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The TEN greatest Arsenal v Chelsea games

NumbersArsenal v Chelsea games don’t do ordinary and don’t expect their Capital One Cup Round 4 tie to be any different. Take October 2011 for example. In an almost mirror reflection of current form Arsenal went into that Premier League game on the back of seven wins out of eight but it was the Blues who took the lead just before the interval through Frank Lampard.

Robin van Persie netted the equaliser on his way to a hat-trick. John Terry restored Chelsea’s lead before Santos made it 2-2. Theo Walcott put the Gunners ahead for the first time on the night only for Mata to level at 3-3. Two goals in the last five minutes from van Persie gave Arsenal the points and took their skipper`s scoring tally to an amazing 28 in 27 Premier League games.

The 2009 FA Cup semi-final between the two sides was eminently forgettable in terms of a football match but a narrow win saw Guus Hiddink close in on an unlikely, possible, treble. An early deflected goal from Walcott gave Arsenal the edge but Florent Malouda equalised just past the half-hour mark, beating a dodgy Fabianski at his near post. Arsenal looked dangerous only on the break while Chelsea were hardly pulling up trees in terms of chance creation, BUT they had Drogba. Poor game or good game the Ivorian always gave 100% and played as if his life depended on scoring a goal. And that`s exactly what he did six minutes from time to ensure another FA Cup Final. Lampard set Drogba clear with a high pass and when he drifted around Fabianksi the inviting empty net welcomed the striker’s finish.

Chelsea secured a top three finish, and entry into the following season`s Champions League, with a 4-1 thrashing of Arsenal on their own patch, in May 2009. An Alex header and a 25-yard rasper from former Gunner Nicolas Anelka set Chelsea on their way before halftime. Although Chelsea didn`t need any help they got it from a Kolo Toure own goal four minutes after the restart. Gooners knew it was a bad night because even Nicklas Bendtner scored to reduce the deficit. But when Anelka rattled the post it was Malouda who responded quickest to ensure an embarrassing outing for Wenger`s wayward side.

Just before Christmas 2004 Jose Mourinho was feeling less than seasonal towards Thierry Henry as the French maestro scored one of the most audacious goals in Premier League history that helped earn Arsenal a point from a 2-2 draw.

There were only 75 seconds on the clock when Henry opened the scoring with typical Gallic flair, chesting the ball down before firing home. A typical John Terry header earned Chelsea parity before Henry`s party piece. With Cech lining up his wall Henry took a free- kick so quickly that Gudjohnsen had his back to the ball and Petr Cech wasn`t even looking as the ball bounced once, in front of the flailing Czech, before bouncing over the line. Protests did no good for Chelsea but Gudjohnsen made amends to level at 2-2. Even then Henry squandered a late chance for a hat trick and all three points.

The Chelsea v Arsenal game at Stamford Bridge on 23rd October 1999 produced one of the all time great Premier League comebacks. Goals either side of the interval, from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu put Chelsea firmly in the driving seat but then up stepped Kanu, remember him. He reduced the arrears on 75 minutes, equalised eight minutes later and right on full time completed a most memorable hat trick to bring the curtain down on a quite remarkable capital derby.

In 2004, in the days when English clubs were still rampant in Europe, Chelsea and Arsenal met in the quarter finals of the Champions League.

In the first game at Stamford Bridge ten-man Chelsea avoided a fourth consecutive defeat to Arsenal. Eidur Gudjohnsen put Chelsea ahead early in the second half but six minutes later Robert Pires equalised when he headed home an Ashley Cole cross.

Marcel Desailly was sent off ten minutes from time for a second yellow card but unimpaired Chelsea hung on to set up a terrific second leg at Highbury.

The second leg was as thrilling as all the build-up hype indicated it would be.

Reyes fired Arsenal ahead in first half stoppage time but Frank Lampard only needed six second half minutes to equalise after an error from Jens Lehmann. The game then hinged on 120 seconds between the 85th and 87th minutes. With five minutes remaining Ashley Cole made a terrific goal line clearance to deny Gudjohnsen to set up a sensational finish two minutes later. Wayne Bridge raced along the left flank and played a perfect one-two with Gudjohnsen before rifling an unstoppable shot past Lehmann.

Arsenal hosted Chelsea in the 1998 League Cup and ended up wishing they hadn`t. Frank Leboeuf put the visitors ahead from a 34th minute penalty and it was all down hill from there on in for the Gunners. The next four Chelsea goals were shared equally between Gianluca Vialli and Gus Poyet as the visitors claimed an emphatic victory. Vialli made it 2-0 early in the second half. Poyet made it 3-0 just past the hour and they each scored again before the 80th minute.

The two sides met in the 2002 FA Cup Final, the first all-London final for 21 years, and the poor quality of the game didn`t distract from either the quality of the two Arsenal goals that gave them victory or their historic significance. The Gunners were given a massive boost before a ball was kicked with Chelsea`s surprise inclusion of the decidedly unfit Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Never the less it took until 20 minutes from time for Arsenal to open the scoring but it was worth the wait. Ray Parlour scored a stunning long-range goal and ten minutes from the end Freddie Ljungberg became the first player for 40 years – Bobby Smith of Spurs was the last- to score in successive finals. When Tony Adams lifted the trophy it was a fitting way for the skipper to mark his 669th appearance for the club which also clinched the `Double`,

It was 1976 when Arsenal and Chelsea first met in the League Cup and the circumstances could not have been more different than 2013. A financial crisis at the Bridge forced Chelsea boss Eddie McCreadie to field a side of youngsters, 10 of the 12 man side were home grown. And this was in the days BEFORE top flight clubs fielded below strength teams as a matter of course. Chelsea were in financial disarray since relegation from the top flight. Things weren`t much better at Highbury, five years after their first `Double` they were struggling under Terry Neill. On the night the fourth round tie went to Arsenal 2-1, with Trevor Ross and Frank Stapleton scoring. David Hay got Chelsea`s goal.

Article title: The TEN greatest Arsenal v Chelsea games

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