Feuds, fights & finals: 10 memorable Arsenal v Chelsea clashes

Date published: Thursday 22nd September 2016 12:17

Brawl: Arsenal and Chelsea players in heated exchange

Arsenal host Chelsea on Saturday in the latest installment of their heated rivalry. We take a look at 10 memorable clashes between two of London’s finest.


Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea (May 2002)

Ray Parlour

“Oh no he’s put him through. Oh it’s alright, it’s only Ray Parlour,” were the infamous words muttered by Tim Lovejoy in commentary as the Arsenal midfielder strode forward with the ball at his feet. The TV presenter’s beloved Chelsea were drawing 0-0 with Arsenal in the FA Cup final as the match headed into the final 20 minutes, but Lovejoy was made to eat his words with what can only be described as poetic justice as the Romford Pele went on to curl a fantastic effort into the top corner from 25 yards out.

And with 10 minutes remaining, super Swede Freddie Ljungberg produced an even better goal, dribbling from his halfway line past a host of defenders, leaving John Terry in a heap on the ground, before bending a shot past Carlo Cudicini. Much to the delight of Bradley Walsh, and the devastation of Lovejoy, in the ‘celebrity’ commentary box.


Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal (March 2014)

Kieran Gibbs

Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal could not have gone any worse. The Gunners were steamrollered by Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho continued his impressive record against his opposite number.

Goals from Samuel Eto’o and Andre Schurrle had put the Blues 2-0 up after only seven minutes and with a quarter of an hour played, referee Andre Mariner mistakenly sent off Kieran Gibbs after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball on the goal-line. Eden Hazard converted the resulting penalty and Oscar added a fourth and fifth either side of half-time, before Mo Salah notched one of only two goals he scored for Chelsea.

Speaking after the match, Mourinho – never one to miss a chance to rub salt into the wounds – admitted he left the touchline early to tell his wife the score.


Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal (October 1999)


The match which secured Nwankwo Kanu’s cult status among Arsenal fans.

Headers from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu had appeared to secure a comfortable win for Chelsea at a rain-sodden Stamford Bridge, until Kanu burst into life in the final 15 minutes.

The Nigerian striker pounced on a Marc Overmars’ shot to give the visitors a lifeline, before rifling home at the near post to restore parity in the 83rd minute. And as the encounter entered stoppage time, Blues goalkeeper Ed de Goey came rushing out of his goal, only to be beaten to the ball by Kanu, who produced a remarkable finish from the tightest of angles to complete a famous comeback from the Gunners.


Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea (April 2004)


Arguably the major blemish on Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, Wayne Bridge became an unlikely hero as Chelsea knocked their London rivals out of the Champions League.

After the first leg had ended 1-1, Jose Antonio Reyes’ goal on the stroke of half-time appeared to be sending Arsenal’s greatest ever side into the semi-finals.

However, Lampard equalised on the night, and on aggregate, after Jens Lehman spilled Claude Makelele’s long-range effort, before Eidur Gudjohnson teed up Bridge and the left-back produced a classy finish to fire Chelsea into the final four, where they were ultimately beaten by Monaco.

The result was Claudio Ranieri’s finest moment in charge of Chelsea, which he has been happy to remind Arsene Wenger.


Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal (September 1997)

Nigel Winterburn

From one unlikely hero to another. While the class of Dennis Bergkamp, Gus Poyet and Gianfranco Zola shared four goals between them, it was left-back Nigel Winterburn who struck an 89th-minute winner with a thunderous effort into the top corner from all of 30 yards.

In 584 appearances for Arsenal, Winterburn only scored 12 goals, and it is his winner against Chelsea, which came after Frank Leboeuf had been sent off, which is remembered most fondly.


Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal (February 2007)

Arsenal Chelsea

Three red cards, seven yellows, John Terry knocked out, Theo Walcott’s first Arsenal goal, and a Didier Drogba-inspired Chelsea comeback helped create possibly the most eventful clash between these two sides.

Arsene Wenger boldly chose to keep faith with the fringe players who had taken Arsenal to the League Cup final, meaning his starting XI featured Justin Hoyte, Philippe Senderos, Armand Traore, Walcott, Denilson, Abou Diaby, Jeremie Aliadiere and Julio Baptista.

Walcott gave Arsenal the lead after only 12 minutes with an impressive finish, before Droga – so often the scourge of the North Londoners – struck twice as Chelsea triumphed at the Millennium Stadium, although not before John Obi Mikel, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor had been sent off in stoppage time.


Arsenal 3-3 Chelsea (September 1996)


One of a number of enthralling clashes between the two sides, Chelsea raced into a two goal lead at Highbury thanks to Frank Leboeuf and Gianluca Vialli.

However, Arsenal produced a stirring comeback as Paul Merson, Martin Keown and Ian Wright all struck, only for Dennis Wise to rescue a point for Chelsea with a last minute equaliser.


Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal (October 2011)

Robin Van Persie

A week which started with John Terry being accused of racial abuse against Anton Ferdinand ended with the Chelsea captain being left on the floor as Robin van Persie’s hat-trick helped Arsenal to a thrilling victory at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard gave the hosts an early lead, before Van Persie equalised with his first of the afternoon. Terry put Chelsea back ahead but the Blues must have realised they were not at the races when Brazilian flop Andre Santos scored for the Gunners. Theo Walcott and Juan Mata exchanged strikes, leaving the match finely poised at 3-3, only for Terry’s slip to gift Van Persie his second, with the Dutch striker completing his treble in stoppage time.


Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal (February 1998)

Roberto Di Matteo

Only days after Ruud Gullit had been sacked as manager, Chelsea sealed their place in the League Cup final with an impressive victory over Arsenal in Gianluca Vialli’s first match in charge of the Blues.

Chelsea trailed 2-1 after the first leg, but Mark Hughes swiftly leveled scores on aggregate after 10 minutes. Patrick Vieira was sent of just after half-time and Arsenal were punished as the hosts went on to strike twice in two minutes.

Roberto di Matto’s spectacular 30-yard effort was followed by Dan Petrescu’s goal, meaning Dennis Bergkamp’s penalty was too little, too late.


Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal (December 2006)

Michael Essien

Plenty of bad blood brewed between the two clubs following the controversial transfer of Ashley Cole to Chelsea. This encounter marked the first time Cole faced his former club, with the England left-back booked for a rash challenge on Aleksandr Hleb.

With pantomime season in full flow and Cole acting the villain, Didier Drogba and Jens Lehman auditioned as jesters, earning yellow cards with their theatrics.

Mathieu Flamini broke the deadlock with 12 minutes remaining, only for Michael Essien to ensure the points were shared with an outstanding equaliser. Chelsea could have stolen victory in stoppage time but Essien and then Frank Lampard were thwarted by the woodwork.


Rob Conlon

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