John Obi Mikel the key to Chelsea's recent revival

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Chelsea once again proved to be the thorn in Arsenal’s Premier League aspirations, as the Blues left the Emirates Stadium with all three points on Sunday.

Despite their dismal campaign so far, Guus Hiddink’s side played valiantly against this season’s title favourites and emerged with an unlikely 1-0 victory over their north London rivals.

Striker Diego Costa made all the headlines in the aftermath, initially for getting Per Mertesacker sent off and then for scoring the only goal of the game a few minutes later.


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The game also saw the likes of Oscar and Cesc Fabregas rediscover their best form, the latter performing particularly well and dismissing any suggestion he's lost it, claiming the man-of-the-match award.

Under Hiddink, the likes of Costa and Fabregas are finally beginning to hit the right notes - but whilst the Spanish duo have enjoyed a rich run of form recently, it's the Blues' Nigerian midfielder, John Obi Mikel, who has quietly gone about his business since the departure of Jose Mourinho.

The 28-year-old has been given a new lease of life by Hiddink and featured in every Premier League game since the Dutchman’s appointment. Mikel has wholeheartedly repaid his manager's faith by producing some splendid performances.

His role in the side is often overlooked when his attacking teammates produce similarly excellent displays, simply because what he does is less captivating.

However, few can deny Mikel's capabilities and diligence as a defensive midfielder, with the Nigeria international playing a vital part in Chelsea's recent revival.

Playing Mikel alongside Fabregas is proving a masterstroke for Hiddink. With the Blues stalwart there to provide solid defensive cover, pressure has been lifted off the Spaniard's shoulders and allowed him the freedom to dictate play.

Following their hard-fought win over title challengers Arsenal it seems Chelsea are finally on the road to recovery, with Mikel a key influence and a high finish still possible if the west Londoners can maintain their resurgence.

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