Tony Adams takes a boot in the face from Casiraghi.

World Cup team mates Leboeuf and Vieira battle for possession.

Manu Petit gets some attention from Physio Gary Lewin.

Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux in conversation.

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Attendance : 36,644
By David Alexander

Lee Dixon was sent off and five players were booked in a typical London derby at Stamford Bridge. Dixon went off for his second bookable offence, Arsenal's second red card in successive games and the third between the two sides in two season.

There may not have been any goals, but Chelsea against Arsenal always provides incident and entertainment. As you would expect from a London derby of this magnitude, the game started at a frenetic pace and never gave up.

Though the defence was stretched towards the end as Chelsea went forward in search of a winning goal, defending has always been one of Arsenal's strengths.

Tony Adams almost gave Arsenal a dream start with a glancing header from Manu Petit's second minute corner. Tackles flew in at frightening speed and angles, with Martin Keown becoming the first name in the book for a lunging dive at Perluigi Casiraghi.

Anyone who doubted David Seaman's quality, and there were those who unfairly criticised him after England's defeat at the hands of Sweden, saw just how good he is in the 13th minute. Gianfranco Zola ghosted through the midfield and curled a shot towards the top corner from 25 yards. Seaman was slightly off his line, but managed to tip the ball out for a corner.

Bernard Lambourde volleyed wide from the corner and then Casiraghi was played in by Graeme Le Saux, stumbling as he hit his shot. As the midfield battle continued to dominate the match, inevitably so, shots at goal became more and more distant.

Typical of a derby, the tackles continued to crunch, with Le Saux going into the book for a nasty tackle on Lee Dixon. Both players were booked in what was to be a telling episode in the game.

From the subsequent free kick, Dixon blasted the ball just wide and Frank LeBoeuf had to make a superb tackle to prevent Bergkamp running through.

Nicholas Anelka came closest to opening the scoring as the half neared its end, shooting across goal from an acute angle.

The second half started where the first left off, with Michael Duberry hauling down Overmars after Anelka put him through. Keown then headed over his own bar from Zola's teasing cross, the first of two successive corners and a free kick which kept the pressure on Arsenal.

Emmanuel Petit was whacked on the head by Le Saux, reacting angrily to the challenge which produced a hold-up in play for treatment to Petit's ear.

But the game was in stalemate, Bergkamp's pass to Anelka promting the clearest chance for an opening. LeBoeuf made another fine tackle and was injured in the process.

Chelsea were determined to turn their pressure into goals, taking off the disappointing Brian Laudrup and bringing on Gustavo Poyet.

But the game swung in Chelsea's favour on the hour after Dixon brought down Le Saux and earned his second yellow card, Arsenal's second red in successive games.

Remi Garde was immediately brought on for Overmars to keep the defence solid.

Casiraghi thought he had a penalty when Patrick Vieira cut him down inside the box, but the referee gave nothing to the despair of the Chelsea bench. The Italian striker then lobbed the ball over the bar when he ghosted behind the defence, but the referee had blown for handball anyway.

At the other end, Ed de Goey could only parry compatriot Bergkamp's long range shot.

To add to the controversy of the game, Chelsea again thought they had a penalty, five minutes from time, when Le Saux's cross hit Keown on the chest, but nothing was given.

With Hughes on in place of Anelka to bolster the side in the dying stages, Arsene Wenger signalled his desire to get a point form the game, but the late entrance of Christopher Wreh for Dennis Bergkamp gave more pace to the forward line.

Di Matteo then went down in the area but there was little protest from the home side and Poyet's glancing header went precariously wide in injury time.

So, a second clean sheet against potential championship opposition, the third in four games this season. Goals may be hard to come by, but we still have not tasted defeat and have two tricky away games out of the way.

Arsene Wenger admitted the result had been a good one after the sending off.

He said:

"When we were down to 10 men, we were well organised.

"Dixon wanted to play the ball and it was just a little bit late and he was unfortunate.

"We have come back with two points from Liverpool and Chelsea and a point at Stamford Bridge is not so bad.

"We needed the old traditional Arsenal spirit."

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