09/29/2012 10:50 am ET

Chelsea Tops Arsenal 1-2: Fernando Torres Goal, Juan Mata Skill Lift Blues (VIDEO)

By James Goldman,

Chelsea extended its lead at the top of the Premier League following a hugely impressive victory over previously unbeaten Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

Spaniards Juan Mata and Fernando Torres were on the scoresheet as they, temporarily at least, moved four points clear of Manchester United and created daylight between their club and its north London rivals.

The visitors made a purposeful start, restricting Arsenal to just 40 percent possession in the opening 15 minutes, but it was Wenger’s side which carried the greater goal threat with Abou Diaby testing Petr Cech from distance.

The Frenchman injured himself in the act of shooting, however, and his absence was felt moments later when Torres’ splendidly improvised finish put the European Champion ahead in the 20th minute.

Diaby may well have been patrolling the area in which Juan Mata’s floated free kick was directed but, having
failed to reorganize accordingly, Arsenal were punished when the ball evaded the unmarked David Luiz but found Torres, who arched his foot around Laurent Koscielny, and located the top corner from seven yards.

The former Liverpool striker, whose form has seesawed dramatically during the opening few weeks of the season, enjoyed a productive afternoon and was unlucky to be denied a penalty moments later when he robbed Koscielny and fell under pressure from the Frenchman, just as he was preparing to pull the trigger.  

Chelsea was very much in control, but this is a more resilient Arsenal side than many in the recent past and, after a spell of pressure, the Gunners drew level two minutes before the interval.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby’s replacement, drilled a low cross into the heart of the Chelsea penalty area that was collected and dispatched in the blink of an eye by Gervinho.  

Parity was short-lived, however, when Arsenal’s early second half momentum was killed stone dead as a result of more horrendous defending from a fizzing , in-swinigng Mata set piece that that took a slight nick off Koscielny before nestling in the far corner of Vito Mannone’s net.

Chelsea was indebted to Cech, thereafter, who preserved their advantage when he reacted splendidly to tip aside Lukas Podolski’s looping header and again to tip aside substitute Olivier Giroud’s deflected drive.

Santi Cazorla, the jewel in Arsenal’s crown, nearly created an unlikely equalizer when his jinking run and subsequent cross was prodded just past his own post by Luiz.

The diminutive Spaniard's influence was largely curtailed by a hardworking Chelsea midfield, but the former Malaga man created a golden chance in injury time for Giroud.

The France international opened his account for his new club in the League Cup on Wednesday but his confidence will have taken another dent when he skewed his shot into the side netting having shown decent poise to round Cech.

That flurry of activity aside, however, Chelsea protected its lead with a calmness that suggests the Blues' stay at the Premier League summit may well be a long one.

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