Eden Hazard’s exquisite strike inspired Premier League leaders Chelsea to a 3-1 victory over Arsenal that shattered their rivals’ title challenge, while spluttering Liverpool hit a new low in a 2-0 defeat at Hull on Saturday.
Belgian winger Hazard left a trail of defenders in his wake to double Chelsea’s lead in the 53rd minute at Stamford Bridge.
Marcos Alonso had opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a contentious effort as the Chelsea defender clattered into Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin before heading home.
Cesc Fabregas rubbed salt into Arsenal’s wounds in the 85th minute when the former Gunners midfielder chipped into the empty net after a woeful miskick from ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Olivier Giroud’s stoppage-time goal was no consolation for third placed Arsenal, who trail Chelsea by 12 points with 14 games remaining.
It was Chelsea’s 16th win in their last 18 league games, prompting Blues boss Antonio Conte to hail the triumph as a significant moment in the title race.
Here’s five things the encounter taught us.
Conte is still demanding more from his men
Chelsea may be continuing to build a lead at the Premier League summit but that is not enough to completely satisfy their fiery Italian boss.
Conte is renowned for his excited touchline demeanour and even here, on an afternoon where they dominated their London rivals for large swathes of the match, he barked and bellowed from the touchline as counterpart Arsene Wenger watched from the stands.
Even his own coaching staff were not spared his rage when he deemed Arsenal had got too close to the Chelsea goal – and he enjoyed Eden Hazard’s solo strike so much he celebrated with a group-hug with the fans.
Magical Ozil masters the disappearing act
Arsenal’s club-record signing Mesut Ozil has been criticised for the way he can sometimes appear invisible during some Arsenal games.
There is no denying he is a superbly talented player who can do things no-one else in an Arsenal shirt can, but he is often lacking when a game is crying out to be taken by the scruff of the neck.
The former Real Madrid man could not inspire the Gunners to come back against Watford on Tuesday night and again at Stamford Bridge he was too often on the periphery for a man expected to be the talisman for Wenger’s side.
Wenger watches from afar as the title remains a distant dream
Serving the third of a four-match touchline ban, Arsene Wenger was not able to lock horns with Conte in the technical area and was instead left watching the game from the East Stand at Stamford Bridge.
Eager television cameras picked him out early on and he cut a sullen figure as he watched his side’s title ambitions wilt for yet another year.
Without a league title since 2004 and his contract up in the summer, surely the 12-point chasm between Arsenal and Chelsea means the long-serving Frenchman will have to sign an extension if he is to have the chance of winning another Premier League crown before departing the Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea’s title march is showing no signs of stopping
Liverpool may have wrestled a point from Antonio Conte’s side in midweek but the Blues are still the overwhelming favourites to claim the Premier League title – and displays like this show just why.
To a man, the Blues bossed their opponents for most of the contest as the usual suspects once again shone. Eden Hazard scored a wonder goal in a man-of-the-match display while N’Golo Kante, Diego Costa and Pedro were at their best – and it looks increasingly more likely that they will all be toasting title success in May.
All just a bit of history repeating
Dame Shirley Bassey’s lyrics rang true for the Gunners and their fans as their recent poor form across London at Stamford Bridge continued. Since their last win at Chelsea back in 2011, Arsenal have suffered five successive defeats and conceded 15 goals in the process, with Olivier Giroud’s late consolation on Saturday just their second goal in that time.
Arsenal’s 3-0 home win over Chelsea earlier in the season now seems a distant memory as the Blues push towards another title and Wenger’s men risk dropping out of the top four altogether.