CHELSEA extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points over Manchester City after beating Arsenal 2-0 Sunday in a feisty London derby.
Eden Hazard opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 27th minute, coolly slotting home a penalty past Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
The Belgium international earned the penalty himself, darting his way into the Arsenal area, only to upended by defender Laurent Koscielny.
Diego Costa continued his rich vein of scoring, making sure of three points for the home side at Stamford Bridge when he chipped the ball over Szczesny in the 78th after latching onto an exquisite pass from Cesc Fabregas.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has now faced rival manager Jose Mourinho 12 times in the Premier League, but has yet to beat him.
The two men clashed on the sidelines in the first half after Mourinho complained about a free kick when Gary Cahill slid in recklessly on Alexis Sanchez.
Wenger was incensed by the tackle and walked across the Chelsea technical area to complain.
Mourinho told the Frenchman to “back off” as their rivalry endured another ugly episode, with the Gunners boss firmly planting two hands on the Portuguese’s chest - risking Football Association disciplinary action - and the pair also eye-balling each other in close quarters.
On the pitch, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibault Courtois had to be substituted midway through the first half after a trailing leg from Sanchez appeared to knock him out.
Reports said Courtois was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
It was the first time Fabregas faced his old team since a 2011 move to Barcelona, and a $48 million summer transfer to Chelsea.
Jeered throughout by opposition fans, Fabregas was in imperious form and the former Arsenal captain now has seven assists in seven league matches for Chelsea.
There was a 15-minute delay to the scheduled kickoff after a flare was lit on the approach to the visiting supporters’ end.