Much had been made of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal’s poor away record against top-six sides and despite the absence of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez from their starting XI, it was the Gunners who held an edge throughout.
Danny Welbeck had a solid chance early on, but despite being unmarked, the speedy Englishman could not keep his header on target after a quick break from the away side.
Eden Hazard was kept on the bench by Antonio Conte and without their star winger, the defending champions looked bereft of ideas and despite edging possession, struggled to fashion too many clear-cut chances.
The one chance they did have, Pedro squandered. After being sent clean through for a one-on-one with Petr Cech by Cesc Fabregas, the Spanish winger got the ball stuck under his feet and his tame effort was well-saved by the former Chelsea keeper.
Arsenal ended the first-half on top and really should have gone into the interval leading.
For Aaron Ramsey’s slaloming run deserved a goal and while the Welsh midfielder was unlucky to see his effort come off the post, Alexandre Lacazette should have put away the rebound but the club record-signing couldn’t hit the target from inside the six-yard box.
Conte threw on Tiemoue Bakayoko on at the interval for Pedro and while the French midfielder’s introduction gave the Blues some much-needed urgency in midfield, they struggled to break down a resolute Arsenal defence.
After getting hammered by Liverpool in August, there was a marked improvement in the Gunners’ squad and perhaps Ozil’s absence contributed to that.
Without the German midfielder, who is widely regarded as a luxury player, Arsenal were dogged in defence and midfield both.
Shkodran Mustafi, in particular, was enjoying his duel with Chelsea’s record-signing Alvaro Morata and on the whole, marshalled the Spaniard fairly well.
Sanchez and Hazard were sent on by their respective managers in a bid to force the result but it wasn’t to be and both sides were forced to settle for a share of the points.
Luiz saw red for a silly challenge on Sead Kolasinac, but his dismissal came too late in the game to enable Arsenal to effectively utilise their man advantage and the Gunners remain in the bottom-half of the table, in 12th place with seven points from five games.
They next take on Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup on Wednesday night.
Chelsea remain in third place on 10 points, three behind leaders Manchester City and next play Nottingham Forest in the League Cup on Wednesday night.