Chelsea punish Arsenal in fiery derby

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0

Diego Costa’s ninth goal in seven Premier League games wrapped up a clinical Chelsea win in a London derby bristling with animosity.

Eden Hazard’s cool first-half penalty and Costa’s brilliant one-on-one finish after the break ensured the Blues moved five points clear at the top of the table and nine points ahead of Arsenal.

But a bad-tempered match will be remembered just as much for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger pushing Jose Mourinho after a late first-half challenge by Gary Cahill on Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez

Wenger moved out of his technical area to shove the Blues boss, who managed to stay calm while pointing the Frenchman back to his area.

In a game delayed by 15 minutes because of a flare being let off near the away section of the ground, the confrontation was the main action until Hazard’s scintillating run set up the opening goal.

The Belgian, back to his breathtaking best, netted from the spot after being fouled by Laurent Koscielny, who was lucky not to be sent off.

Arsenal, mindful of the 6-0 humiliation they suffered at Stamford Bridge last season, were limited in their attacking intent and defended deep.

Their brightest moment saw Sanchez race through and smash into keeper Thibaut Courtois, who took a blow to the head and soon had to be replaced by Petr Cech.

Chelsea also struggled to create chances but with a lead to protect they were able to play more cautiously after the interval.

Former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas, who received a mixed reception from the visiting fans, sat deeper alongside the outstanding Nemanja Matic and let Hazard and Schurrle do the bulk of the attacking.

One Hazard run almost led to a second goal when his driven cross struck Mathieu Flamini and forced a fine block from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

At the other end, Santi Cazorla shot wide after a fine move and Jack Wilshere led the calls for a penalty after his shot hit Fabregas on the arm.

But Chelsea defended with great conviction in the final 30 minutes and Costa sealed victory with a wonderful dinked finish over the advancing Szczesny from a glorious cross-field pass from Fabregas.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois (Cech 24); Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Schurrle (Mikel 70), Oscar (Willian 87), Hazard; Costa.
Subs not used: Zouma, Filipe Luis, Salah, Remy.

Follow West London Sport on Twitter
Find us on Facebook