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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho maintained his unbeaten record over Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger as the two Barclays Premier League title challengers claimed a point in an absorbing contest at the Emirates Stadium.
The Portuguese made it 10 matches against Wenger as Chelsea manager without suffering defeat as his side arguably had the better chances to take all three points.
Still, Arsenal would have claimed the victory had Olivier Giroud not missed an excellent chance to seal victory in the latter stages of the second half. And Wenger was left to rue what might have been as the result left Liverpool top on goal difference, with Chelsea moving into fourth.
The Frenchman made four changes from the side beaten 6-3 by Manchester City last time out, Thomas Vermaelen replacing the injured Laurent Koscielny in defence, while Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta came in for the suspended Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Flamini in midfield.
Frank Lampard was restored to the Chelsea line-up as part of three alterations made by Mourinho, who also selected defender Gary Cahill and midfielder John Obi Mikel in his starting XI.
The visitors crafted the first opening as Ramires headed over from Willian's cross after 25 minutes.
Chelsea began to exert more influence as the half progressed and Mourinho's charges were unlucky not to take the lead just after the half-hour mark when Lampard's half-volley crashed against the underside of the crossbar.
In the second half, Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic forced a save from Wojciech Szczesny with an effort from range while Arsenal almost claimed the victory 11 minutes from time but Giroud missed a good opening as he fired into the side-netting from the near post.
And Bacary Sagna saw a late header cleared off the line as Arsenal finished strongly without managing to find a way past Petr Cech.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "We should have won itd. They came here to defend and catch us on the break. We were a bit edgy at the start but we took control in the second half and should have won it. It was a game of very few chances and we couldn't take ours. If you cannot win the game don't lose it."
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: "It was a tactical match. A match that Arsenal want to win but didn't want to lose and Chelsea wants to win but doesn't want to lose. The goalkeeper was not in the game, we controlled the game defensively. It was important not to lose and be five points behind the leaders.
"We were not aggressive enough to attack defenders and go for the goal. We want creative players who use the ball and kill opponents. But there are some matches where we have to take one step backwards and play with a different philosophy."
|26 Dec 2013||v West Ham (A)|
|29 Dec 2013||v Newcastle (A)|
|01 Jan 2014||v Cardiff (H)|
|13 Jan 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|
|18 Jan 2014||v Fulham (H)|
|28 Jan 2014||v Southampton (A)|