Chelsea 2 Arsenal 0
( Hazard 27 (pen) , Costa 78 )

The game may not have lived up to the pre-match hype and expectation, and apart from the two goals courtesy of an Eden Hazard penalty and Diego Costa’s second half strike, Arsenal will wonder how they managed not to get something from this game. The sparks were flying on the pitch, with Alexis Sanchez in particular being targeted. It was one such challenge from Gary Cahill on the Chile striker, and right in from of the dugout which so irked Arsene Wenger, that he felt he had to push Jose Mourinho out of the way as he was blocked from getting ” from A to B,” he would later say, as he attempted to see how his prone striker was after Cahill’s shocker of a tackle, which should have been red carded he said.

” Yes, ( Cahill should’ve been sent off ), it wouldn’t surprise you if you watched it again.

Arsenal enjoyed much of the possession, but lacked that killer cutting edge which would be needed to prise open the wheels of the big blue bus going round and round in front of them. Sanchez, the willing Danny Welbeck, Mesut Özil, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla just couldn’t get the right combination to fashion a goal. After Sanchez’s thigh had accidentally caught Thibaut Courtois, the dazed giant Belgian keeper had to be replaced by Petr Cech.

Cesc Fabregas faced his former team for the first time since his summer arrival at Chelsea. Booed at every touch by the fans who once adored him, Fabregas came back to help inflict Arsenal’s first defeat of the season. His ranged pass found Diego Costa who bisected two defenders before lobbing Wojciech Szczesny. By that time, Hazard had created and scored the penalty that gave Chelsea a 1-0 half time lead. Laurent Koscielny caught Hazard, but received a yellow as Calum Chambers was one of a number of covering defenders.

Wilshere was running proceedings from the middle and it was his shot, blocked by Fabregas’s arm which should have given the Gunners a penalty of their own. But despite the protests from many red shirted players, referee Martin Atkinson waved play on. Given their large swathes of possession, Arsenal couldn’t capitalise from their neat passing game, and left Wenger and a sizeable travelling Gunners’ faithful very frustrated.

” It was a very intense game. Very tight as well. It was about not making a mistake and not giving the first goal away. After that we were 1-0 down. We had good opportunities in the first half and we have to turn these into dangerous situations and finish them. After that, in the second half it was all us and we were a bit unlucky. We made a mistake on the second goal, and the second goal killed the game off, ” said Wenger.

Asked if he regretted his controversial spat with Mourinho, Wenger acknowledged that he was more concerned with the foul on Sanchez, but then elaborated.

” No, what is there to regret after that? I wanted to go from A to B and somebody confronted me in between without any sign of welcome.

” B was Alexis, to see how badly he was injured,” continued Wenger who said he felt that Oscar and Branislav Ivanovic were lucky to have remained on the pitch whilst accepting that Koscielny and also Welbeck’s challenge on Fabregas could have also lead to a reduction of player numbers.

Wenger can expect a call from the FA and worse for his touchline confrontation with Mourinho, but he was adamant he meant no ill intent.

“I can try to push you and when ( I do ) you will see what my ( pushes are really like ) It was a little one.

” I think we turned up with a strong performance,with a strong spirit and it was down to very little today. They got it. At the moment we are in full confidence as well. It all went well for them, they are a good side – you cannot deny that. It was a very intense game of the top level,” said the Gunners’ manager.

” I believe we were well organised as well and you do not expect them not to be well organised. They are a physical team and have technical individual players. We knew it would be a game that would come down to little details that were on their side. It was a very even game today. If you look at the number of saves our keeper made today, it was nothing. Their keeper as well. The game was who can take advantage of an opportunity that the other team gives away. We couldn’t score and they did,” conceded Wenger.

So Arsenal’s strong unbeaten start to the Premiership season comes to an end, and after a series of draws and now this loss, Wenger will need to find a way to come out on top in future clashes against his closest rivals. He will be boosted by the soon to return Theo Walcott and perhaps a more defence minded Abou Diaby. Both could have made a contribution here, but the Gunners must now fix their focus to hosting Hull City in a fortnight’s time.