Arsenal and Chelsea ground out a 0-0 draw in a rainy and wind-swept Emirates Stadium with neither side willing to give the other an early Christmas gift.
Both teams fought hard but were unable to display a clinical edge needed to take the game away from the other.
Olivier Giroud had two chances in the second half from which he could have won the game, which was high on application but low on memorable moments.
The best chance of the first half fell to Frank Lampard who struck the bar from inside the penalty area with a cleanly struck volley, while Bacary Sagna had a late header cleared off the line by Azpilicueta.
There were two controversial moments minutes later Arsenal felt they were denied a clear penalty when Willian fouled Theo Walcott inside the box, while a Jon Obi Mikel tackle on Mikel Arteta provided a lively half-time talking point.
As it stands Liverpool top the Premier League table on goal difference heading into Christmas level on points with Arsenal. Manchester City sit one point back and Chelsea one behind them.