Arsenal versus Chelsea has been an ever-present in the Premier League thanks to the two sides longevity in the division since its inception in 1992 and since Arsene Wenger’s arrival has developed into a top of the table clash between the two.
On occasions a title clash, this game has provided some epics with both sides exhibiting exciting, attacking football which gave way to some big scorelines, here are the top five occassions the Gunners have got the better of the Blues in this fixture since 1996.
1997: Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal
A topsy-turvy game at Stamford Bridge in Wenger’s first full season would punctuate the Frenchman’s side’s growing potential as the league’s most exciting team having already played out a high-scoring draw with Leicester City.
Gus Poyet would put the hosts ahead just before half-time turning home Michael Duberry’s misplaced shot at the far post but Arsenal responded either side of the break thanks to two goals from 1998 PFA Player of the Year Dennis Bergkamp.
The first was a cool finish having been put through by Ian Wright’s cushioned header on the edge of the box and the second was also semi-provided by Wright, his flick over the head of the defender caused confusion between centre-backs Duberry and Frank Lebouf with the former slicing his clearance straight to Bergkamp who placed his effort low of Ed De Goey.
The lead lasted less than a minute as Mark Hughes crossed for Gianfranco Zola who just beat captain Tony Adams to the ball at the far post.
It looked set to finish 2-2, even after Lebouf was dismissed for a second yellow card offence after hacking down Bergkamp.
That was until Nigel Winterburn stole the headlines with a 25-yard screamer in the 89th minute to steal the points, the left-back scoring a rare goal but one that lived long in the memory as Arsenal went on to win the League & FA Cup double in May.
1999: Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal
Having played out a 0-0 draw the following season at Stamford Bridge, 1999’s affair at the Bridge would end up being as exciting as the 1997 game although another for Chelsea fans to forget and one for Gunners to relish as they came from two goals down to win 3-2, all thanks to Kanu.
The Blues had raced into a two goal lead thanks to Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu and having smashed five past champions Manchester United two games earlier and were yet to concede at Stamford Bridge thus far that season with Gianluca Vialli making them a real defensive force.
However, with 15 minutes to go up stepped the Kanu, Marc Overmars pass into the box fell to him and the Nigerian forward stabbed home what looked to be just scant consolation.
Combining with Overmars again, the Dutch winger fired a low cross into his feet and gaining a yard with his first touch he fired it past De Goey at his near post to equalise against all the odds.
His winner made him a cult hero in Arsenal folklore, Davor Suker’s bad pass towards Kanu was intercepted by Albert Ferrer but his first time clearance was blocked by Kanu who darted past him, jinked his way past the onrushing De Goey and then from a near impossible angle outside the box curled the ball into the far corner to silence the Stamford Bridge crowd.
2004: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal
A huge test for Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles, Claudio Ranieri’s Chelsea had spent huge thanks to the investment of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich in the summer of 2003 in a bid to challenge the Gunners and Manchester United for the title but with Arsenal having gone 25 games unbeaten so far that season, the Blues could kiss that dream goodbye should they fail to stop that run in February 2004.
Much like the games in 1997 and 1999 it was Chelsea who opened the scoring, Geremi raced down the right hand side and his cross evaded the entire Arsenal back line to find Eidur Gudjohnsen at the far post to open the scoring after 27 seconds.
However, Arsenal fired back quickly, fourteen minutes later Bergkamp’s perfect outside of the foot pass found captain Patrick Vieira in the box and the Frenchman bagged his first goal of the season.
Six minutes later a deep corner and a botched punch by goalkeeper Neil Sullivan found its way to Edu who smashed home the winner from close range.
The Gunners held on to their lead, went nine points clear and remained the entire league season unbeaten, the first time it had happened since 1889.
2010: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea
Thanks to Jose Mourinho and further investment from Abramovich, wins over Chelsea became few and far between post-2004 it would take until late December 2010 for the Gunners to exert some dominance over their London rivals.
After a competitive first half, Arsenal took the lead a minute before half time through Alex Song who smashed in the opener thanks to a great advantage after Cesc Fabregas was fouled in the box.
Straight after the break Fabregas and Theo Walcott combined for Arsenal’s second and third, a through ball from Robin Van Persie put in Walcott who squared for Fabregas to make it 2-0 and two minutes later the roles reversed as the Spaniard fed the England international who cooly finished past future Gunners keeper Petr Cech to make it 3-0.
Branislav Ivanovic got a consolation from a set-piece but it couldn’t dampen Arsenal’s night as the ran out worthy winners.
2017: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (FA Cup Final)
Having suffered a disastrous season, finishing fifth, their lowest ever finish under Arsene Wenger nobody gave the Gunners much hope against runaway Champions Chelsea but Arsenal shocked everyone with one of their best performances of recent times.
A makeshift back three of Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Montreal put in a stellar performance to deny the Blues a historic double whilst goals from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey won the cup for the Gunners for a record 13th time.
Whilst Sanchez’ opener could have been flagged for handball or offside in the build-up, nobody could begrudge the Gunners the cup given their performance with Mesut Özil and Danny Welbeck nearly adding to their lead in the first half.
Diego Costa did briefly equalise but minutes later substitute Olivier Giroud found Ramsey with a pinpoint cross for the winner and a third FA Cup success in four years for Arsene Wenger who secured a record-setting seventh FA Cup success.