By News Team
30th July 2020
Arsenal and Chelsea have had a riveting rivalry that has seen them meet in four finals this century.
With the Premier League rivals due to meet again in Saturday’s FA Cup final, we’ve taken a look back at the previous times these sides have met in a major showpiece event.
2002 FA Cup final – Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea
These two London giants first clashed in a final in the 2002 FA Cup final in Cardiff. It was Arsenal’s 15th time in the FA Cup final, having won the trophy seven times previously. This gave them a 50% success rate in FA Cup finals, which was the same story for Chelsea, who were entering their seventh final of which they had previously won three.
The game was a well fought affair with both teams having good spells of possession and the deadlock wasn’t broken until late in the game when Ray Parlour hit a spectacular 25-yard effort past Carlo Cudicini that will live long in Arsenal fans’ memories. This lead was then doubled by Freddie Ljungberg in the 80th minute with another fantastic strike. Martin Keown came on to steady the ship and the Gunners saw the game out to secure an eighth FA Cup.
2007 League Cup final – Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
The duo’s second final came in the League Cup in 2007, again at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. Arsenal had fielded a relatively inexperienced squad throughout the tournament, while Chelsea’s stars had carved through their opposition throughout their route to the final.
Arsenal flew out of the gates and started strong, with Cesc Fabregas dictating the midfield as Chelsea looked under threat. On the 12-minute mark they were rewarded as Theo Walcott slotted the ball past Petr Cech perfectly to score his first goal for the Gunners. But Chelsea responded quickly and within eight minutes had levelled proceedings thanks to Didier Drogba.
Drogba, who at this point in his career had scored one goal every two games against Arsenal, then doubled his tally in the second half to give the Blues the lead with 10 minutes to go. The tie was marked by a huge scuffle after John Obi Mikel had grabbed Kolo Toure’s shirt, leading to three red cards and two yellows. Chelsea were able to hold on in the remaining few minutes to win the League Cup after what was an incredibly tense final.
2017 FA Cup final – Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
It was another decade after Chelsea’s triumph in the League Cup before the two sides met in a final again. Arsenal came into the game at Wembley having won two of the last three FA Cups and were looking to make it a record 13 FA Cup wins in total.
Once again, the Gunners started brightly with Alexis Sanchez firing home early doors in the fourth minute, while Arsenal continued their onslaught, hitting the post twice thanks to efforts from Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck.
Diego Costa scored late in the second half for the Blues as they tried to mount a challenge but that was quickly put to bed when Ramsey scored with a diving header three minutes later as Gunners fans erupted in the May sunshine. Arsenal held on for the victory to claim an historic 13th FA Cup.
2019 Europa League final – Chelsea 4-1 Arsenal
The most recent meeting between the two sides came in a European final last season as they met in Baku to fight for the Europa League. This was the 10th final to feature two teams from the same county in the competition’s history and also mirrored the Champions League final that year where Liverpool faced Tottenham.
Unlike the previous three finals against Chelsea, Arsene Wenger was not at the helm for the Gunners. That honour fell to Unai Emery, who had been to three Europa League finals previously and had won them all with Sevilla. Chelsea, meanwhile, had won the competition six years prior, beating Benfica in the final in 2013.
The first half in Baku ended goalless with both sides having their fair share of chances. However, the floodgates opened when former Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock shortly after half-time. Chelsea soon added two more goals to that tally in under 20 minutes through Pedro and Eden Hazard.
The Gunners did pull one back thanks to a clever Alex Iwobi effort, but the writing was on the wall. Hazard topped off a man of the match performance, his last in a Chelsea shirt, with a second strike in the 72nd minute to see off Arsenal 4-1 and secure another Europa League triumph for the Blues.