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Arsenal vs. Chelsea: 10 of the most memorable games for each side

Arsene Wenger watches on as his Arsenal side slump to a miserable defeat at Chelsea.
The Exploding Heads look into how Arsenal and Chelsea will line up at the Emirates on Sunday.

Arsenal and Chelsea have played out some brilliant games over the years. The two clubs may be in very different positions this season, but Arsenal correspondent Mattias Karen and Chelsea correspondent Liam Twomey review some of the best matches between the two.


Oct. 29, 2011: Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal, Premier League

Robin van Persie led Arsenal to one of their finest moments at Stamford Bridge, the Dutch striker netting a hat trick as the Gunners twice came from behind for a memorable victory. Van Persie took advantage of a slip by John Terry to make it 4-3 in the 85th minute before rounding off the win in injury time -- overshadowing two spectacular goals by Juan Mata and Theo Walcott in a game that never let up.

Dec. 27, 2010: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea, Premier League

This might be the game Arsenal look at for inspiration ahead of Sunday's clash. They ended a five-match losing run against Chelsea and boosted their title hopes in the process with an emphatic victory at the Emirates. After Alex Song put the Gunners ahead in the first half, Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas took turns setting up the other to score past Petr Cech as the hosts pulled within two points of leaders Manchester United. It was the first time in 11 meetings that Arsenal managed to beat either Chelsea or United.

May 4, 2002: Chelsea 0-2 Arsenal, FA Cup final

Ray Parlour had scored just one goal all season before unleashing a stunning shot from 25 yards to give Arsenal the lead in the 70th minute. Freddie Ljungberg then added the second with a spectacular solo effort, curling in a shot from outside the area to make sure of the victory. A few days later, Arsenal beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford to secure the Premier League title and a famous Double.

Oct. 23, 1999: Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal, Premier League

This game looked well out of reach for Arsenal after they conceded two headers to trail 2-0 against a Chelsea side that had yet to concede a league goal at Stamford Bridge that season. But Nwankwo Kanu single-handedly led the visitors to an improbable comeback, scoring a hat trick in the final 15 minutes to stun the hosts. The winner came in the 90th minute after he rounded goalkeeper Ed de Goey near the byline before scoring from a tight angle with a shot that sailed over the heads of two Chelsea defenders. It led TV commentator Martin Tyler to yell out his now famous: "Oh, can you believe it?!"

Sept. 21, 1997: Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal, Premier League

This proved a key victory in Arsene Wenger's first title-winning campaign and one of the finest moments for long-serving left-back Nigel Winterburn. Dennis Bergkamp had scored twice to leave the game level at 2-2 before Winterburn unleashed a stunning 25-yard strike with his left foot that curled into the far top corner. Arsenal went on to win their first Double under Wenger.


March 22, 2014: Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal, Premier League

Arsene Wenger's 1000th game in charge of Arsenal was supposed to be a celebration but Jose Mourinho revelled in turning it into a nightmare. The Gunners found themselves 3-0 down inside 17 minutes thanks to goals from Samuel Eto'o, Andre Schurrle and a penalty from Eden Hazard that saw Kieran Gibbs sent off by mistake after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain deliberately handballed in his own penalty area.

Two more goals from Oscar compounded Wenger's misery and even Mohamed Salah got in on the act with one of his two goals in a Blue shirt. "We came to kill and in 10 minutes, we destroyed," Mourinho said afterwards. A humiliated Wenger was forced to re-evaluate how he approached away matches against Premier League rivals.

Nov. 29, 2009: Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea, Premier League

Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea already looked the class of the Premier League when they arrived at the Emirates Stadium, but this was their first real statement performance of the domestic campaign.

As so often against Arsenal, Didier Drogba was the difference. The Ivorian broke the deadlock on 41 minutes when he met an Ashley Cole cross with a shot that kissed the crossbar and post of Manuel Almunia's goal before nestling in the net. Then, after a Thomas Vermaelen own goal, it was Drogba who had the last word, firing a dipping 25-yard free-kick beyond Almunia four minutes from time.

The win eased Chelsea five points clear of the Premier League chasing pack en route to the club's first ever Double, while Wenger and Arsenal were left 11 points adrift and forced to lower their domestic ambitions to Champions League qualification for another year.

April 18, 2009: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea, FA Cup semifinal

Guus Hiddink quickly stabilised Chelsea following Luiz Felipe Scolari's brief and ill-fated reign but this victory helped enable the Dutchman to depart Stamford Bridge as a trophy winner.

Theo Walcott capped a bright Arsenal start with the opening goal on 18 minutes against a Chelsea side seemingly weary from their epic Champions League quarterfinal battle against Liverpool four days earlier. But Florent Malouda drilled in the equaliser before the break and just as a tense second half appeared set to send the match into extratime, Drogba latched onto a searching Frank Lampard pass to round Lukasz Fabianski and set up a final date with Everton at Wembley.

Feb. 24, 2007: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal, League Cup final

Wenger surprised many by sticking to his guns and naming a reserve team with a number of youngsters for the last major English final at the Millennium Stadium, while Mourinho took no chances and fielded his strongest XI.

Arsenal's starlets outplayed their more experienced opponents for much of the first half and a fresh-faced Walcott gave them the lead they deserved on 18 minutes, only for Drogba to level against the run of play two minutes later. Chelsea's greater pedigree told after the break and Drogba won it when he headed an Arjen Robben cross past Almunia six minutes from the end, but there was still time for a mass brawl that saw Jon Obi Mikel, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure all sent off by Howard Webb.

April 6, 2004: Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea, Champions League quarterfinal second leg

Claudio Ranieri's finest moment as Chelsea manager. Wenger's greatest Arsenal side were well on the way to achieving immortality as "Invincibles" when Chelsea arrived at Highbury as heavy underdogs, tasked with ending a 17-match winless run against their London rivals.

A 1-1 draw in the first leg at Stamford Bridge a fortnight earlier had put Chelsea on the back foot and Jose Antonio Reyes made the Blues' task even harder when he broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, but Ranieri's men mounted a stirring rally after the break. Frank Lampard levelled before Wayne Bridge executed a slick one-two with Eidur Gudjohnsen and fired low past Jens Lehmann. "It was the most extraordinary moment, the most electric thirty seconds of my entire life in football," Ranieri wrote of the winning goal in his memoir.

Mattias (@MattiasKaren ) covers Arsenal for ESPN FC while Liam (@liam_twomey ) covers Chelsea.


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