Chelsea maintained their unbeaten record under Guus Hiddink with a 1-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.
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Diego Costa scored five minutes after Per Mertesacker’s first-half sending off to earn the Blues a valuable victory over their London rivals.
Here, CaughtOffside rates how Chelsea performed as they dealt Arsene Wenger’s side a blow in their pursuit of the Premier League title…
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GK: Thibaut Courtois – 5/10
Got away with dropping a couple of crosses in his own box as his defenders scrambled clear. Chelsea v Arsenal – Chelsea win. Courtois v Cech – Cech wins.
RB: Branislav Ivanovic – 7/10
Produced an excellent cross to the near post to provide Costa’s goal.
CB: John Terry – 7/10
Probably Chelsea’s best collective defensive performance of the season and the skipper must take some credit for that.
CB: Kurt Zouma – 7/10
After Giroud’s substitution, the Frenchman was able to use his power to brush off Arsenal attackers.
LB: Cesar Azpilicueta – 7/10
Bellerin got some joy down the Arsenal right but Azpilicueta won as many battles as he lost.
CM: John Obi Mikel – 7/10
His rejuvenation continues under Guus Hiddink. Did not completely restrict Mesut Ozil’s influence but did a good job of denying him space in the pockets.
CM: Nemanja Matic – 6/10
Marked his 100th appearance for Chelsea with an important victory, but the Matic of last season would not have allowed 10-man Arsenal as much of the ball.
AMR: Willian – 7/10
Linked up well with Fabregas in midfield, and showed great discipline to help out his full-back because Arsenal had Chelsea pushed back for long periods.
AMC: Cesc Fabregas – 8/10
Had more touches, passes and tackles than anybody else on the pitch. Showed his true class against the club which saw that form for many years.
AML: Oscar – 6/10
Had a few bright moments early on but was generally quiet.
ST: Diego Costa – 8/10
Pushed hard for man of the match by Fabregas, but he was involved in the two crucial incidents – Mertesacker’s red and the only goal of the game.
Loic Remy – 5/10
Did not look fit or interested when he came on for Costa, passing up a couple of great chances to seal the win. Chelsea better hope Costa is not seriously injured.
Eden Hazard – 6/10
A sign of his low confidence is that he could have gone for a first goal of the season on two late attacks, but instead passed on the responsibility to his teammates.
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