Friday, 15 December, 2017

Who's moaning about Alexis now? Wenger silences haters to halt Chelsea juggernaut

Hazard boost but Drinkwater blow for Chelsea Drinkwater ruled out for rest of the month; all other Chelsea players fit and ready for Arsenal
Connie Andrews | 18 September, 2017, 02:04

Wenger's Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte refused to make a direct comment about Luiz's sending off but queried how his side had the habit of never ending with a full complement of players against Arsenal.

His dismissal was the third time in five league games this season that a Chelsea player was sent off, as many as in their previous 73 games. Hazard has played only 44 minutes for Chelsea this season with an additional 93 minutes for Belgium over the global break. "But, for sure, we have to wait for the referee's decision to know how many games he will be suspended for". David Luiz was given his marching orders with just minutes to go, following a studs-up challenge on Sead Kolasinac. "We lost Pedro against Arsenal in China as well".

Conte, who also suggested Luiz was tripped by Alexis Sanchez in the build-up to the foul, telling Sky Sports: "I don't talk about the referees, but the only thing I can say is we need to see what happened before the tackle". We have come here and struggled in recent years but we showed what we're capable of, competing against the best.

"We have responded well to losing on the opening day and got some strong results".

"We are in a good place, we just have to build on it".

With a quarter of the game gone, Fabregas put Pedro through one-on-one with Petr Cech courtesy of a trademark lofted ball, but his Spanish compatriot took too long to get the ball out of his feet and fluffed the chance.

Thibaut Courtois had to be far more alert in the Chelsea goal, particularly in the first half when Hector Bellerin's pace was unsettling the hosts on the right flank as he combined with Danny Welbeck.

"We had a lot of possession in the first half and tried to create but it felt frustrating", Chelsea captain Gary Cahill said.

"I repeat that we have great respect for them".

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