Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal, Premier League, October 1999
This match will always be remembered for the brilliance of Nwankwo Kanu. Chelsea looked to be coasting towards an easy victory after they took a 2-0 lead through Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu headers. Kanu then stole the show with a pulsating fifteen minute hat-trick to win the match for Arsenal. The Nigerian scored his first in the 75th minute when he toe-poked the ball past Ed De Goey. Kanu then controlled an Overmars cross ten minutes later before finishing with finesse into the bottom left hand corner. The winner came in injury time, when Kanu stole the ball from Albert Ferrer and took it past De Goey on the endline. The Nigerian then finished sensationally from an acute angle over two Chelsea defenders.
Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea, FA Cup Final, May 2002
For Arsenal fans, the successful early days of Arsene Wenger’s reign may seem like a distant memory. This encounter in 2002 helped Arsenal claim their second double in four years, however, and will be remembered for two stunning strikes from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg. The victory was made even sweeter as Arsenal had lost the previous year’s FA Cup final in dramatic fashion against Michael Owen’s Liverpool.
Arsenal produced a quality performance and fully deserved to beat the Pensioners. Ray Parlour was known by Arsenal fans as “The Romford Pele”, but he will rarely have scored a goal as good as his 70th minute opener. The English midfielder hit a speculative shot from 30 yards and the ball hit the top right hand corner of the goal despite Carlo Cudicini’s best efforts. Freddie Ljungberg then sealed the victory with a glorious finish past Cudicini in the 80th minute.
Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea, Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg, April 2004
The 2003/04 season belonged to Arsenal’s “Invincibles”. Arsene Wenger’s squad vanquished all comers in the Premier League en route to an undefeated season. Arsenal also continued their dominance over Chelsea, doing the Premier League double over the Pensioners and knocking Claudio Ranieri’s side out of the FA Cup. Chelsea would have the last laugh in the Champions League, however. Arsenal seemed well positioned for a deep run in Europe after drawing 1-1 away to Chelsea in the first leg of their quarter final, but a late Wayne Bridge goal helped Chelsea secure a surprise victory.
Jose Antonio Reyes gave Arsenal the lead in first half injury time, while Frank Lampard equalised six minutes into the second half. Ashley Cole cleared an Eidur Gudjohnsen shot off the line with five minutes remaining, but it was only a brief respite for Arsenal. Bridge played a one-two before bursting into the Arsenal box and finishing well into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea, Premier League, December 2005
Arsenal dominated their Premier League encounters with Chelsea throughout the 90s and for the first half of the 2000s. Chelsea has not beaten their city rivals since March 1990, when John Bumstead gave the Pensioners a 1-0 victory at Highbury. All that changed in December 2005, when Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 thanks to goals from Arjen Robben and Joe Cole. Chelsea would go on to easily win their second Premier league title in succession, while Arsenal finished fourth.
Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal, Premier League, December 2006
This match was eagerly anticipated due to Ashley Cole’s controversial move from Arsenal to Chelsea in the summer of 2006, but it will be remembered for a sensational Michael Essien goal. Mathieu Flamini gave Arsenal a 78th minute lead and Essien equalised with a quality strike with six minutes remaining.
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal, Carling Cup Final, February 2007
The Carling Cup is normally seen as a secondary competition, where the Premier League’s top sides play their reserves and generally do not care about the outcome. The 2007 final between Chelsea and Arsenal, however, could not have been more fiercely contested. Chelsea engineered a late victory, while three players were dismissed for a late brawl. John Terry was also knocked unconscious after being kicked in the head as he attempted a diving header.
Theo Walcott gave Arsenal an early 12th minute lead, but Didier Drogba equalised within eight minutes despite Arsenal’s claims for offside. Drogba then headed home beautifully from an Arjen Robben cross with six minutes remaining to win the match for Chelsea. The match ended amid ugly scenes as Mikel, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Addebayor were dismissed for their part in the brawl.