New Delhi: A rejuvenated Chelsea side produced a clinical display at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday to complete a league double over London rivals Arsenal. Diego Costa scored the lone goal of the match moments after Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker was sent off for a tackle on the Brazil-born Spaniard.
With their first defeat in 10 home league games, Arsenal have lost out the chance to reclaim the top position. Instead, Arsene Wenger`s side are now in the third place, below Manchester City on goal difference and three points shy of leaders Leicester City with 15 games left in the season.
True to the build up, it was Costa who proved the difference between the sides, even as Wenger seemed to have panicked after the 18th minute red card. After Costa scored the goal in the 23rd minute, from a neat Branislav Ivanovic supply, the Frenchman removed Arsenal's top-scorer Olivier Giroud, and brought in Gabriel.
The arrival of Gabriel provided a sense of deja vu. The Brazil defender was sent-off in their first leg, following a Costa coaxing, in September at Stamford Bridge, during Jose Mourinho's reign there.
Now under interim manager Guus Hiddink, Chelsea continued to climb ever steadily, at 13th.
With the return of Mesut Ozil and also Alexis Sanchez, who played in the second half, Arsenal had a good chance to win the match and break the Chelsea jinx. But after the match, their goal drought against Chelsea extended to over nine and a half hours.
Earlier in the day, Swansea beat hosts Everton at Goodison Park thanks to two first half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty conversion and Andre Ayew strike, even though defender Jack Cork scored an own goal.
With the win, the Swans started their Francesco Guidolin reign with a 2-1 win, and most importantly have climbed out of the relegation zone by four points, at 15th place.