London, England (SportsNetwork.com) – Chelsea moved a bit closer to lifting
the Premier League title on Sunday as the Blues played out a 0-0 draw at
Arsenal with much of the attention focused on referee Michael Oliver.
There were three separate incidents in the first half where Oliver was forced
to make decisions regarding penalty kicks, but each time he chose to wave play
on, leaving the sides level at the break.
Both teams were cautious after the break, and it was Arsenal that had the
better chances, but the game ultimately ended without a goal and produced a
result that will be more beneficial to Chelsea.
The club sits 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League and can extend
that advantage even further with a result against Leicester City on Wednesday.
Oscar should have been awarded a penalty kick in the 15th minute when he raced
into the box to track down a through ball and was knocked hard to the ground
by goalkeeper David Ospina, who got nowhere near the ball.
Cesc Fabregas went down under a challenge from Santi Cazorla eight minutes
later but Oliver once again was not interested.
Arsenal also had a shout for a penalty kick in the 34th when Cazorla
redirected a shot toward goal that struck the arm of Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
The second half had fewer incidents but did produce a few decent chances for
the Gunners, who could have taken the lead in the 75th when Cazorla failed to
hit the target from close range.
Danny Welbeck also had an opportunity to win the match for the hosts in injury
time, yet he failed to make contact with a cross in front of goal.
Sunday’s other match saw Everton roll to a 3-0 home victory against Manchester
United with James McCarthy and John Stones scoring first-half goals before
Kevin Mirallas capped the win 15 minutes from time with a goal of his own.
United drops to fourth place with the defeat, two points adrift of both
Manchester City and Arsenal.