Arsenal recorded a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday to move to within three points of their top-four rivals in the Premier League table.
First-half goals from Alexandre Lacazatte and Laurent Koscielny set up a convincing London derby victory for the Gunners, who leapfrog Manchester United back into fifth.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang blew a good early chance for the Gunners when he failed to connect with Lacazette’s cross in the six-yard box, the presence of Cesar Azpilicueta just enough to prevent him notching a 15th Premier League goal of the campaign.
The Gabonese had been in deadly form at the Emirates with seven goals in eight home league matches, but it was his strike partner who brought the home crowd to its feet on 10 minutes with a goal all of his own making.
A cross from Hector Bellerin appeared unthreatening until Lacazette expertly brought it under control, spun away from Marcos Alonso and thumped a shot into the roof of the net with 10 minutes gone.
Chelsea’s defence was all over the place in the opening stages, and Aubameyang could have made it two when he pounced on a mistake from Azpilicueta on 16 minutes, only to prod tamely at Bernd Leno on his weaker left foot.
Without a focal point to their attack, the Blues struggled to create chances of their own but a perfectly-weighted long pass from David Luiz did send Pedro through on goal, the Spaniard bringing the ball down skilfully only to see his lob bounce inches wide of the post.
Aubameyang came equally close at the other end with an overhead kick on 36 minutes, with Kepa stranded as the acrobatic effort from Sead Kolasinac’s cross whistled by his far post, and the Chelsea goalkeeper was helpless again as Arsenal doubled their lead moments later.
The visitors could only partially clear a free kick, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos knocked the ball back in the box for Kosielny to divert past Kepa, although the Arsenal captain enjoyed some good fortune as the ball went in straight off his shoulder.
Alonso, often Chelsea’s most advanced attacking player in the opening 45 minutes, nearly rescued them a lifeline in first-half stoppage time when he jumped above Aaron Ramsey in a mismatch at a corner, only to see his header come back off the woodwork.
Chelsea began the second period with a little bit more penetration as Willian got to the left byline and cut the ball back for Pedro, who arrived to the edge of the box unmarked but blazed over the crossbar.
Maurizio Sarri introduced Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud but the Blues looked no more potent with Eden Hazard, who is now six games without a goal, seemingly struggling under the weight of carrying the attack and marked out of the game by Koscielny and Sokratis.