Diego Costa scored the ninth goal of his seven league game Chelsea career as the Blues dispatched Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge this afternoon to go five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the premier League
A penalty from Eden Hazard on 27 minutes broke the deadlock in a very competitive and at times tetchy derby, that at one point, saw manager Arsene Wenger Walk out of his technical zone and into his counterpart Jose Mourinho'S. A scuffle ensued which saw Wenger push Mourinho.
This was also the match that saw Cesc Fabregas play against his old side and Fabregas Was supreme in his performance, unsurprisingly it was he who set up goal-scoring machine Costa to seal the three points, 18 minutes from time.
The opening salvo in this Derby went to Alexis Sanchez after three minutes - his right footed low drive from 20 yards was a easily of a smart Arsenal counter attack, but the shot was wide of Thibaut Courtois' right post.
The visitors certainly started brightly with the majority of possession of the ball. Sanchez was next in action, on 11 minutes. Latching onto a Jack Wilshere through ball the Chile striker raced through the Chelsea defence but found Courtois in his way. Courtois however was flattened by the striker's follow though and lay in the ground for a minute to recover from the trauma.
Tempers flared off the pitch when Gary Cahill laid out Sanchez on the byline, Arsene Wenger jumped off his seat and raced across into Jose Mourinho's territory. Mourinho told him to get back, Wenger pushed him and words were exchanged. following the booking for Cahill, referee Martin Atkinson spoke to both managers and his hand gesture were clear that any further incursions would result in the manager being sent to the stands.
On 23 minutes, back on the pitch, Calum Cambers upended Eden Hazard and was booked.
But before the free kick could be taken, Courtois went to the sideline and complained of a head injury, And with blood seeping out of his left ear, presumably a result of the challenge with Sanchez.
Petr Cech came off the bench and resumed his place between the sticks for his first league minutes the season.
Four minutes later and the Blues were ahead. Hazard weaved his way through the Arsenal half, past three players and into the penalty area where he was then unceremoniously cut down by Laurent Koscielny for a spot kick. The Belgium midfielder slotted home past Wojciech Szczesny with ease.
Neither side gave an inch in terms of commitment or space on the pitch but then again, neither could forge a chance For the remainder of the half worthy of the name.
The second half restarted with the same personnel.
Cazorla has the first effort on goal on 49 minutes but his edge of the penalty area shot was skewed just wide of Cech's left upright.
Mathias Flamini could have flicked the ball into his own net after an excellent run and byline cross by Hazard. But the Midfielder, at his own near post deflected the ball away for a corner instead, although he did not know what was happening as the ball came at him with such pace,
Arsenal had a claim for a penalty turned down on 63 minutes when Cesc Fabregas Appeared to het his hand to a Wilshere shot. But Atkinson gave a corner instead much to the chagrin of the visitors.
Both managers decided that a change of player was required with Mourinho bringing on Mikel for Schurrle and Wenger replacing Cazorla with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
With 18 minutes on the clock it was Chambers who tried his luck from range after Odcar misjudged the flight of e ball. But the full-back's effort was wayward and sailed high over Cech's crossbar.
With Chelsea on the. Ack foot for much of the half, whenever they broke it was a cause of celebration and on 75 minutes they could have doubled their lead when. Long Azpilicueta ps blind Costa. the Spain forward kept possession well, all the time edging towards the Arsenal area. Once inside he slotted the ball cooly into he path of in-running Hazard, who slipped past Mertesacker but slashed his left footed drive inches over Szczesny crossbar.
Seconds later however and the home side went two up. A simple ball from Mikel to Fabregas led the midfielder to curl the perfect ball over the Arsenal rearguard to Costa. The stoker chest the ball down before drinking the perfect chip From just inside the penalty area over the stranded goalkeeper.
It was Costa's ninth league goal in seven league games.
That was it as far as goal chances were concerned, Arsenal basically gave up and Chelsea allowed them to leave the Bridge with no points but with their dignity intact following last season's 6-0 mauling.
Teams: Courtois, Ivanovic, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazrad, Schurrle, Costa, Matic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta
Subs, Cech, Luis, Zouma, Mukel, Salah, Remy, Willian
Arsenal, Szczesny, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Wilshere, Ozil, San her, Cazorla, Flamini, Chambers, Welbeck
Subs, Martiinez, Rosicky, Poldolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Monreal, Campbell, Coquelin
Referee, Martin Atkinson