That's all from me. I've been James Eagles, thanks very much for joining me.
But what a display from Conte's team. Slick and efficient, a deserved win. Hazard the man of the match, but it was a great overall performance. During the week, Wenger admitted to narrowly missing out on Kante twice. That's the difference. He's won 41 out of his last 60 Premier League games.
It wasn't entirely a horror show for Arsenal. They started well, but didn't turn up at the start of the second half. Alonso's goal was the first blow, exacerbated by the loss of Bellerin; Hazard's goal as fine as it was, should have been prevented and Fabregas' goal will hurt badly for the fans. Giroud provided a positive, but the fact of the matter is, Arsenal are all but out of the title race. If indeed there is one.
What a day for Chelsea, who not only exact their revenge for the 3-0 loss earlier in the season, but go 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League, with 13 games left. There's still a lot of football to be played though.
FULL TIME: CHELSEA 3-1 ARSENAL
90+3: CHANCE! Mustafi's header is straight at Courtois.
GAME ON? No. Giroud's header from Monreal's cross beats Courtois. It's a first goal in 49 months at Stamford Bridge for Arsenal.
90+1: GOAL FOR ARSENAL!
90: CHANCE! Costa wants a goal, but blazes over after getting the better of Mustafi by the touchline. Should have squared it.
89: CHANCE! Fabregas clips a cross into Alonso, but Cech catches.
87: SUBSTITUTION: Moses (OFF), Zouma (ON)
Chelsea have no changes remaining.
The day goes from bad to worse for Arsenal. Cech gives the ball away to Fabregas who loops an effort into the empty net - who else?
86: GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
84: SUBSTITUTUON: Pedro, Hazard (OFF), Willian, Fabregas (ON)
Chelsea have one change remaining.
80: Kante floats a ball over towards Alonso and Koscielny has to flick it behind. Conte prepares his first change.
78: CHANCE! Courtois called into action for the first time this half, as he claws away Welbeck's header. The resulting corner finds Mustafi who misses the target poorly.
74: The camera finds Didier Drogba in the stands; and I for one am surprised he hasn't scored.
71: Welbeck with an immediate impact, drawing a foul and booking from Matic.
70: SUBSTITUTION: Walcott (OFF), Welbeck (ON)
Arsenal have no changes remaining.
69: Sanchez misplaces another pass. Not his finest day.
67: Arsenal are trying to go full on Juan Pablo Montoya "balls to the walls" here. Danny Welbeck is now readying himself.
65: SUBSTITUTION: Coquelin (OFF), Giroud (ON)
Arsenal have one change remaining.
65: CHANCE! Monreal with another dangerous low cross, but no one is on the end of it.
64: Giroud is warming up.
63: He's back up. But Arsenal are still down on the canvas.
62: Marcos Alonso clashed with Luiz and took a bang on the head. He's receiving treatment.
61: Ozil forces a corner from Azpilicueta.
58: CHANCE! Arsenal with their first attack of the half. Iwobi releases Monreal who fizzes in a low cross that Walcott attacks, but Cahill puts it out for a corner.
Surely game over, and what a goal by Hazard! He holds off Coquelin who does his best to foul him but can't. The Belgian takes on Kosicelny with ease and beats Cech with a scuffed finish. Is the season over for Arsenal?
53: GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
52: Arsenal are all at sea, unable to get any sort of foothold.
47: The ball breaks loose and Koscielny has to make a vital challenge to sweep the ball away before Hazard can get to it. Shaky start from Arsenal who looked to have changed to a 4-1-4-1.
46: The second half is underway.
So, Arsenal get into half-time in the game, just one behind - thanks to Marcos Alonso's early header.
Arsenal started brightly, but the goal knocked the wind out of their sails, with Chelsea looking menacing every time they came forward. Arsenal regained some sort of control in the last ten minutes of the half, but spurned two fine chances.
HALF-TIME: CHELSEA 1-0 ARSENAL
45+2: CHANCE! Patient Arsenal build up play in and around the box unlocks some space. But Ozil is hesitant to shoot and his tame effort is easily gathered by Courtois.
45: Four minutes of added time.
41: Around five minutes to go before the break. Arsenal are still in this, but must make their rare chances count.
38: CHANCE! Arsenal work a short corner to Oxlade-Chamberlain who has freedom to clip a ball towards the six-yard box. Gabriel meets it unchallenged, but his header is straight at Courtois.
37: Once more, another corner for the Gunners.
37: Corner for Arsenal.
35: Arsenal utilise the power of a quick free-kick, but Walcott can't collect Ozil's pass.
34: Arsenal can't get out.
32: CHANCE! Another quick break by Chelsea. Moses sprays a wonderful pass to Alonso who finds Pedro lurking on the edge of the box. His shot looks like a routine save, but Cech fumbles and concedes a corner.
32: Monreal is fouled again by Azpilicueta.
30: Free-kick by Oxlade-Chamberlain is awfully overhit and collected by Courtois. Chelsea counter as well, but the move breaks down.
27: Kante drags down Ozil near halfway.
26: Corner for Chelsea.
26: Hazard returns after feeling the effects of that Mustafi tackle.
25: Pedro's free-kick is cleared by Oxlade-Chamberlain, then Coquelin.
23: Mustafi is the first man to go in the book for a clumsy tackle on Hazard.
Controversy already in how Chelsea's goal was allowed to stand, but Arsenal must find a response.
19: CHANCE! Chelsea look rampant now. Costa takes on Koscielny before firing an effort into the side netting.
18: A string of corners leads to a poor shot by Coquelin.
17: SUBSTITUTION: Bellerin (OFF), Gabriel (ON)
Arsenal have two remaining substitutions
16: Bellerin looks dazed and has wandered down the tunnel. Gabriel to come on, but Arsenal down to 10.
It's Marcos Alonso! It all stems from a poor pass in the midfield by Coquelin, and Chelsea broke. Pedro's cross in was met by the head of Costa and Cech had to make a save, but the ball looped up and Alonso beat Bellerin in the air for nod the ball home. A nasty fall for Bellerin, who looked to have taken an elbow in the face.
13: GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
11: Pedro whips in said free-kick, but Cahill can't direct his free header on target.
10: Coquelin is penalised for a challenge on Moses.
9: Great tempo to the first ten minutes, with both sides looking very much up for the challenge.
8: Sanchez slips a ball through to Walcott, but the Englishman is caught out by Chelsea's high line.
6: A long, raking ball looking for Walcott is collected well by Courtois.
3: And Chelsea break quickly from the corner, started by a key challenge from Kante. Pedro's cross is blocked by Oxlade-Chamberlain and out for the first of two successive Chelsea corners.
2: CHANCE! Arsenal press Chelsea into mistake early on. Courtois' pass to Luiz is poor and Ozil nips in. He feeds Iwobi, who sees his shot deflected wide for a corner.
KICK-OFF: We're underway, Chelsea kick us off.
With Arsene Wenger serving the third game on his four match touchline ban, he's struggling for a decent vantage point.
And here they come!
Welcome back to VAVEL's live coverage of Chelsea against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, a game that could prove to be pivotal in shaping the end of a superb Premier League season. I'm James Eagles and the teams are set to emerge in around five or so minutes.
So the teams are announced, with no major surprises. Cesc Fabregas does not get a start against the club he captained and spent eight years at - with the more defensive minded Nemanja Matic chosen to partner the nomadic N'Golo Kante.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is rewarded with a start in the central midfield role after putting in a five-star performance there against Southampton in the FA Cup. However, he did start in that very position in the infamous 6-0 defeat Arsenal suffered here in March 2014 - and was also involved in the calamitous handball incident that day - there must be no repeat for the Gunners today.
|GK||Thibaut COURTOIS||GK||Petr CECH|
|CB||Cesar AZPILICUETA||RB||Hector BELLERIN|
|CB||DAVID LUIZ||CB||Shkodran MUSTAFI|
|CB||Gary CAHILL||CB||Laurent KOSCIELNY|
|RM||Victor MOSES||LB||Nacho MONREAL|
|CM||N'Golo KANTE||DM||Alex OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN|
|CM||Nemanja MATIC||DM||Francis COQUELIN|
|LM||MARCOS ALONSO||RM||Theo WALCOTT|
|ST||DIEGO COSTA||LM||Alex IWOBI|
|SUB||Asmir BEGOVIC||SUB||David OSPINA|
|SUB||John TERRY||SUB||Kieran GIBBS|
|SUB||Nathaniel CHALOBAH||SUB||Ainsley MAITLAND-NILES|
|SUB||Cesc FABREGAS||SUB||Jeff REINE-ADELAIDE|
|SUB||Michy BATSHUAYI||SUB||Olivier GIROUD|
Join me from 11:30am as the teams are announced for live and uninterrupted coverage of Chelsea v Arsenal. You won't want to miss it.
Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois; Cahill, David Luiz, Azpilicueta; Moses, Matic, Kante, Marcos Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin; Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi; Sanchez
It's a different story for Arsenal and Wenger. Aaron Ramsey (calf), Santi Cazorla (achilles), Mohamed Elneny (AfCoN duty with Egypt) and Granit Xhaka (suspension) will all miss out; whilst there are doubts over the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Olivier Giroud (ankle).
No injury worries for Chelsea and no one away on international duty. it means that Conte has a full squad to pick from, not many can boast that luxury.
Beyond that, let's take a look at the five previous meetings.
|24.1.2016||Barclays Premier League||Arsenal||Chelsea||0-1|
|19.9.2015||Barclays Premier League||Chelsea||Arsenal||2-0|
|26.4.2015||Barclays Premier League||Arsenal||Chelsea||0-0|
The last meeting between these city rivals came under an autumnal dusk in late September, with Arsenal running riot, coming away 3-0 winners. It was a result that forced Conte to overhaul his system, changing to a more familiar 3-4-3, or 5-2-2-1 (however you wish to see), as used with Italy in recent years.
That tweak inspired Chelsea to go on a 13 game winning streak, threatening Wenger's own record with Gunners of 14, set at the end of the 2001-02 season, merging into the first few weeks of the following campaign.
Meanwhile on that very night, Arsenal slumped to a soggy defeat to Watford, their first in 29 years. Early goals from Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney did the trick for the inconsistent Hornets; despite the other top scorer in the Premier League - Alexis Sanchez - setting up Alex Iwobi to create a tense last half hour.
Last time out, Chelsea were held by Liverpool at Anfield. David Luiz' ingenious free-kick gave the Blues the lead, but due to a well taken Georginio Wijnaldum header and Simon Mignolet denying the league's joint top scorer Diego Costa from the spot late on; both sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
They'll have to get past Arsenal to do so, out to prove a point after a dismal display against Watford on Tuesday night. The Gunners haven't claimed all three points at the Bridge since a Robin van Persie hat-trick helped them to a 3-5 win in October 2011. If Arsene Wenger's side are to have any hope of regaining their long lost Premier League crown, they'll have to repeat the result.
That run may have come to a close shortly after the New Year, Antonio Conte's team still hold a convincing lead at the top of the Premier League. Six of the last seven title winners have been top at Christmas, and that's where Chelsea found themselves - can they make it seven out of the last eight?
Good evening and welcome to VAVEL's live coverage of Arsenal's 10 mile hop across London to Stamford Bridge, to face leaders Chelsea. Once again, I'm your correspondent, James Eagles. Last time these two rivals clashed, a defeat sparked a 13 match winning run for the Blues, but its Arsenal who need the change in fortunes this weekend.