Diego Costa scored the only goal to show Chelsea are still capable of putting up a great performance against the top teams.
The loss has put a dent in Arsenal’s title hopes as they have lost the top spot in the Premier League. The Gunners, who began the weekend on top, are in third place just three points behind the leaders Leicester City. Arsene Wenger witnessed first home defeat in the league since the opening day of the season.
Both sides jumped into action in the opening two minutes as they came close to find the net. Arsenal’s Joe Campbell missed the target while Chelsea’s Oscar had a shot tipped behind at the near post by Petr Cech. The home side suffered a major blow within 18 minutes when defender Per Mertesacker was shown red card after he hauled down Diego Costa.
Four minutes later, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger replaced striker Olivier Giroud with defender Gabriel Paulista to compensate for Mertesacker’s dismissal. Diego Costa scored the decisive goal just a minute after the tactical move from the hosts. Costa netted the winner into the bottom right corner from Branislav Ivanovic’s excellent cross.
Diego Costa registered his sixth goal in eight games since the sacking of Jose Mourinho often dubbed as “The Special One.” Despite of Chelsea’s superiority, the hosts had a chance to level with the final act of the first half but Flamini volleyed a clever pass over the crossbar.
The huge roar swirled around the Emirates Stadium when Alexis Sanchez came off the bench in the second half. The Chile international Sanchez made his first appearance since sustaining a hamstring injury in November. Even the comeback game of the world-class Chilean could not spark Arsenal.
This narrow victory means the Blues are unbeaten since Guus Hiddink took charge as an interim manager and they have not lost their last nine league fixtures with Arsenal. IMAGE/ Dylan Martinez/ Reuters