ARSENE Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal turned into a nightmare as his side were thumped 6-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Wenger’s milestone day quickly turned sour as Chelsea all but ended their title ambitions in a game overshadowed by Kieran Gibbs’ mistaken first-half sending off for handball.
Referee Andre Marriner showed the Arsenal full-back the red card, although replays clearly showed it was team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who illegally deflected an Eden Hazard shot wide.
By that point Chelsea had already scored twice, via Samuel Eto’o and Andre Schurrle, before Hazard’s 15th-minute penalty virtually killed the game off.
Oscar added to Arsenal’s woes with a double either side of half-time before his replacement, Mohamed Salah, netted his first Chelsea goal when sent clear.
Arenal’s defeat dropped them down to fourth in the table after Liverpool and Manchester City both also won by emphatic scorelines.
Liverpool twice had to come from behind before seeing off relegation-threatened Cardiff 6-3.
Luis Suarez finished with a hat-trick but he and Martin Skrtel first had to cancel out first-half strikes from Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell to make it 2-2 at half-time.
Skrtel then fired the Reds ahead on 54 minutes before Suarez lashed in Daniel Sturridge’s clever back-heel on the hour. Suarez returned the favour soon after for Sturridge to tap in.
Mutch pulled one back, but Suarez had the final say in injury-time.
City chalked up a simple 5-0 win over last-placed Fulham on the back of a Yaya Toure hat-trick.
The Ivory coast midfielder scored a penalty in each half, the second after Fernando Amorebieta saw red, before bending in a long-range strike on 65 minutes.
Fernandinho and Martin Demichelis struck late on to ensure City joined their title rivals in racking up a big score.
It was a bad afternoon for the teams in the bottom three as Sunderland were beaten 2-0 at Norwich.
The Black Cats had no answer for first-half goals from Robert Snodgrass and Alex Tettey.
Gus Poyet’s side remain three points from safety, however, as the teams above them failed to take advantage.
West Brom did not take anything from their trip to Hull, losing 2-0 to goals from Liam Rosenior and Shane Long, while Crystal Palace were undone by a Papiss Cisse injury-time winner to lose 1-0 at Newcastle.
Swansea also lost 3-2 at Everton to remain just a point better off.
Wilfried Bony had cancelled out a Leyton Baines penalty but second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley secured a win that lifts Everton above Tottenham and into fifth.
Ashley Williams headed in an injury-time corner but it was too late for the Swans.