The first London Derby of the season comes up this Sunday with Arsenal playing at home to Chelsea. Although both teams had contrasting fortunes on the opening weekend, form and points will matter little when hostilities kick off at the Emirates.
Both sides have a rich history of interesting games between them and we present 5 of the most memorable of those encounters below…
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (FA Cup final: August 1, 2020)
The London rivals clashed in the Covid-19 delayed FA Cup final at Wembley stadium and it was the Gunners who ran away 2-1 winners contrary to bookmakers’ predictions.
It was the first trophy of manager Mikel Arteta’s reign with Pierre Emerick Aubameyang scoring two penalties in either half after Christian Pulisic had put Chelsea ahead in the 5th minute. Any hope of a fightback was extinguished when Mateo Kovacic got sent off in the 73rd minute.
That season, the two teams met three times and won one apiece with another one drawn.
Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal (Europa League final: 29 May, 2019)
The Blues turned the heat up in a second half performance that fetched four goals to obliterate the Gunners and lift the Europa League in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Goals from Olivier Giroud(49′), Pedro(60′), and Eden Hazard(65’p, 72′) rendered Alex Iwobi’s goal on 69 minutes valueless and set Chelsea on the victory path.
It was their third meeting of the season. In the EPL, each side had won at home, Arsenal winning 2-0 at the Emirates and Chelsea gaining a 3-2 advantage at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal (Wenger’s 1000th game: 22 March, 2014)
Points and pride aside, this match had special significance for Arsenal. It was manager Arsene Wenger in charge of the club and it was supposed to be momentous.
Apparently Chelsea didn’t get that memo as they pounced on the Gunners and put six goals past them with Samuel Eto’o (5′), Andre Schurrle (7′), Eden Hazard(17p) and Oscar (42′) helping the Blues race to a four-nil first half lead. Oscar scored again in the second half before Mohammed Salah got the last goal in the annihilation.
Tomas Rosicky’s yellow card and the sending off of Kieran Gibbs didn’t help Arsenal’s cause. Of their three clashes that season, Chelsea won two and drew one.
Arsenal 3-2 Chelsea (Premier League: Jan 1, 2003)
This game is truly memorable in that four of the five goals came in a five-minute blitz with just 10 minutes left to play.
Arsenal had led with a Marcel Desailly own-goal on nine minutes but in the 81st minute the game burst into life. Giovanni van Bronkhorst doubled Arsenal’s lead and Theirry Henry made it three-nil in the 82nd minute. Chelsea began their fightback and also scored two quick-fire goals in the 85th and 86th minutes through Mario Stanic and Emmanuel Petit. The last five minutes had fans on the edge of their seats but the Gunners held on for a famous victory.
Both sides met four times that season and Arsenal proved their dominance with two wins and two draws.
Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal (Premier League: 23 October, 1999)
It was the match which earned Nwankwo Kanu a second African Footballer of the Year award in 1999 after a remarkable hattrick comeback at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea had gone two goals up through Tore-Andre Flo (38′) and defender Dan Petrescu (52′) but Kanu reserved his best effort for the last 15 minutes, scoring in the 75′, 83′ and deep into injury time with the last goal requiring incredible ingenuity to score off an impossible angle.
It was a bruising game with four yellow cards apiece for Graeme Le Saux, Dennis Wise, Didier Deschamps and Chris Sutton on Chelsea’s side while Lee Dixon, Emmanuel Petit, Davor Suker and Nelson Vivas got booked for Arsenal.