Ten-man Chelsea avoided a fourth consecutive defeat to Arsenal to set up an enthralling Champions League quarter-final second leg in two weeks.
Eidur Gudjohnsen put the home side in front in the 53rd minute after an error from Gunners goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
But that lead lasted just six minutes as Robert Pires levelled, heading home an Ashley Cole cross.
Neither side could seal the win, though, even after Marcel Desailly was sent off with 10 minutes remaining.
Chelsea had gone into the game on the back of three defeats to Arsenal this season.
And it was the Gunners who marginally edged an initially bright half, which gradually petered out as attack after attack was snuffed out by both sides.
53 mins: Gudjohnsen scores after Lehmann error
59 mins: Pires heads home Cole cross
84 mins: Desailly sent off for second bookable offence
The Stamford Bridge crowd were, at times, treated to end-to-end running but had to wait until the 34th minute for the first chance on goal.
Dennis Bergkamp struck relatively tamely from the left flank, but with just enough force for Marco Ambrosio to fumble the ball before gathering at the second attempt.
Chelsea had their only real opportunity of the half two minutes later from a Damien Duff corner.
The Republic of Ireland international's cross bounced back to Scott Parker, who sent William Gallas clear inside the box.
The Frenchman duly lofted the ball to Gudjohnsen but it bounced awkwardly and he failed to make good contact.
Frank Lampard nearly put Chelsea into an early second-half lead when his innocuous strike was almost headed into the Arsenal goal by Sol Campbell.
Lampard then turned provider for the game's first goal in the 53rd minute after sending Gudjohnsen clear and forcing a Lehmann error.
Gudjohnsen, free of defenders, charged down Lehmann's clearance which bounced kindly for the Icelandic striker, with the German keeper left stranded outside the box.
Gudjohnsen then whipped the ball from the edge of the area into an empty net.
The lead lasted just six minutes before John Terry was caught out of position and Pires comfortably headed home a deft Cole cross.
Both sides continued to push for the win, each bringing on fresh legs to break the deadlock.
Gudjohnsen had a slim chance for a second but his shot was comfortably saved by Lehmann before team-mate Desailly got his marching orders in the 80th minute for a second bookable offence.
The loss did little to shake Chelsea, who comfortably held on for the draw.
Chelsea: Ambrosio; Gallas, Terry, Desailly, Bridge; Parker (Cole, 72), Lampard, Makelele, Duff; Mutu (Crespo, 72), Gudjohnsen (Melchiot, 86).
Subs not used: Sullivan, Geremi, Huth, Gronkjaer.
Sent off: Desailly
Arsenal: Lehmann; Lauren, Cole, Toure, Campbell; Ljungberg (Reyes, 78), Edu, Vieira, Pires; Bergkamp (Gilberto, 72); Henry.
Subs not used: Stack, Keown, Cygan, Silva, Clichy, Kanu.
Referee: Manuel Enrique Mejuto Gonzalez (Spain).