By David Alexander
Arsenal failed to score against Charlton for the first time ever at Highbury in a game that will be remembered for the contentious sending-off of Emmanuel Petit.
Arsenal were driving forward in the second half, hoping to get the goal that would open the game out, when sixty seconds of drama turned the game into a stalemate.
Patrick Vieira ran through and looked close set to shoot, before he was taken out inside the box by Steve Brown.
The crowd called for a penalty, but referee Graham Poll said "No."
Petit was booked for his protestations and a lunging tackle on Eddie Newton moments later earned him his second yellow.
Petit went off to a standing ovation, but there was no way forward.
Arsenal pushed ahead at every opportunity in the first half, with the entire Charlton team camped in their own half, but that elusive break just would not come.
Marc Overmars had the best chance, latching onto Petit's pass before forcing Ilic into a fine save.
On half an hour, Anelka played the ball to Overmars and his pass gave Dixon a chance to shoot, but Ilic was equal to it and it went over the bar.
Winterburn also had a shot which was well saved bu Ilic and Charlton could do little more than hang on.
After Petit's sending-off, Hughes, Wreh and Vivas all came on to give fresh impetus, but to no avail.
If anyone was to break the deadlock, it looked like Charlton would nick it, with a number of half-chances which may have beated a better keeper than Seaman.
After the game, Arsene Wenger admitted he was disappointed with the result, but added: "It was frustrating, because Charlton did well at what they wanted to do and we did not find the solution to break them down."
The Arsenal manager did not think Vieira's tumble was a penalty, and said: "When Emmanuel gets frustrated, he over-reacts and he should not do it. I am not happy with it, but I cannot change it.
"But we did not have the pace, the passing or the fluency today."