STALEMATE: Arsenal and Chelsea grind out 0-0 score
LONDON: CHELSEA held out for a 0-0 draw against Arsenal at The Emirates yesterday as neither London club managed to enhance their prospects of finishing in the Premier League’s top four.
Sandwiched between Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, the derby proved a listless affair which left Chelsea in sixth place and Arsenal in the driving seat for a top three finish in third.
With three matches remaining Arsenal have 65 points, six ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United who both have played two games fewer.
Chelsea, who will try to defend a 1-0 lead in the Nou Camp on Tuesday, are in sixth spot, a point behind Newcastle and Tottenham, with four games left.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo’s men had rode their luck in a first-half where Arsenal were unlucky not to take the lead after twice hitting the woodwork.
Robin Van Persie saw his shot bounce back off an upright after a curling free-kick from Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny’s glancing header hit the bar three minutes before half-time.
In the closing seconds of the half Van Persie threatened again, latching on to Alex Song’s lofted pass and volleying straight at Petr Cech.
At the other end, Chelsea had strong appeals for a penalty rejected after Salomon Kalou was brought down in the area.
The second half saw Arsenal look the more threatening but Chelsea’s sterling defensive effort kept the Gunners at bay. Reuters