Chelsea extends Premier League lead after feisty 2-0 derby win over Arsenal



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LONDON — Chelsea extended its lead at the top of the Premier League to five points over Manchester City after beating Arsenal 2-0 Sunday in a feisty London derby.

"We controlled the game and were always dangerous on the counterattack, I have to say we deserved the victory," said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, whose team remains unbeaten in the league.

Eden Hazard opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 27th minute, coolly slotting home a penalty past Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The Belgium international earned the penalty himself, darting his way into the Arsenal area, only to upended by defender Laurent Koscielny.

Diego Costa continued his rich vein of scoring, making sure of three points for the home side at Stamford Bridge when he chipped the ball over Szczesny in the 78th after latching onto an exquisite pass from Cesc Fabregas.

The Spanish international now has nine goals in his first seven league matches.

Arsenal put up more of a fight than the 6-0 thrashing in this fixture last season but it was still too easy for Chelsea.

"We couldn't transform our dangerous opportunities in finishing, that's where we lacked something," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

Wenger has now faced Mourinho 12 times in the Premier League, but has yet to beat him.

The two rivals clashed on the sidelines in the first half after Mourinho complained about a free kick when Gary Cahill slid in recklessly on Alexis Sanchez. Wenger was incensed by the tackle and walked across the Chelsea technical area to complain. Mourinho gestured for Wenger to retreat, only for the Gunners boss to appear to place his hands on Mourinho's chest, triggering a telling off for both men from the fourth official.

On the pitch, Chelsea goalkeeper Thibault Courtois had to be substituted midway through the first half after a trailing leg from Sanchez appeared to knock him out. Courtois was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure but Mourinho played down the injury.

It was the first time Fabregas faced his old team since a 2011 move to Barcelona, and a $48 million summer transfer to Chelsea. Jeered throughout by opposition fans, Fabregas was in imperious form and the former Arsenal captain now has seven assists in seven league matches for Chelsea.

There was a 15-minute delay to the scheduled kickoff after a flare was lit on the approach to the visiting supporters' end.

Asked after the game about his confrontation with Mourinho, Wenger said it was a "little" push. Wenger added he was attempting to check if Sanchez was injured.

Mourinho said "there are two technical areas, he was not coming for the right reasons and I didn't like that ... Sometimes you lose emotions, I do so many wrong things in football but not this time."

Mourinho added, however, that everyone should "forget" the incident.

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