Chelsea's top-4 bid stalled
Chelsea held out for a 0-0 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday as neither London club enhanced their prospects of finishing in the Premier League's top four. Saturday’s resultssports Updated: Apr 22, 2012 01:31 IST
Chelsea held out for a 0-0 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday as neither London club enhanced 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. Chelsea, playing their third game in less six days, made eight changes to the side who beat Barcelona on Wednesday with Didier Drogba, scorer against Barca, not included because of a knee injury.
They were resolute at the back though with John Terry and Gary Cahill restricting Arsenal to few chances, the best of which was a Laurent Koscielny header that smacked the crossbar in the opening period.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was surprised the game had not been more open as the Emirates witnessed a first goalless draw this season, following his side's 2-1 home defeat by Wigan Athletic in midweek.
"It was a starnge game, they decided to lock it up and catch us on the break," Wenger, who saw Theo Walcott limp off with a hamstring injury, said on Sky. "They waited for us in their half of the pitch and we were not sharp enough to open them up."
Arsenal created most of the game's best chances, several of them falling to top scorer Robin van Persie who for once was guilty of profligate finishing.