By congesting his central midfield, Jose Mourinho thwarted one of Manchester City's most potent threats in the absence of star striker Sergio Aguero - Yaya Toure - as a partnership of Nemanja Matic and David Luiz excelled in their defensive responsibilities.
Chelsea, on Monday evening, secured a 1-0 win - a perhaps unlikely victory considering City's all-conquering nature whenever they have played at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League this season - and, while Mourinho did indeed select a defence-first team on-paper, on the pitch there were numerous controlled attacks, with one yielding the match-changing goal, via Branislav Ivanovic.
The triumph did Arsenal a favour as it kept the Gunners at the top of the table with a two-point cushion over City and Chelsea, however, rather than credit his managerial rival with a well-prepared and successful tactical battle against Manuel Pellegrini, Wenger looked at Chelsea's 1-0 win as a fragile one and that City had chances to restore parity in the game.
For Wenger, it would have been important to put the result out of sight by doubling the lead, thereby making the last ten minutes less nervy - he is quoted by the club's official website to have said: 'Chelsea looked always dangerous and Man City looked for me a bit jaded. They were not as fluent or as strong physically as they were at Tottenham [Hotspur] but it could have gone to 1-1, it could have gone 2-0 for Chelsea.
'At the end of the day, they [the Blues] had 65 per cent possession with 25 shots on goal so sometimes that can be 1-1, but I must say Chelsea had opportunities for 2-0.'
On the title picture as a whole, the Frenchman noted: 'It is never as simple as everybody predicts.'
Arsenal travel to Liverpool on Saturday lunch-time and, if they win at Anfield, extend their lead at the top to five points.
image: © Jason Bagley