Chelsea stayed top of the Premier League table after inflicting Arsenal's first defeat of the season at Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea captain John Terry started as he decides whether to appeal against the four-match ban and £220,000 fine imposed by the Football Association after he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand.
And he played his part in a victory that was set up by Fernando Torres's clever early strike as he stole in behind Laurent Koscielny to steer in Juan Mata's free-kick.
Gervinho's powerful finish put Arsenal level before the interval but Roberto Di Matteo's side claimed the points early in the second half when Mata's long-range free-kick took the slightest touch off Koscielny and beat Vito Mannone before he could react.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger regarded this match of a measure of his side's title potential - and they had the opportunity to rescue a point only to find Chelsea keeper Petr Cech in defiant mood.
He saved brilliantly from Lukas Podolski's second-half header and produced a superb reflex save from Olivier Giroud's deflected shot, the France striker also missing a great stoppage-time opportunity when he hit the side-netting after evading Cech's challenge.
Torres too good
Fernando Torres' early strike was his 75th goal in the Premier League. Only Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie have scored more since Torres got his first in 2007.
The Blues will see this as a landmark win as Di Matteo continues to shift the emphasis in personnel and tactical approach after May's Champions League triumph.
He demonstrated attacking intent by field Oscar, Mata and Eden Hazard from the start - a selection that restricted Frank Lampard to a place on the bench.
Inevitably, Terry's every touch was jeered by Arsenal fans as was that of former Gunners defender Ashley Cole - six years after his move to Chelsea.
It was the visitors, however, who settled better and took the lead after 20 minutes through a goal that was a combination of dreadful Arsenal defending and the opportunism of Torres, who easily escaped the flimsy attentions of Koscielny at the far post to hook his finish past Mannone.
Torres should have doubled his side's lead soon after when he raced clear with only the keeper to beat but he hesitated and could only manage a fresh air shot under challenge from Koscielny, with his subsequent appeals for a penalty ignored.
The home side's rhythm had not been helped by the early loss of Abou Diaby with a hip injury but they forced their way back into the game with Gervinho's equaliser three minutes before the break.
The striker collected substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross and punished Terry for retreating too far towards his own goal with a fine finish high past Cech.
"What a miss it was by Giroud. He had an open goal. I appreciate nobody does it on purpose but that was a very bad miss."
Arsenal's improved defensive work under Wenger's new assistant Steve Bould has drawn much praise this season but once again they were sloppy as Chelsea regained the lead after 53 minutes.
Thomas Vermaelen was penalised for fouling Torres and the punishment was complete as Mata's angled free-kick took a slight touch off Koscielny to drift beyond Mannone into the bottom corner.
Cech had not been overworked in the first half but excelled in clawing away Podolski's header and then saving from Giroud's deflected effort after he had replaced the Germany striker.
Chelsea threatened on the break without testing Mannone but the best chance fell to Giroud in injury time, the France striker rounding Cech but hitting the side-netting from a tight angle.
It was the final act and Terry celebrated by advancing towards celebrating Chelsea fans after the final whistle and handing his boots to a youngster in the crowd.
- 24 Mannone
- 05 Vermaelen Booked
- 06 Koscielny
- 25 Jenkinson
- 28 Gibbs
- 02 Diaby (Oxlade-Chamberlain - 17' )
- 08 Arteta
- 16 Ramsey Booked (Walcott - 66' )
- 19 Cazorla
- 09 Podolski (Giroud - 66' )
- 27 Gervinho
- 36 Martinez
- 04 Mertesacker
- 11 Santos
- 20 Djourou
- 14 Walcott
- 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
- 12 Giroud
- 01 Cech
- 02 Ivanovic
- 03 Cole
- 04 Luiz Booked (Cahill - 81' )
- 26 Terry
- 07 Ramires Booked
- 11 Oscar Booked (Moses - 73' )
- 12 Mikel
- 17 Hazard
- 09 Torres
- 10 Mata (Bertrand - 84' )
- 22 Turnbull
- 24 Cahill
- 28 Azpilicueta
- 34 Bertrand
- 06 Romeu
- 08 Lampard
- 13 Moses
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:35
Eden Hazard takes a short corner.90:00 +1:58
Vito Mannone restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +1:58 Booking
Booking Nascimento Ramires booked for unsporting behaviour.90:00 +1:55
Nascimento Ramires challenges Santi Cazorla unfairly and gives away a free kick.90:00 +1:18
Foul by Thomas Vermaelen on Fernando Torres, free kick awarded. Nascimento Ramires restarts play with the free kick.90:00 +0:41
Close range shot by Olivier Giroud misses to the left of the goal.88:33
Santi Cazorla takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.87:41
Mikel Arteta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Victor Moses. Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.84:57
Victor Moses produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.83:45
Thomas Vermaelen takes the indirect free kick.83:45 Substitution
Substitution Ryan Bertrand replaces Juan Mata.83:45
The offside flag is raised against Fernando Torres.83:41
The referee blows for offside against Olivier Giroud. Petr Cech takes the free kick.82:23
Nascimento Ramires challenges Mikel Arteta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Santi Cazorla.80:28 Substitution
Substitution Gary Cahill on for David Luiz.78:54
Kieran Gibbs challenges Juan Mata unfairly and gives away a free kick. Juan Mata has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.77:32
Kieran Gibbs takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.75:55
Victor Moses produces a header from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.75:21
Eden Hazard decides to take a short corner.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Eden Hazard, clearance made by Olivier Giroud.73:05
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla, clearance made by John Terry.72:43 Substitution
Substitution Emboaba Oscar leaves the field to be replaced by Victor Moses.72:26
Olivier Giroud takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.71:50
Branislav Ivanovic gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Santi Cazorla. Kieran Gibbs takes the direct free kick.66:26
Inswinging corner taken by Santi Cazorla from the left by-line, John Terry manages to make a clearance.65:54 Substitution
Substitution Lukas Podolski leaves the field to be replaced by Olivier Giroud.65:54 Substitution
Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Theo Walcott coming on for Aaron Ramsey.65:45
Kieran Gibbs delivers the ball, clearance by David Luiz.64:12
Emboaba Oscar takes a shot. Blocked by Laurent Koscielny.62:20
Yao Gervinho is ruled offside. Petr Cech takes the free kick.61:30
Ashley Cole gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Carl Jenkinson. Santi Cazorla crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Branislav Ivanovic.59:38
Free kick awarded for a foul by Laurent Koscielny on Emboaba Oscar. Eden Hazard crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance by Carl Jenkinson.59:13
Effort from the edge of the area by Carl Jenkinson goes wide of the left-hand post.58:46
The ball is crossed by Kieran Gibbs, Lukas Podolski takes a shot. Brilliant save by Petr Cech.57:23
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kieran Gibbs by Juan Mata. Free kick taken by Kieran Gibbs.56:27
Lukas Podolski is ruled offside. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.54:47
Unfair challenge on Santi Cazorla by Nascimento Ramires results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Kieran Gibbs.52:46
The assist for the goal came from Fernando Torres.52:46 Goal scored
Goal! - Juan Mata - Arsenal 1 - 2 Chelsea Juan Mata scores a goal direct from the free kick from a long way out to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea.52:08 Booking
Booking Thomas Vermaelen receives a yellow card.52:06
Fernando Torres fouled by Thomas Vermaelen, the ref awards a free kick.50:57
Santi Cazorla fouled by Branislav Ivanovic, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mikel Arteta.49:45
Santi Cazorla produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.48:13
Shot from just outside the area by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain misses to the right of the target.47:22 Booking
Booking Booking for David Luiz for unsporting behaviour.46:45
Corner taken left-footed by Juan Mata, Laurent Koscielny manages to make a clearance.45:01
The second half begins.45:00 +3:20 Half time
Half Time It is the end of the first-half.45:00 +2:57
Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Fernando Torres goes wide of the right-hand upright.45:00 +0:38
Effort from outside the penalty area by Emboaba Oscar goes wide left of the target.45:00 +0:02
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emboaba Oscar by Aaron Ramsey. Free kick taken by David Luiz.43:51
Aaron Ramsey challenges John Terry unfairly and gives away a free kick. Petr Cech restarts play with the free kick.43:16
Outswinging corner taken by Santi Cazorla from the right by-line, clearance made by Mikel.41:59
Assist on the goal came from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.41:59 Goal scored
Goal! - Yao Gervinho - Arsenal 1 - 1 Chelsea Yao Gervinho finds the net with a goal from inside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea.41:34
The offside flag is raised against Fernando Torres. Free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.39:25
Santi Cazorla takes a shot. Blocked by Nascimento Ramires.38:36
Free kick taken by Kieran Gibbs.38:36 Booking
Booking Emboaba Oscar is given a yellow card.38:33
Unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta by Emboaba Oscar results in a free kick.37:08
Shot from just outside the area by Mikel goes over the bar.35:37
Emboaba Oscar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mikel Arteta. Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.34:46
David Luiz takes the free kick.34:46 Booking
Booking Booking for Aaron Ramsey.34:29
Foul by Aaron Ramsey on Emboaba Oscar, free kick awarded.33:29
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla, clearance made by John Terry.33:20
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kieran Gibbs by Emboaba Oscar. Santi Cazorla takes the direct free kick.31:03
Shot by Thomas Vermaelen from a long way out goes over the target.28:27
The assistant referee flags for offside against Fernando Torres. Indirect free kick taken by Vito Mannone.26:36
Unfair challenge on Yao Gervinho by David Luiz results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Mikel Arteta, David Luiz manages to make a clearance.23:53
Corner taken by Santi Cazorla.22:57
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla from the right by-line, Emboaba Oscar makes a clearance.22:10
Carl Jenkinson crosses the ball, John Terry manages to make a clearance.20:44
Corner taken right-footed by Eden Hazard to the near post, Carl Jenkinson manages to make a clearance.19:28
The assist for the goal came from Juan Mata.19:28 Goal scored
Goal! - Fernando Torres - Arsenal 0 - 1 Chelsea Fernando Torres gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the top left corner of the goal. Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea.18:37
Thomas Vermaelen concedes a free kick for a foul on Eden Hazard. Juan Mata crosses the ball,16:38
Santi Cazorla takes the direct free kick.16:38 Substitution
Substitution Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on in place of Vassiriki Diaby.16:38
Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Cole on Aaron Ramsey.16:24
Fernando Torres delivers the ball, Thomas Vermaelen manages to make a clearance.14:51
Laurent Koscielny gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Eden Hazard. Mikel restarts play with the free kick.13:59
Carl Jenkinson fouled by Fernando Torres, the ref awards a free kick. Laurent Koscielny takes the direct free kick.13:26
Mikel Arteta concedes a free kick for a foul on Eden Hazard. Branislav Ivanovic restarts play with the free kick.13:02
A cross is delivered by Kieran Gibbs, Branislav Ivanovic manages to make a clearance.11:24
Vassiriki Diaby takes a shot. Save by Petr Cech.9:41
Santi Cazorla takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.7:13
Centre by Juan Mata.6:33
Unfair challenge on Eden Hazard by Aaron Ramsey results in a free kick. Eden Hazard takes the direct free kick.4:33
Aaron Ramsey has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.4:17
The ball is swung over by Carl Jenkinson, John Terry manages to make a clearance.1:33
Eden Hazard fouled by Mikel Arteta, the ref awards a free kick. David Luiz has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, save made by Vito Mannone.0:26
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kieran Gibbs on Emboaba Oscar. Direct free kick taken by Emboaba Oscar.0:00
The match gets underway.
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