Diego Costa continued his impressive start to life as a Chelsea player with his ninth goal of the season in their 2-0 derby win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Midfielder Eden Hazard slotted in Chelsea’s opener- his second of the season- from the penalty spot after he was impeded in the box by Laurient Koscielny in the first-half.
Costa, who joined the ‘Blues’ for £32m from Atletico last summer, doubled the hosts’ lead after the break when he latched on to a long pass from Cesc Fabregas and lifted the ball over Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal failed to try a shot on target for the first time since September 2003 (against Manchester United) and also had a penalty appeal turned down.
The win means Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho continues to assert dominance (W:7, D:5, L:0) on the fixture between two London heavyweights, as his opposite number Arsene Wenger awaits his first win against the Portuguese boss’ side after twelve meetings.
Chelsea are five points clear at the summit of the Premier League standings, with Southampton dropping points at Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea’s 6-0 win in March lingered in the air before kick-off, but not up to half and hour after kickoff had rivalries between two old foes Wenger and Mourinho resurfaced when the former shoved the latter in the chest in the hosts’ area following Gary Cahill’s challenge on Alexis Sanchez.
Arsenal had rarely put Chelsea under any sort of pressure before Hazard solved their defensive puzzle with a jinking run which left Koscielny without an option than to stick his leg out an hack the Belgian down.
As collected as necessary, the midfielder stepped up to roll the ball into the opposite corner with Szczesny diving the other way.
Chelsea, though struggled to replicate their form from previous wins, remained organised in the defence, while Arsenal looked to have expended all their attacking threat in the midweek.
The ‘Gunners’ thought they should have had a penalty when Fabregas dived to divert Jack Wilshere’s rasping shot for a corner with his hands up after the hour mark, but referee Martin Atkinson was rather uninterested.
Costa had barely made his mark in the game before the 78th minute, when he pounced on Fabregas’ lofted ball to clinically lift a finish over Szczesny and seal three points.
The assist was the former Arsenal man’s seventh of the season as Chelsea continue to reap the reward of their early but astute spending over the summer.