Jose Mourinho once again came out on top in his rivalry with Arsene Wenger as Chelsea defeated Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Following a feisty Premier League encounter on Sunday, Wenger has now failed to get the better of Mourinho in 12 meetings, with five draws and seven defeats for Arsenal in those matches – including last season’s 6-0 drubbing in the corresponding fixture.
This latest reverse came courtesy of Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty and Diego Costa’s ninth goal of the season, as Chelsea moved five points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City at the top of the table.
The only downside for the home faithful was an injury to first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was forced off after suffering a nasty blow to the head in an early collision with Alexis Sanchez.
In what was a full-blooded match, Laurent Koscielny was perhaps fortunate not to be shown a red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity in bringing down Hazard for Chelsea’s spot-kick, but Costa’s sublime finish after a lofted pass from former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas with 12 minutes left put the result beyond doubt.
Calum Chambers could also have been dismissed after hauling down Andre Schurrle when already on a booking, while Gary Cahill’s forceful tackle on Alexis could have been more severely punished by referee Martin Atkinson, who brandished only a caution.
That first-half challenge also sparked a touchline altercation between Wenger and Mourinho, with the former placing his hands on the chest of the Portuguese as tempers frayed. The pair opted to dispense with the customary handshakes at the final whistle.
The defeat saw Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign brought to an end, as Wenger’s men fell nine points behind their London neighbours after just seven matches.
Manchester United 2 – 1 Everton
Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 0 Southampton
Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal
West Ham United 2 – 0 Queens Park Rangers