Roberto di Matteo made just one change to the team that started against Stoke City last Saturday; John Terry stepped in for Gary Cahill.
This meant the manager kept faith with Ramires-Mikel double pivot leaving Frank Lampard once again on the bench.
The selection of Ramires, starting for the third time in 8 days, suggests that di Matteo is looking for pace, energy and a lot of off-the-ball movement from his midfield.
Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata lined up in the attacking band behind Fernando Torres: Hazard on the left, Oscar down the middle and Mata on the right.
We made a purposeful start in the opening 15 minutes but it was Arsenal who first threatened with Abou Diaby testing Petr Cech from distance.
Juan Mata tormented Arsenal in open play however it was a Torres finish which put us ahead in the 20th minute.
Diaby was patrolling the area in which Juan Mata’s floated free-kick was directed but Arsenal were punished when the ball evaded the unmarked David Luiz but found Torres who arched his foot around Laurent Koscielny and shot into the top corner from seven yards.
Torres was enjoying a productive afternoon and was unlucky to be denied a penalty moments later when he robbed Koscielny and fell under pressure just as he was preparing to pull the trigger.
We seemed very much in control but the Gunners drew level two minutes before the interval.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drilled a low cross into the Chelsea penalty area that was collected and dispatched by Gervinho.
Arsenal’s early second-half momentum was killed off as a result of more horrendous defending from a fizzing in-swinging Mata free kick that took a slight nick off Koscielny before nestling in the far corner of Vito Mannone’s net.
Shortly after and we were indebted to Petr Cech when he reacted to tip aside Lukas Podolski’s looping header and again to tip away substitute Olivier Giroud’s deflected drive.
Cazorla nearly created an equaliser when his run and subsequent cross was prodded just past his own post by Luiz.
Arsenal then created a golden chance in injury-time for Giroud but he skewed his shot into the side-netting having shown poise to initially round Cech.
That flurry of activity aside and we protected our lead until the final whistle much to the joy of travelling away Chelsea fans.
Next up is a return to Champions League action away on Tuesday when we take on FC Nordsjaelland in Copenhagen.
Gill Reeves – CSG disabled rep.
- 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 David 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