“He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.” – Jose Mourinho
Despite Chelsea’s traditional rivalries with Fulham and Spurs, the battles between Chelsea and Arsenal are the greatest in London – perhaps due to both teams’ successes over the years. There have been many diverse moments shared between both clubs since 1907, the year of their first meeting. The Mourinho v Wenger feud further intensified the fire between both sets of fans. However, Chelsea has enjoyed great moments in the face of Arsenal in recent years. Let’s dive into the Top 5 matches against Arsenal.
5. Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal, 2014
5th, October 2014
The beef between Mourinho and Wenger started in the 2000s, but back then, it was merely an exchange of words. They stood up to each other at the touchline this day. This occasion was more of Mourinho vs Wenger but it still led to great fights defending the badges, in which Chelsea eventually came on top.
Wenger had not beaten Mourinho in 11 previous attempts, while Arsenal were on an unbeaten run. Despite Wenger’s beautiful style of football, both teams took a dirty approach. But when football turns to war, you know who will come on top. Gary Cahill’s heavy tackle on Alexis Sanchez provoked Wenger to shove Mourinho in the chest.
Eden Hazard, regardless of the ugly atmosphere, produced a moment of magic to break the deadlock when he drifted beyond Santi Cazorla and Calum Chambers, before being stopped by Koscielny’s trip inside the box. Hazard scored on the penalty as he sent Szczesny the wrong way. Diego Costa made the game safe in the 78th minute, as he ran to receive Cesc Fabregas’ deft pass to finish past Szczesny. The win halted Arsenal’s rhythm and sent Chelsea five points clear on the table.
4. Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal, 2017
Saturday 4th, February 2017.
It’s match week 24 in the 2016/17 Premier League season and the title race is heating up. Chelsea faced Arsenal in the reverse fixture of the EPL at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Conte’s Chelsea were top of the league and a win was needed against an Arsenal side, which had already beaten them at the start of the season.
Marcos Alonso gave Chelsea the lead in the 13th minute after following up a Diego Costa miss off the woodwork. Chelsea were on the front foot for the remainder of the first half. Eight minutes into the second half, Eden Hazard picked up a clearance from David Luiz in the Chelsea half and the magic show began.
He started with a nutmeg on Laurent Koscielny and then puzzled through the Arsenal’s half-spaces with his brilliant quick feet to bully Coquelin and confuse their whole back line. He again danced around a recovering Koscielny before tilting to the right side of the box and then beat Petr Cech with a perfect strike.
Substitute Cesc Fabregas added the third against his former team by capitalizing on a poor pass from cech. That sealed the huge win for Conte’s side and extended their lead on the table to 12 points clear of Arsenal.
3. Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal, 2014
Saturday 22, March 2014
The largest Chelsea win ever over Arsenal couldn’t happen on a better day than on Arsene Wenger’s 1000th game in management. Chelsea scored two quick goals in the opening seven minutes by Andre Schurrle and Samuel Eto’o. Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs was later dismissed and a penalty was awarded to Chelsea. Eden Hazard converted the penalty in the 17th minute and made the match no contest.
Oscar also added a double in the 42nd and 66th minute of the match., before substitute Mo Salah came on to inflict more pain on Wenger’s team by scoring in the 71st minute. That was Jose Mourinho’s biggest Premier League win with Chelsea and it came during match week 31 when the title race was boiling up. It was both a crucial result and an enjoyable victory.
2. Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal, 2007 League Cup Final
25, February 2007.
This was a memorable London derby that was full of brawls and dramas. It’s inevitable when you have Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho at the touchline, though both disapproved of the bust-ups after the game. For Mourinho, drama is culture.
A crowd of 70,073 witnessed the 2007 Football League Cup final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Chelsea was making its fifth final league cup compared to Arsenal’s sixth. Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the lead in the 12th minute before Drogba equalized in the 26th minute. Drogba grabbed a brace in the match by also scoring the winning goal, but that was overshadowed by the fracas and fights after the match.
The brawl intensified when John Terry suffered a bad injury after taking a boot in the face from Diaby, which left him unconscious and in need of a trip to the hospital. The blow fired the Chelsea players up to win the match and the winner came from Drogba heading in Robben’s cross in the 84th minute. Chelsea claimed the first trophy of the season for Jose Mourinho’s side.
1. Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal, 2019 Europa League Final
29, May 2019.
This was arguably the most important match for Arsenal in the last decade. The Gunners had tried hard to get their hands on a European trophy throughout their history and this was another chance. Aside from the hunger, they were also in the 5th position out of the Champions League qualification spot, while Chelsea had already qualified by finishing 3rd. You can already tell who needed it most.
Lots of talk built up the atmosphere before the match; Arsenal were the favourites in every book. The sparkling form of the Aubameyang/Lacazette partnership was a major factor, compared to Sarri’s Chelsea, which was carried by Hazard all season.
Arsenal’s route to the final was difficult. They faced Napoli in the quarter-final, which happened to be the biggest side in the competition. That’s because they had to compete in a group with Liverpool and PSG in the the Champions League. Arsenal defeated them 3-0 on aggregate and went on to beat Valencia in the semi-final 7-3 on aggregate.
Chelsea’s route to the final wasn’t too easy but fair fixtures. The Blues faced Slavia Prague in the quarter-final and won 5-3 on aggregate. They then faced Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final. Both home and away fixtures ended in a 1-1 draw, which took them to additional extra-time and then to the penalty shootout. Kepa made some memorable saves and Hazard coolly scored the winner.
Chelsea won its second Europa League trophy and third European trophy on this memorable night. Hazard, in what was his final game for Chelsea, scored two goals. Giroud and Pedro were also on the scoresheet to make it a ruthless 4-1 battering. Knowing that Arsenal had already planned a parade for the trophy win makes the night more memorable.
No other Chelsea v Arsenal tops this moment for me. As a Chelsea fan, it’s always a pleasure to see Arsenal or Spurs knocked out of UEFA competitions by other clubs. But it’s better when we do it ourselves and again add to our collection of European trophies.
I can say Mourinho, Hazard, and Drogba are the biggest heroes of the Chelsea v Arsenal rivalry. Both clubs will meet again in the 2020 FA cup final at Wembley on the 1st of August. Before this, both clubs have contested in four finals and they’ve each won two. It’ll be another great moment to add to the list if we beat them in this next final.
I know there are some other huge moments against Arsenal that did not make the list, like the 2004 1-2 win in UCL semi-final. Share your best Chelsea moments against Arsenal in the comment section.
Edited by: Dan