(CNN) -- Didier Drogba scored twice as Chelsea re-established a five point lead at the top of the English Premier League with a 3-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Manchester United's 4-1 thumping of Portsmouth had lifted the reigning champions to within two points of the leaders, but Chelsea underlined their title credentials with a dominant display against an Arsenal side whose own ambitions took a severe jolt.
Arsenal had plenty of possession in the first half without carving out a clear opportunity, but fell behind to a well-worked goal in the 41st minute.
Chelsea captain John Terry found his fellow England international Ashley Cole in space down the left and his crisp cross was met on the volley by Drogba to leave Manuel Almunia with no chance.
Just before half time and Arsenal were two down as another excellent Cole cross was accidentally deflected past his own goalkeeper by Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen.
Arsenal brought on Theo Walcott after the break and he sparked a brief home rally as they had the ball in the net from Andrei Arsnhavin only for it to be ruled out for an Eduardo foul on Petr Cech.
Almunia had to save smartly to keep out a deflection off Frank Lampard, but the third came near the end as Drogba's unstoppable free-kick sealed the three points.
It was the Ivorian international's 11th league goal of the season and his 10th in 11 appearances against Arsenal in London derbies.
It leaves Chelsea on top with 36 points from 14 games, with Manchester United on 31 and Tottenham in third on 26, one ahead of north-London rivals Arsenals, who have played a game less.
In Sunday's other matches, Liverpool beat Everton 2-0 and Birmingham won 1-0 at Wolves in local derbies.
A own goal by Joseph Yobo, who deflected home a shot by Javier Mascherano in the 12th minute, and Dirk Kuyt's late strike sealed three points for Liverpool in the Merseyside clash at Goodison Park.
The victory was welcome relief for underfire manager Rafael Benitez as his team moved up to fifth in the standings after being eliminated from this season's Champions League in midweek.
Lee Bowyer scored a third minute goal for Birmingham to beat Midlands rivals Wolves and move into mid-table.