Feature: The Chelsea-Arsenal Rivalry

Goal.com's Graham Lister looks at the history of matches - and relations - between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, who clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday...
Sunday's Premier League clash between Chelsea, from London SW6, and Arsenal, from London N5, will be the 169th competitive meeting between the clubs, whose clashes have in recent years become arguably the most significant derbies in the capital - at least in the context of the Premier League title race.

The pair have, after all, won the Premier League title five times between them - though both of Chelsea's successes came after Arsenal were last crowned champions, in 2004.

The two London rivals have also played in - and lost - two of the last three Champions League finals. And Chelsea beat the Gunners to win the 2007 Carling Cup final, while Arsenal defeated the Blues in the 2002 FA Cup final.

Of the previous 168 clashes between the clubs, ahead of Sunday's showdown, Arsenal have won 68, Chelsea have won 49, and 51 have finished all square.

*    They've met 142 times in the League, 18 times in the FA Cup, five times in the League Cup, twice in the Champions League and once in the Community Shield.

*    Of the 142 League meetings, Arsenal have won 58, Chelsea 51, and 43 have been drawn. In the League Cup Chelsea have won three times and Arsenal twice. In the FA Cup the score is Arsenal 8 wins, Chelsea 4, with 6 draws. The Champions League meetings yielded a draw and a win for Chelsea, who also won the Community Shield clash.

*   Chelsea's recrd at home v Arsenal is P71, W23, D25, L23, F85, A92. The biggest League wins at Stamford Bridge for each team are:
27/09/1969 Chelsea 3-0 Arsenal
29/11/1930 Chelsea 1-5 Arsenal

*    Chelsea have lost only one of their last twelve games against the Gunners - and were unbeaten in all eight under Jose Mourinho, and the last two under Claudio Ranieri, the latter being the two legs of the 2004 Champions League quarter-final. Yet prior to their defeat by the Blues in the second-leg of that 2004 Champions League last-eight tie, Arsenal had gone 17 League and Cup games unbeaten by Chelsea. And before Chelsea's 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on 21 August 2005, they had failed to beat Arsenal in 19 Premier League games, home and away.

*    Chelsea have won two of their last three home Premier League meetings with Arsenal, having failed to do so in any of the previous nine.

*    Between April 1960 and September 1965, Chelsea won six consecutive League matches against Arsenal at Highbury, with an aggregate score of 21 goals to six.    

*    The first meeting between the clubs was on 9 November 1907 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won 2-1. Arsenal's first victory in the fixture came just over a year later, on 28 November 1908. It was also at the Bridge and also finished 2-1 - but in the Gunners' favour.

*    Arsenal had been in existence for 19 years before Chelsea were formed in 1905, though the Gunners had not yet moved north of the River Thames to Islington. The first meeting between the clubs at Highbury was on 6 December 1919, and finished in a 1-1 draw. A week later, the teams met at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea triumphed 3-1.  The first meeting at Emirates Stadium in Ashburton Grove came on 6 May 2007 and was another 1-1 draw. It was Mourinho's last head-to-head with Wenger.

*    When Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on 21 February 2004, it was the Blues' last League defeat on home soil until Liverpool's 1-0 triumph on 26 October this year - a record unbeaten home run of 86 matches.

*    For four consecutive seasons between 2001 and 2004, Arsenal and Chelsea were paired together in the FA Cup. The Gunners won each time - twice in the Fifth Round, once in a Sixth Round replay and once in the Final.

*    Sunday's clash will see Chelsea complete their home fixtures this season against fellow 'Big Four' clubs. The Blues have already lost to Liverpool and been held to a draw by Manchester United at the Bridge. Arsenal have met just one fellow 'Big Four' club so far, beating Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

*     Chelsea have lost more games (15), conceded more goals (47) and dropped more points (67) to Arsenal, than to any other club in the Premier League.

*    Chelsea go into the game with the strongest attack and tightest defence in the Premier League, having scored 32 goals and conceded just four in 14 games. Arsenal's record is 25 goals scored and 18 conceded. The Blues have only lost one of 14 Premier League games under Luiz Felipe Scolari, and have kept clean sheets in 14 of their last 21 Premier League games.

*    Chelsea's only defeat in 18 Premier League matches against other London clubs was a 1-0 reverse against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on 16 December 2007. The scorer of the winning Arsenal goal was the currently controversial William Gallas, who had joined the Gunners from Chelsea on transfer deadline day 2006 - when Arsenal left-back Ashley Cole moved to Stamford Bridge as part of the deal. The departures of both players were somewhat acrimonious.

*    As well as Gallas and Cole, there have been others who've represented both these London clubs.  They include George Graham, who joined the Gunners from Chelsea in September 1966 in a deal that also saw Tommy Baldwin head from Highbury to Stamford Bridge. Graham, of course, went on to win the Double with Arsenal in 1970-71 before returning in 1986 as the club's manager, leading them to six major trophies (including two League titles and the European Cup Winners' Cup) in eight-and-a-half seasons.

*    Others who've played for both include John Hollins, Alan Hudson, Emmanuel Petit, Allan Young, Colin Pates, David Rocastle, Peter Nicholas, Graham Rix, Lassana Diarra and current Blues striker Nicolas Anelka.  Clive Allen and Steve Sidwell, who both played for the Blues, were also on Arsenal's books but didn't appear in a competritive first-team match for the Gunners.

*    There are also links between the clubs at the coaching and managerial levels. The last Arsenal manager before Herbert Chapman transformed the club was Leslie Knighton, who was in charge at Highbury from 1919 until 1925. After leading Birmingham to the 1931 FA Cup final, Knighton became Chelsea manager from 1933 until the outbreak of the Second World War.

*    Arsenal's legendary pre-war centre-forward, Ted Drake, later became Chelsea manager and guided them to their first League Championship in 1954-55. Drake had sored 139 goals for Arsenal in just 184 appearances, and won League championships and the FA Cup while a Gunner. He is one of a select band who have won the League as both a player and a manager; George Graham is another.

*    A member of Drake's title-winning side was Ron Greenwood, who later became Arsenal's assistant manager before moving to West Ham and eventually managing England. Drake also recruited Arsenal wing-half Tommy Docherty in 1961 as Chelsea player-coach; 'The Doc' soon replaced Drake as manager and was in charge of the Blues from 1961-67, building an exciting young team that included Peter Bonetti, Eddie McCreadie, Hollins, Ron Harris, Graham, Terry Venables and Bobby Tambling.

*    Docherty was succeeded as Chelsea manager by Dave Sexton, who left his post as Arsenal first-team coach under Bertie Mee in order to assume control at the Bridge, where he led Chelsea to glory in the FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup.

*   Between 1977 and 1988, wide-midfielder Graham Rix made 464 first-team appearances for Arsenal, scoring 51 goals, and later joined Chelsea as youth team coach in 1993. During an injury crisis, he briefly enlisted as a player for the Blues, playing one Premier League match in May 1995 - against his old side, Arsenal.  Rix became assistant manager at Chelsea in 1996 under new boss Ruud Gullit, and continued in that role under Gullit's successor, Gianluca Vialli, winning the FA Cup in 1997, and the League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup in 1998. In March 1999, he was sentenced to 12 months in prison, of which he served six, for having underage sex with a 15-year-old girl, the daughter of a family friend. He was banned by the FA from working with youth players under the age of 16, but on his release from prison he immediately rejoined Chelsea in his old role, and won the FA Cup again with them in 2000 - before leaving the club after Vialli was sacked by Ken Bates, after a brief spell as caretaker manager.  

*   The two League meetings between Arsenal and Chelsea last season both produced home wins:
23/03/08 at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea................2 Arsenal ..................1
Drogba 73, 82 Sagna 59
Att: 41,824

16/12/07 at Emirates
Arsenal ................1 Chelsea..................0
Gallas 45
Att: 60,139

--Graham Lister, Goal.com