There was a bizarre case of mistaken identity as Arsenal embarrassingly capitulated in Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge in a 6-0 loss to Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea Saturday.
Wenger was last month called “a specialist in failure” by Jose Mourinho and remains without a victory in 11 attempts against his nemesis after a spectacular implosion and an horrendous mistake by referee Andre Marriner.
The Frenchman watched on helplessly after two goals in three first-half minutes from Samuel Eto’o and Andre Schurrle gave Chelsea a handsome lead inside the first 10 minutes before Marriner sent off Kieran Gibbs for a handball committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Eden Hazard’s shot was handled in the area and, despite Oxlade-Chamberlain appearing to approach the official to admit wrongdoing, Gibbs was shown a red card in a decision, which continues the debate over the use of television replays.
Hazard converted the penalty to give the Blues a 3-0 advantage after 17 minutes as once against the Gunners imploded at the home of a title rival following the heavy losses at Manchester City and Liverpool.
Oscar added a fourth before the interval, a fifth after 66 minutes and his replacement Mohamed Salah struck his first Chelsea goal as the Blues responded from the controversial loss at Aston Villa in emphatic fashion.
Arenal’s defeat dropped them down to fourth in the table after Liverpool and Manchester City both also won by emphatic scorelines.
Liverpool twice had to come from behind before seeing off relegation threatened Cardiff 6-3.
Luis Suarez finished with a hat-trick but the forward and Martin Skrtel first had to cancel out first-half strikes from Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell to make it 2-2 at half-time.
Skrtel then fired the Reds ahead on 54 minutes before Suarez lashed in Daniel Sturridge’s clever flick on the hour. Suarez returned the favour soon after for Sturridge to tap in.
Mutch pulled one back, but Suarez had the final say in injury-time.
City chalked up a simple 5-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Fulham on the back of a Yaya Toure hat-trick.
The Ivory Coast midfielder scored a penalty in each half, the second after Fernando Amorebieta saw red, before bending in a long-range strike on 65 minutes.
Fernandinho and Martin Demichelis struck late on to ensure City joined their title rivals in racking up a big score.
It was a bad afternoon for the teams in the bottom three as Sunderland were beaten 2-0 at Norwich. The Black Cats had no answer for first-half goals from Robert Snodgrass and Alex Tettey.
Gus Poyet’s side remains three points from safety, however, as the teams above them failed to take advantage. West Brom did not take anything from their trip to Hull, losing 2-0 to goals from Liam Rosenior and Shane Long.
Crystal Palace came close to making a point but were undone by a Papiss Cisse injury-time winner to lose 1-0 at Newcastle.
Swansea also lost 3-2 at Everton to remain just a point better off than the Eagles.
Wilfried Bony had cancelled out a Leyton Baines penalty but second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley secured a win that lifts Everton above Tottenham and into fifth.
Ashley Williams headed in an injury-time corner but it was too late for the Swans.
Chelsea 6 – 0 Arsenal
Cardiff 3 – 6 Liverpool
Everton 3 – 2 Swansea
Hull 2 – 0 West Brom
Man City 5 – 0 Fulham
Newcastle 1 – 0 Palace
Norwich 2 – 0 Sunderland