Chelsea denied by Van Persie equaliser
Didier Drogba, 36, playing from the start because Diego Costa was unfit, headed the visitors in front in the 53rd minute from a corner conceded when David De Gea was forced into a fine save from Eden Hazard.
Chelsea seemed likely to hold out but just before the final whistle Branislav Ivanovic was sent off for a second yellow card and from the free kick Thibaut Courtois saved from Marouane Fellaini but could not keep out Van Persie’s fierce follow-up.
The draw extended Chelsea’s lead to four points over second-placed Southampton and six over champions Manchester City. (Reuters)