Ranked! The 10 best Arsenal-Chelsea games (left-backs rule!)

Nwankwo Kanu Arsenal Chelsea

Mike Carre takes a trip down memory lane for the most entertaining Blues-Gunners clashes. Kanu believe it? 

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10. Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal, Mar 1973

Peter Osgood had a fairytale relationship with the FA Cup. Heartbreakingly, he missed Chelsea’s first ever final in 1967 with a broken leg, before getting his happy ending in 1970’s FA Cup Final replay win over Leeds.

He’s also famous for two other FA Cup exploits with Chelsea: he was the last player to score in every round, and netted an exceptional volley against Arsenal in this 1973 quarter-final tussle at Stamford Bridge.

The ‘King of Stamford Bridge’ volleyed into the far corner from the edge of the box – an eventual goal-of-the-season winner – to open the scoring in a game that finished 2-2, after Arsenal goals from Alan Ball and Charlie George were cancelled out by John Hollins's equaliser. Arsenal would win the replay 2-1, though, thanks to efforts from Ball and Ray Kennedy. 

9. Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal, Feb 1991

Arsenal's unbeaten title-winning team of 2003/04 will forever be remembered, but that achievement could have been old news had Chelsea not beaten the Gunners in February 1991, which proved to be their only defeat of the season as they won the title by seven points.

In a tight match, Chelsea seized control in the second half thanks largely to Nigel Winterburn's torrid day. The left-back went on to manage his finest hour in the fixture six years later (more on that later), but this time around he cost his side dear.

His wayward header allowed Kerry Dixon to head into an almost unguarded net, and soon after the former Wimbledon defender inexplicably followed the ball to the opposite side of the pitch, leaving Graham Stuart completely unmarked at the back post for the simplest of tap-ins. Alan Smith’s clinical effort pulled one back but it was too little too late: invincibility would have to wait.

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8. Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal, Mar 2014

Not so much a great game – because there was only one team in it – but important for what it represented. Arsenal fans didn't know it at the time, but they were still four years away from Arsene Wenger's departure as the Frenchman 'celebrated' his 1,000th game as Gunners boss at Stamford Bridge. 

A farcical 15th-minute red card for Kieran Gibbs – a case of mistaken identity with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – summed up this dreadful afternoon for Arsenal, who were already two goals down by that point thanks to early goals from Samuel Eto'o and Andre Schurrle. Eden Hazard added a penalty on 17 minutes, and Oscar had the Blues 4-0 up before half-time. 

It got worse, of course: Oscar grabbed his second goal with 25 minutes remaining, before Mohamed Salah (remember him?) compounded the misery shortly afterwards. It was Jose Mourinho's biggest Premier League victory as Chelsea manager.   

"It was a nightmare and I take full responsibility for it," an ashen-faced Wenger murmured post-match. 

7. Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea, May 2002

An FA Cup final famous for two outstanding goals, one just seconds after Chelsea fan and televisual Neanderthal Tim Lovejoy uttered the now-infamous words: “It's only Ray Parlour.”

Parlour was hardly a goal-getting midfielder – 22 in 400 league appearances says as much – but the Barking-born favourite produced a fine effort to elude Cudicini and give the Gunners the lead with 20 minutes remaining.

His goal won't be forgotten, but Parlour was outshone by Freddie Ljungberg for Arsenal's second after the Swede dribbled from inside his own half, left John Terry on his backside and bent a sumptuous strike into the far corner to seal the match, trophy and another double for the north Londoners.

6. Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal, Sep 2000

It's left-back time again, but this one features less Warwickshire and a bit more Brazil. The thought of a Samba left-back might make most Gunners cover their eyes after the Andre Santos debacle, but another former Corinthians man, Silvinho, was a far more reliable acquisition.

His crowning moment in a brief two-year stay at Highbury was a spectacular equaliser at Stamford Bridge which rescued a late point as Arsenal once again staged a comeback from 2-0 down. Goals either side of the break from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola had put the west Londoners in command, before Thierry Henry halved the deficit 15 minutes from time. 

Arsenal couldn’t quite repeat their trick of winning on this occasion but Silvinho did match Winterburn’s heroics, hammering home a ferocious left-footed strike from range to bamboozle Carlo Cudicini and earn Wenger's men a point.