But that was only part of the story, as Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista saw red in the first half after a lengthy confrontation with Diego Costa.
Before the game, the main talking points were the presence of one man and the lack of another in the starting lineups.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving for Arsenal in the summer and was welcomed warmly by his old fans.
Reading out the teams, and the first name is Petr Cech. Warm applause from Chelsea fans for the Blues legend.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) September 19, 2015
For Chelsea, however, captain leader legend John Terry was left on the bench for the first time in a Premier League game under Jose Mourinho.
The match also saw Mourinho face up to archrival Arsene Wenger once again...
After a slow start, Chelsea felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Gabriel hauled down Eden Hazard in the box, but referee Mike Dean gave a goal kick.
It was approaching half-time when the game exploded into life, with Costa tangling with Laurent Koscielny in the box and appearing to throw an arm at the Arsenal defender. Both players received yellow cardss before another altercation between Costa and Gabriel saw the latter sent off for kicking out at the Chelsea striker.
Twitter exploded with a combination of fury and grudging acknowledgement of Costa's "effective" behaviour...
Feels like a good game spoiled. Costa will tell us he's "a different guy off the pitch" but so what?— Jonathan Northcroft (@JNorthcroft) September 19, 2015
In terms of man marks, you could go high or low with Costa on whether you value influence or sportsmanship. Tough call— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) September 19, 2015
Every week defenders are praised to trying to irk Costa. The moment he turns the tables, he’s criticised. I say well done to him. #CFC— Garry Hayes (@garryhayes) September 19, 2015
Costa is a genius.— Neil Atkinson (@Knox_Harrington) September 19, 2015
Diego Costa = Evil Genius.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) September 19, 2015
Gary Neville, meanwhile, wasn't about to miss out on the chance to troll a certain ever-outspoken Gunners fan...
Into the second half, and it didn't take long for Chelsea to make their numerical advantage count. Terry's replacement, Kurt Zouma, headed past Cech from a pinpoint Cesc Fabregas free-kick for the opening goal.
JT applauding Zouma's goal...it was the kind of goal JT has scored himself many times— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) September 19, 2015
Question marks all that defensive "effort" from Arsenal for the goal, but appreciate the stunning delivery from Cesc too. #CHEARS— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) September 19, 2015
But that wasn't the end of the trouble for Arsenal, as Santi Cazorla picked up a second yellow for a lunge on Fabregas, leaving the visitors with just nine men...while Costa continued to menace up the other end.
The hardpan lunatic that is Santi Cazorla is sent off as Arsenal are reduced to nine men. Diego Costa remains on the pitch.— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) September 19, 2015
As Calum Chambers deflected Hazard's late effort past Cech to double Chelsea's lead, there was something all too familiar about Arsenal's plight...
BT Sport showing repeats of old Arsenal matches on a Saturday lunchtime.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) September 19, 2015
This episode of Premier League Years is rubbish.— Matthew Stanger (@MatthewStanger) September 19, 2015
482 - Arsenal have now failed to score in their last 482 minutes of Premier League football against Chelsea. Buffer.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 19, 2015
I like Diego Costa! Night Night— Gary Neville (@GNev2) September 19, 2015
Not that Arsenal fans were bitter or anything...
Chelsea's man of the match... pic.twitter.com/3EeVw46iG9— Arsenal Related (@ArsenalsRelated) September 19, 20[15