Arsenal came from behind to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of a Robin van Persie brace.
Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal arrived at Stamford Bridge hoping to bounce back from consecutive league defeats and with Cesc Fabregas leading the Gunners out for the first time in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger was boosted by the return of Emmanuel Adebayor who partnered Robin van Persie up front with Bacary Sagna returning at right back and Samir Nasri restored to midfield.
Chelsea, meanwhile were without Joe Cole and the banned Didier Drogba with Luiz Felipe Scolari deciding to recall Deco after his Champions League suspension and Saloman Kalou.
The home side certainly began the brighter, anxious to improve on a home record that has appeared less than invincible this season.
Yet Arsenal weathered the initial onslaught and new captain Fabregas was the first to try his luck, forcing Petr Cech into a save just after the ten minute mark.
The Czech parried the ball which almost fell to William Gallas, of all people, for a tap in however the ball fell agonisingly behind the onrushing defender.
Yet aside for a Robin van Persie shot on goal on the half hour mark that was about as close as the Gunners came as Chelsea enjoyed the better of an entertaining first half.
Indeed mid-way through the opening period Scolari’s men almost opened the scoring after a superb move.
A good break by the Blues saw Michael Ballack work the ball out to Jose Bosingwa on the right and his cross was met firmly by the head of Frank Lampard, yet Almunia claimd comfortably.
However, just on the half hour mark the home side finally made the breakthrough. A poor throw out by Almunia saw Chelsea regain quickly possession before a wicked ball in by Bosingwa was diverted by Djourou past his own goalkeeper.
Minutes later and Scolari’s men almost doubled their lead. Deco played a cute ball through to Kalou but Sagna was on hand to make a great saving challenge and clear the danger.
The Blues came out for the second period in much the same mood with Lampard almost making it two, five minutes after half-time.
Kalou and Anelka combined well but were blocked by the Arsenal defence and Lampard on the follow up took the shot first time but couldn’t find the target from range.
Arsenal, by contrast, were struggling to get into the match yet they managed to pull one back against the run of play just before the hour mark.
A long ball forward was headed down by Adebayor and fell to Nasri who poked it across to Denilson. The Brazilian then slipped it to a suspiciously offside looking van Persie to rifle home from the edge of the box.
Minutes later and matters got even worse for Chelsea as Arsenal took the lead. Fabregas drifted a free kick into the box which was headed down again by Adebayor and van Persie on the turn fired it home low and into the far corner to give the Gunners the lead.
Chelsea were stunned and with few options on the bench chose to bring on one of their few attacking options Malouda replaced Mikel.
Yet whilst they saw plenty of the ball they rarely threatened Almunia and it was Arsenal who were looking the more dangerous side on the break, unafraid to commit numbers forward.
In the end it was fairly comfortable for the Gunners who held on to hand Fabregas a first league win as skipper and what must be a hugely satisfying result for Arsene Wenger.
Scolari and Chelsea, meanwhile, have much to ponder and after toiling at Stamford Bridge yet again may just be relieved that their next fixture is away from home.
Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa; Ivanovic, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel (Malouda, 69); Ballack, Deco (Stoch, 80), Lampard; Kalou, Anelka.
Arsenal: Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy; Denilson, Fabregas, Song, Nasri; Adebayor (Bendtner, 83), Van Persie.
1-2 Arsenal (van Persie, 61)
1-1 Arsenal (van Persie, 59)
1-0 Chelsea (Djourou og, 30)
Gill Clark, Goal.com