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.
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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.
Stamford Bridge revelled in the success, roaring "Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay" and "specialist in failure".
Marriner has previous at Stamford Bridge this season, awarding Chelsea a controversial last-gasp penalty against West Brom in November when it appeared Ramires dived.
Hazard scored on that occasion to earn a draw in a result which preserved Mourinho's unbeaten Premier League record at home, which now stands at 76 matches.
The only saving grace on this occasion was that the decision did not appear to impact on the result and it is likely that Oxlade-Chamberlain will serve the suspension if Arsenal appeal or the Football Association intervene.
With eight games remaining, Chelsea top the standings having played more matches than their three rivals, but Wenger's title chance seems to have slipped and regaining the FA Cup won in 2005 appears to be the Gunners' only opportunity of ending their silverware search.