Chelsea maintained their impressive start to the Barclays Premier League season with a 2-0 over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard's first-half penalty and Diego Costa's ninth goal of the season sent Chelsea five points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester City at the top of the table. The defeat ended Arsenal's unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League campaign, as Arsene Wenger's men fell nine points behind their London neighbours after seven matches. The only downside for the home faithful was an injury to first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was forced off after suffering a blow to the head in an early collision with Alexis Sanchez.
Both sides made one change following their exploits in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, as Cesar Azpilicueta returned at left-back for Chelsea in place of Filipe Luis and Jack Wilshere came in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the visitors.
After a 15-minute delay to kick-off, there was a moment of concern for Chelsea in the 10th minute as Courtois collided with Alexis. The goalkeeper was able to get to his feet and resume action but had to be withdrawn in the 24th minute, as Petr Cech entered the fray.
After 27 cautious minutes, a moment of magic from Hazard led to Chelsea breaking the deadlock.
The Belgian drifted beyond Santi Cazorla and Chambers, before being upended by Koscielny's trip inside the box. Hazard, who scored a penalty in the 6-0 rout last season, calmly sent Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way from the spot.
Wilshere almost had a chance to equalise but his poor touch allowed Cech to gather.
Chelsea almost doubled their lead shortly before the hour when Hazard's driven cross deflected off Mathieu Flamini and then the arm of Szczesny, before Arsenal had claims for a penalty when Wilshere's effort hit the arm of Fabregas waved away.
Hazard could have netted his and Chelsea's second when he fired off target from close range 14 minutes from time but soon afterwards, Costa made the game safe. He ran on to Cesc Fabregas's pass and lobbed a deft finish over the advancing Szczesny.
Arsenal desperately chased the game, but Chelsea comfortably held on to secure maximum points.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: "It was a difficult game. They started better than us, but Eden gave us the penalty and the first goal and the game could have finished there if it had been a red card.
"At the end of day they had more of the ball than us but we had the chances so we scored two goals, we won and I am happy we beat a good team."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: “It was down to the little things that were on their side but it was a very even game. If you look at the number of saves our keeper had made you find nothing, and theirs as well, so the game was about who can take advantage of an opportunity.
"We couldn't score and they did so at the end of the day you have to say yes [Chelsea were more ruthless]."
|03 Dec 2014||v Spurs (H)|
|13 Dec 2014||v Hull (H)|
|06 Dec 2014||v Newcastle (A)|
|18 Oct 2014||v Crystal Palace (A)|
|26 Oct 2014||v Man Utd (A)|
|29 Nov 2014||v Sunderland (A)|