Thursday, March 30, 2023

Flashback: 5 Humdingers When Arsenal Have Taken On Chelsea In The Last Decade

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Arsenal and Chelsea both do have a long lasting rivalry that spurns out from the two clubs being located in London. On match days, the two teams battle it out for the bragging rights to be the best club in the city and give their title challenge a thrust forward elevating their confidence levels.

Over the years, this fixture has provided us with some high octane matches and some significant tussles on the pitch as well as on the sidelines. Let’s now look at 5 of matches where this fixture served us all the excitement and controversies.

  1. Arsenal Vs Chelsea: League Cup Final, Feb 2007

It was a game of great magnitude for the young Arsenal side who surprised everybody with their skill and talent throughout the competition pulling off one upset after another. It was the reserve team of the Gunners which played and defeated much older and experienced oppositions.

Arsene Wenger vowed to field the same reserve team full of youngsters in the final and he did exactly that against the strongest Chelsea lineup fielded by Jose Mourinho, in what was the major English final at the Millennium Stadium.

Arsenal’s young guns took the lead through Theo Walcott in the 18th minute, but Didier Drogba leveled the scores in the first half and scored the winner in the 84th minute. The stoppage time saw a mass brawl between the two teams with 3 players being sent off and Abou Diaby’s accidental kick knocked out John Terry cold on the ground only for Arsenal and England physio Gary Lewin to rush to the scene and give the Chelsea captain the first attention which proved to be vital in saving his life before he swallowed his tongue.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger enters the field to help stop a fight between his players and Chelsea's during the English League Cup Final football match at The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, 25 February 2007. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS Mobile and website use of domestic English football pictures subject to a subscription of a license with Football Association Premier League (FAPL) tel: +44 207 2981656. For newspapers where the football content of the printed and electronic versions are identical, no license is necessary. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

  1. Arsenal Vs Chelsea: Barclays Premier League, Dec 2010

This game was special as it gave Arsenal one of the most important victories over their title rivals for a long time. During that time, Arsenal had to keep up with the other mega rich clubs with their record signings with young players like Fabregas, Walcott, Sagna, Clichy etc. Prior to this game, Arsenal lost all their 5 previous matches against Chelsea and despite the young players proving their worth in the table with a title challenge, it was expected that they will falter again against the experience and power of their city rivals.

However, goals from Alex Song, Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas ensured a memorable 3-1 victory for the hosts to take them to two points within the league leaders Manchester United. Theo Walcott’s defensive discipline on the flanks, the way he covered Bacary Sagna was appreciated wholly as the Englishman gave a man of the match performance to ensure a great win.

  1. Arsenal Vs Chelsea: Barclays Premier League, Oct 2011

Arsenal secured one of their most satisfying victories at Stamford Bridge for a long time when Robin Van Persie netted a hat-trick in an 8 goal thriller which featured some end to end excitement and great goals. It was also one occasion where Arsenal’s new signing, left-back Andre Santos, scored the first goal for his new club, as the momentum swung back and forth with some great strikes from Walcott and Juan Mata.

Finally, a slip from John Terry allowed RVP to make it 4-3, five minutes from the end and he added another in the added time to ensure the Gunners went home with all three points.

  1. Arsenal Vs Chelsea: Barclays Premier League, Mar 2014

This match served the Gunners their worst ever defeat in what was Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in charge of Arsenal. This game had plenty of goals but none of them were scored by the visitors Arsenal. Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle scored two quick goals right after the start and an Oxlade-Chamberlain and all inside the penalty box saw referee Andre Mariner give the hosts a penalty and the marching orders to Kieran Gibbs bizarrely instead of Chamberlain.

Hazard converted the spot-kick as Arsenal went down by a man and three goals inside the first 17 minutes. Thereafter, Oscar scored twice and Chelsea new boy Mohamed Salah also netted once to compound the humiliation with a 6-0 victory.

  1. Arsenal Vs Chelsea: Barclays Premier League, Oct 2014

The most memorable touchline bust-up between Wenger and Mourinho happened in this game at Stamford Bridge. Arsene Wenger was left furious after a horrible tackle by Gary Cahill on Alexis Sanchez in the first half and tried to go on to the referee to make his feelings known who only brandished a yellow to the Chelsea defender, Mourinho stopped him and told him to go back to his technical area as Wenger gave him a push to move him aside.

Wenger later apologized for his actions after the game. On the pitch, tackles flew in and a moment of brilliance from Eden Hazard made the difference as he beat Cazorla and Chambers with his brilliant run only to be impeded unlawfully by Koscielny inside the penalty box to earn his team a spot kick which he converted with great confidence. Chelsea rounded off their day with another goal which was scored by Diego Costa from a magnificent long pass by former Gunner Cesc Fabregas to make it 2-0.

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