Chelsea and Arsenal have produced some riveting games against each other in the Premier league era. Let us have a look at five of the best games these two London rivals have played against each other –
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal (March 22nd 2014)
In what was supposed to be a proud and historic day for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal football club, this turned out to be anything but. This was Wenger’s 1000th match in charge as Arsenal manager and he came up against his biggest foe in Jose Mourinho. He had never beaten Mourinho in a competitive game at the time and this was the best day to put that right. But, oh boy, this turned out to be Wenger’s biggest nightmare. Arsenal were down by two goals in less than ten minutes with some sensational counter attacking football from Chelsea and looked in disarray. Soon, Kieran Gibbs was sent off in a case of mistaken identity when it was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who should have been given the marching orders by the referee for tipping away Eden Hazard’s shot with his hands. Things just got worse for Arsenal as Chelsea run riot with Eto’o, Schurrle, Hazard, Oscar and Salah all getting on the score sheet. It was Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea who beat Wenger in his 500th game in charge of Arsenal in 2005 and the Portuguese boss returned the favour with utmost disdain in Wenger’s 1000th game, as well.
Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal (29th October 2011)
This game was the last time Arsenal beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and their team that day read, “Wojciech Szczesny , Johan Djourou ,Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny , Andre Santos, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song ,Mikel Arteta ,Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie, Gervinho“. Feel old, yet? Both sides were carved open with alarming regularity in a display of defending that will have incensed their managers, but the commitment to attacking football with absolute disdain towards defending made for an amazing game of football, that day. Robin Van Persie, Arsenal’s captain at the time, was at his very peak and scored an outstanding hat-trick to cap off a wonderful win for the Gunners. Chelsea equalized in the 80th minute with a wonderful strike by Juan Mata to make it 3-3 but Van Persie showed why he was one of the best strikers in the world at that time by scoring two goals in less than seven minutes to seal victory for Arsenal. This, to date, is one of the greatest games the two London rivals have played against each other and many will remember this for a very long time to come.
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea (December 27th 2010)
Arsenal sealed a memorable victory against Chelsea at the Emirates which culminated a barren run of 11 games in all competitions without a victory over closest rivals Chelsea and Manchester United, at that time, including 10 defeats. Arsenal had not won a trophy for more than five years and Arsenal’s title credentials were being questioned (We are in 2017 and ironically, the same questions still persist!) but Arsenal put in an emphatic performance on the day. Arsenal put in a terrific display with extraordinary period of ten minutes either side of half-time. Arsenal were utterly appealing for those ten minutes, seized upon the hesitation in the Chelsea ranks to score through Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and the outstanding Theo Walcott. Branislav Ivanovic’s header four minutes after Walcott’s wonderfully taken goal briefly gave Chelsea hope, but it proved to be nothing but a false dawn. Chelsea, since have lost only one game at the Emirates, showing their overpowering dominance in this battle for more than a decade, especially since they were being funded by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal (October 23rd 1999)
Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu produced an excellent performance for Arsenal by scoring a hat-trick in the final 15 minutes to lead them to a thrilling 3-2 win. Chelsea had appeared to be coasting to a comfortable victory having led 2-0. Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli’s Chelsea had yet concede a league goal at Stamford Bridge that season and were in front thanks to headers from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu. However, Kanu had other ideas and Arsenal produced a sensational comeback. Kanu drew Arsenal level with goals in the 75th and 83rd minutes and scored the winner in the 90th from a very tight angle after rounding goalkeeper Ed De Goey. De Goey may not have been at fault for the first two goals but he handed Arsenal the chance to win the game in stoppage time when he mistakenly raced out of his penalty box which allowed Kanu to grab the match-winner. The Nigerian had already achieved cult status but this performance against Chelsea elevated him to the next level and till this day, Kanu is one of the most revered ex-Arsenal players by the fans.
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (April 6th 2004)
Arsene Wenger’s great Arsenal side were the “Invincibles” that season and were clear favourites at Highbury to build on a 1-1 draw in the away leg of their quarter-final clash. Jose Antonio Reyes put Arsenal in front before halftime but Chelsea rallied to equalise through Frank Lampard and just when it looked as if the game would head into extra time left back Wayne Bridge hit the winner past Jens Lehmann to send Chelsea into the Champions League semi finals for the first time. The England defender rifled home a left-foot finish on 87 minutes after being set up by Eidur Gudjohnsen to end Arsenal’s unbeaten run against Chelsea. It was a high point of Italian Claudio Ranieri’s spell in charge of Chelsea, who he left at the end of that season with Abramovich making the decision to depose him off his duties and appointed Jose Mourinho, who won the Champions League with Porto that very season. In many ways, it was a significant turning point in this rivalry. Until then, Arsenal were by far the more dominant side with three Premier League titles and Chelsea with none. Since Abramovich bought Chelsea, they have won five Premier League titles – only Manchester United have won the same number of Premier league titles as Chelsea have, during the same period. Arsenal haven’t shown signs of real progress since and if anything have only declined since, whereas Chelsea have won the Europa League as well as the Champions League, something Arsenal have never won in their illustrious history.
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal Image via Mirror
Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal Image via Getty
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea Image via Getty
Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal Image via Empics Sport
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea Image via PA