Eden Hazard scored one of the goals of the season as Chelsea moved 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 victory that surely ends Arsenal’s title hopes.
The Belgian netted a sensational solo effort that saw him take his tally to 10 for the campaign as he continued his rejuvenation after the travails of last term.
It put the Blues firmly in the driving seat after Marcos Alonso had given them a halftime lead. Substitute Cesc Fabregas then rubbed salt in the Gunners’ wounds with a lobbed third after a howler from Petr Cech that summed up the visitors’ afternoon.
Olivier Giroud headed a late consolation but it could not detract from a ninth home league win on the spin for Antonio Conte’s men who made another major stride towards what would be a fifth Premier League crown.
Chelsea have been imperious for much of the season but their 3-0 drubbing at Arsenal on September 24 will go down as a key moment. It led Antonio Conte to switch to a 3-4-3 system that completely transformed the Blues and saw them pull well clear of their rivals.
This result not only saw them enact revenge for that loss, but also put paid to the Gunners’ hopes of a late charge as they slumped 12 points behind the Blues with 14 matches to play.
Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City can reduce the gap to the leaders later on Saturday/Sunday afternoon, but another Chelsea triumph in a match they would have hoped to see Conte’s side drop points, will have done little to enhance the trio’s belief they can truly make a real race of it.