Chelsea made it four wins on the trot against Arsenal thanks to fine goals from their superstars Hazard and Costa.
The Blues, though unable to match the phenomenal 6-0 drubbing of Arsenal last season, were in control for the huge majority of the match, got in front through sublime Hazard play, contained for the remainder before Costa delivered a sucker-punch of a second to the Arsenal fans.
It was a feisty affair from the off. Delayed for 15 minutes due to trouble outside the ground, the match started in similar heated fashion, with Courtois having to go off due to a head injury scare.
The challenges continued to fly in: Cahill was more forceful on Sanchez than Wenger would have liked, and took that out physically on Mourinho. Referee Martin Atkinson has to separate the warring pair.
The next big illegal challenge would provide the game’s first goal. Hazard slalomed his way through several Arsenal men and got exactly what he wanted when Koscielny stuck out his right leg to block the Belgian’s run. He would have been through on goal but no matter, for he tucked his penalty home expertly. You would expect nothing else from Hazard, who has never missed a penalty in the league. It marked Chelsea’s 20th Premier League goal of the season already.
Eight of those have come from Diego Costa, but it would be nine from 21 later on in the game. A delicious Cesc Fabregas through-ball and Costa was in on the Arsenal back-line, lobbing home an expert second.
It means the Blues restore their five-point lead at the top of the table going into the international break.
Man of the Match
EDEN HAZARD: He’s come under the spotlight of late but shining in a big match is the way to respond. Costa and Fabregas were likewise terrific but Hazard’s penalty was the game-changer, for Arsenal were very content to sit until then. It forced them to be a bit more expansive, further allowing himself and his colleagues in. 8/10
Mourinho was happy with the win: “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.”
Arsene Wenger was unable to come to terms with the defeat: “It was an even game, but at the end of the day they have financial power and used it in a effective way with players like Diego Costa and Eden Hazard making the difference. They did not work our keeper more than we did their’s. We had more shots and missed opportunities to take more. This is unfortunate.”