An Eden Hazard penalty and Diego Costa’s ninth goal of the season saw Chelsea move five points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League. Hazard slotted home a first half penalty after his mazy run was haulted by Koscienly after 27 minutes. Costa doubled the Blues lead with 12 minutes remaining after Cesc Fabregas’s through ball found him and he lobbed the ball beyond Szcsesny in the Arsenal goal. Arsene Wenger continues his winless run against Mourinho to 12 games.
Chelsea made 1 change from their 3-0 home win vs Aston Villa last week with Andre Schurrle replacing Willian in midfield. Arsenal made 3 changes after a 1-1 home draw with arch rivals Tottenham last time out with Santi Cazorla, Matheiu Flamini and Alexis Sanchez replacing Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Arsene Wenger highlighted the danger of Arsenal old boy Fabregas in midfield and chose to bolster to a midfield trio.
In a frantic opening 10 minutes both teams struggled to keep possession with Wenger and Mourinho going at it on the touchline after a poor challenge from Gary Cahill on Alexis Sanchez. Wenger took offense to the challenge and pushed Mourinho in the process to add extra spice to the game after recent comments in the press. Thibaut Courtois had to be replaced after Sanchez caught the goalkeeper, the Belgian tried to continue but with blood coming from his ear, Chelsea took no precautions with Cech replacing him. Chelsea looked slightly more dangerous and took the lead after brilliant play from Eden Hazard. The Belgian midfielder picked the ball up outside the area, beat two men before entering the penalty area where Laurent Koscienly fouled the Chelsea man. The midfielder picked himself up and slotted home the penalty to give Chelsea the lead.
Arsenal were trying to create chances but were struggling to hit the target, Ozil found Wilshere on the edge of the box but the England midfielders touch was poor and the chance went begging. Chelsea were limiting Arsenal to long range efforts with Cazorla going close but his shot was dragged wide.
On another day Arsenal could have had a penalty of their own after Fabregas attempted to block a Wilshere shot with the ball deflecting off the former Arsenal man’s hands. Arsenal looked poor in the final third and against another top club away from home. Mezut Ozil continued to be a passenger in another game and Wenger somehow kept the German World Cup winner on the pitch which Santi Cazorla disagreed with after being substituted.
Chelsea replaced Schurrle with Mikel and reverted to a 4-3-3 formation with Fabregas given license to push forward; Costa leading the line with Hazard and Oscar either side of the Spaniard. Hazard was a menace all game to Chambers and could have doubled Chelsea’s lead after great work from Costa but Hazard blazed over. Chelsea sealed the victory 2 minutes later, Fabregas found Costa who had positioned himself between the two Arsenal centre halves. The ball was inch perfect for Costa to chest then lob over Sczcesny who was in no man’s land. Fabregas highlighted how valuable he is with his seventh assist of the season and Costa continues to score goals as Chelsea look dominant in the league.
Arsenal looked poor against a title contender away from home again however it was not as bad as last season’s humiliation at Stamford Bridge. But it was the first time Arsenal had not recorded a shot on target in a Barclays Premier League match since 2003. The worrying fact for the rest of the league is Chelsea have not been at their very best yet and sit 5 points clear at the top of the league. Chelsea did not have to get out of third gear against Arsenal the fourth placed team last season. Chelsea are 9 points ahead of Arsenal already after 7 matches which is a worry for Wenger and his Arsenal side.