Chelsea’s recovery gathered momentum as nine-man Arsenal were beaten at Stamford Bridge.
Defender Kurt Zouma – preferred to dropped captain John Terry – headed the opening goal after 53 minutes and Chelsea secured only their second win in six Premier League games this season when Eden Hazard’s shot flew in off Calum Chambers late on.
This barely tells the story of a game that will leave Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger furious and frustrated in equal measure as he saw his players fall victim to the trademark and predictable wind-up tactics of Chelsea striker Diego Costa.
Arsenal defender Gabriel was sent off seconds before half-time for kicking out at Costa. It came at the end of a lengthy spat after the striker had shoved his hand into the face of Laurent Koscielny three times.
It handed the momentum to Chelsea and Arsenal’s misery was complete when Santi Cazorla was given a second yellow card for a foul on Cesc Fabregas.
All this mattered little to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who will regard this win as another sign that the reigning Premier League champions are moving somewhere towards their normal selves.