ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
LONDON • Kurt Zouma got his first Premier League goal for Chelsea and under-fire Player of the Year Eden Hazard finally got on the scoresheet this season.
But the Blues player who claimed the spotlight against nine-man Arsenal in an ill-tempered London derby yesterday was Diego Costa.
Gabriel was sent off late in the first half after a tussle with the provocative Spaniard.
The Gunners were dealt a further blow when Zouma, playing in place of Chelsea captain John Terry, put the hosts ahead in the 53rd minute.
Cazorla was shown a second yellow card for sliding in on Cesc Fabregas and Hazard made the game safe a minute from time. His shot beat former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech via a sizeable deflection off Calum Chambers.
It was for Chelsea a first home league win and clean sheet of the campaign. It fires hope that Jose Mourinho's side may yet salvage something despite making their worst start to a season in 27 years.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had overcome Mourinho for the first time in last month's Community Shield. But he found himself in the familiar position of being eclipsed by his Portuguese rival.
His side have not beaten Chelsea in the league since October 2011. And following a mid-week Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb in which Olivier Giroud was sent off, this was another game in which they faced numerical inferiority before the half-time whistle.
Costa, characteristically, was the catalyst, wildly lashing out at Laurent Koscielny inside the Arsenal box and then clashing with Gabriel, which saw both players booked.
But Costa continued to goad Gabriel as the players walked down the pitch. And when the centre-back, guilty of a mix of naivety and daftness, reacted with a sly kick, referee Mike Dean brandished the red card.
"(Costa) can do what he wants and he stays on," said Wenger.
"He will do the same next week, and the week after, and get away with it."
Arsenal did not. Eight minutes into the second half, they lost parity as well. Fabregas floated a free-kick towards the far post and Zouma headed past Cech.
With 10 men, Arsenal had barely threatened the home side. So the game was all but over 12 minutes from time when Cazorla caught Fabregas on the ankle and joined Gabriel in the changing room.
It was the first time that Arsenal were down to nine men in the league since 1999 and Hazard's deflected strike secured the points.
"There's no controversy," said Mourinho. "Man of the match, for sure, was Costa."