Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0
Alexis 11, Walcott 14, Ozil 40

Arsenal, superb Arsenal struck three unanswered first half goals to stun Chelsea at the Emirates stadium. Playing his 100th Arsenal game, Alexis Sanchez pounced on Gary Cahill’s ambling approach from Branislav Ivanovic’s back pass, and chipped past the exposed Thibaut Courtois for the games’ opener. Moments later and Arsenal struck again. Theo Walcott was well placed to despatch Hector Bellerin’s cross with Courtois well beaten again for a stunning Gunners’ goal. Alexis and Mesut Ozil were brilliant all afternoon and the two combined for Ozil to fire in Arsenal’s third five minutes before the break. The Gunners were on fire and the only surprise was perhaps that they didn’t add more to the scoreline. The Blues poor Premier League form continues and the returning Cesc Fabregas, having given a first Premier League start suffered the ignominy of being taken off after 55 minutes. Any of his below par team mates were candidates to come off as Chelsea were outfought and out thought in all departments. Credit must go to Arsenal and their positive brand of football which delivered not only their best game of the season, but also said much for the resilience and maturity in Arsene Wenger’s side.

The Gunners’ boss named an unchanged starting eleven which triumphed 4-1 at Hull, with no place in the starting eleven for Granit Xhaka. The Switzerland international has struck two memorable long range efforts in his last two outings, and soon he would have to come on here. Francis Coquelin tried to carry on having received treatment for a clash with N’Golo Kante as he fought to clear the danger, but Xhaka was called to replace his France teammate just past the half hour mark.

Santi Cazorla was first to test Courtois with a sharp shot from 20 yards, which the Blues’ keeper palmed away after four minutes. Alexis was his effervescent self, popping up all over the pitch to worry the Blues. The Chilean’s follow up after Walcott’s run was deflected for a corner.

A shaky start from the Blues defence was capitalised on when Cahill took too long on the ball. Alexis swooped to steal possession and he needed no second invitation to race away and beat Courtois with a deft finish after 11 minutes.

If that was a welcomed and stunning start for the Emirates’ faithful, a mere three minutes had elapsed and the Gunners had doubled their lead. Alex Iwobi battled away for a cross field pass to Bellerin. The Spain defender hit a low cross from the right, which the unmarked Walcott struck low past Courtois.

Arsenal were 2-0 up within the first fifteen minutes. Chelsea were being carved up with ease.

Now it was Blues captain Ivanovic to get a touch of the defensive jitters. Alexis took possession to shoot, although he hadn’t spotted the better placed Walcott to his right.

Midway through the half, Chelsea mustered a worthy attack on Petr Cech’s goal. Bellerin was caught in no man’s land as Eden Hazard found Willian. The Chelsea man’s shot went low and just wide of Cech’s upright. The danger had been averted, when a Chelsea goal could so easily have draped another complexion over the game.

Having struck the Gunners’ second, a new feature of Walcott’s game has been much in evidence, his desire to track back and help the defence. Bellerin now has an assured presence ahead of him and the fans applauded loudly when he broke up Hazard’s attack.

Going the other way, Bellerin saw his shot deflected for a corner after Alexis’s clever back heel. Arsenal’s swift attacking prowess should have been rewarded when Iwobi exchanged passes with Alexis. The former was about to let fly, but had his heels clipped by Ivanovic. A free kick just outside the 18 yard line was awarded and Alexis saw his effort deflected for another Arsenal corner.

Five minutes before the break and the Gunners fired in a third. Ozil broke with pace and had Alexis for company. There was now a two on two situation, with David Luiz and Cahill furiously back peddling. Alexis exchanged passes with the German and went wider to find space out on the left. Alexis put over a pinpoint cross which Ozil kept his eyes on until he struck the ball on the volley, into the ground, one bounce to beat Courtois by way of his far post. 3-0 to Arsenal and game over surely?

The Gunners were up to adding more to the scoreline, but also mindful at how derbies can quickly change. Wenger’s men however demonstrated a mature resilience with Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny holding the defence together. At the other end, Walcott’s electrifying pace was too much for the Blues to handle. His cross for Alexis however too high when the Chile striker and Ozil would have preferred it on the deck.

Only Courtois’ legs then denied Walcott a deserved second goal as stylish Arsenal piled on the pressure. Chelsea responded with a Cesar Azpilicueta drive which Petr Cech held and Cech then denied substitute Michy Batshuayi with what would have been a consolation.

It was however a clean sheet and an emphatic win for Arsenal on a day when their football was as spectacular as it was brilliant, and when everything they tried seemed to come off. The trick is for Arsenal to continue in that fashion from now until the end of the season.