wide of goal.
Moments later the play flew down the other end, as Mesut Ozil found Alexis in the area and the Chilean’s strike was pushed on to the near post before rolling along the line and striking the other before Thibaut Courtois snaffled it.
Chelsea were next to go close as Tiemoue Bakayako tested Petr Cech, before Ozil fired inches wide and then former Gunner Cesc Fabregas fired over just before the interval.
Chelsea started the second half in bright fashion, and we were twice indebted to Cech who firstly saved from Hazard and then denied Alonso moments later.
It was our turn to go close next as Lacazette spun into space in the box and opted for power rather than placement, only to see Courtois make a smart save at his near post.
Ozil nearly found a way through on the hour mark, but just a minute later we finally had the breakthrough as Wilshere drilled a powerful drive past Courtois at his near post and into the top corner.
Lacazette saw a shot saved by the Chelsea goalkeeper moments later as we came close to doubling our advantage, but there was an almost immediate twist as the visitors were awarded a controversial penalty after Hazard fell in the box. Coming so soon after that late spot kick at West Brom, it was tough to take – even more so when Hazard slotted it home himself.
Morata had another big opportunity for the visitors when put through again, but again he couldn’t find the target but Alonso made no mistake in the closing stages.
There was still time for Bellerin to crash in a half-volley in stoppage time to equalise - but Chelsea came close to winning it through Morata and then Davide Zappacosta right at the death.
But a draw felt like a fair result from a thrilling affair.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We start our defence of the Emirates FA Cup with a trip to the County Ground to take on Nottingham Forest in the third round.
We last faced the Championship club in the League Cup in September 2016, with a brace from Lucas and goals from Granit Xhaka and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain securing the win.
Mesut Ozil was a surprise inclusion in the Arsenal team, having been expected to miss out with the knee problem that saw him sidelined for the trip to West Brom on New Year’s Eve.
The World Cup winner was at the heart of the action, and hewre are some of his key moments:
10 – Ozil leads a sweeping counter-attack and races into the area but can’t get on the end of Alexis’ cross towards him
17 – Ozil finds Alexis in the box, with the Chilean’s shot hitting both posts before being saved
23 – After another spell of pressure, Ozil finds space on the edge of the area and picks out Lacazette, whose shot is pushed around the post by Courtois
39 – Ozil collects the ball from Xhaka on the edge of the area, takes a touch and lets fly with a shot that flies just wide of the far post
62 – Ozil combines brilliantly with Lacazette and the one-two buys him space in the area with just Courtois to beat, but he attempts to square for Alexis and the visitors scramble it clear
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