Chelsea had the opportunities to build an advantage for the second leg – but found Arsenal in resilient mood and wasted the chances that presented themselves.
Arsenal needed a show of strength after Sunday’s embarrassing FA Cup exit to Nottingham Forest and showed steel, with Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers excellent in defence.
Fabregas wasted a clear headed chance in the first half, while Christensen was also profligate – which led to frustration for manager Antonio Conte and an animated discussion with the match officials after the final whistle.
Full-time in this low-key game was greeted with virtual silence by Chelsea’s fans.
Chelsea’s quality is such that they have certainly not missed their chance but their carelessness means they have made life more difficult for themselves when they travel to Arsenal in a fortnight.
“We are about 50/50 because don’t forget not to concede a goal at home could be very important for the second leg,” Conte said.
“At the same time we know that to play at Emirates Stadium is not easy but we are ready.”