The London giants have often found each other blocking their path to glory.
The rivalry shared between Arsenal and Chelsea is one of the oldest in England and still manages to evoke feelings of excitement and anticipation whenever these two sides gear up to face each other. Now, it might have lost some of it’s blockbuster aura and the edge as well as the tension that was prevalent during the Wenger Vs Mourinho days but it continues to draw many eyeballs.
Put these two rivals in a really high-stakes affair such as any final and you will be assured of fireworks on the field. In 2019, Arsenal and Chelsea met in the finals of the Europa League, where Chelsea ran riot in their 4-1 win over a hapless Arsenal side. However, the Gunners got their revenge as they defeated Chelsea in the 2020 FA Cup final thanks to a double by captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Here are five occasions when Arsenal triumphed over Chelsea in a final.
5. Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea (FA Cup Final 2002)
Arsenal FA Cup’s triumph in 2002 came in the midst of one of the most glorious periods in the club’s history. During this time, the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, and Dennis Bergkamp were running the show for the Gunners. More so, they had a point to prove in that season after falling short in the Premier League and the FA Cup in the 2000-01 season, where they suffered a defeat in the finals and finished runners-up in the league.
However, they made amends in spectacular fashion by clinching the double in the following campaign. In the FA Cup final against Chelsea, two stunning strikes from Arsenal players Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg was enough to seal victory for the Gunners .
4. Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea (Community Shield 2015)
After their 12th FA Cup triumph in 2015, Arsenal squared up against Chelsea in the Community Shield game. On the surface, it might appear as just another glorified pre-season match, aimed to get the players up to speed ahead of the start of another season. However, there was much more riding on this game given Wenger had yet to beat the man who once labeled him a ‘specialist in failure.’
So after 13 failed attempts, Wenger finally managed to defeat Jose Mourinho as Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain wonderfully drove one past Thibaut Courtois into the top corner of the net. Besides, this was Arsenal’s second consecutive win in the Community Shield, which also more importantly brought an end to the Blue’s eight-game unbeaten run against them.
3. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea
During the last few years of Arsene Wenger’s reign, things had become very toxic with the Frenchman being regularly criticized. There were perpetual demands made from sections of the fans to replace the tactician as well. It was the same case in 2017 as Wenger was under a lot of pressure going into this particular match.
Facing Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, who had comfortably finished as champions that year, the odds were stacked heavily against Wenger’s Arsenal. Despite all the negativity and accompanying stress, the Gunners somehow managed to secure a 2-1 win over a 10-man Chelsea side, with Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey finding the back of the net. This was Arsenal’s record 13th FA Cup win and consequently the seventh triumph in the competition for the Frenchman.
2. Arsenal 1(4)-1(1) Chelsea (Community Shield 2017)
Just a couple of months following their encounter in the final, FA Cup holders Arsenal yet again locked horns with champions Chelsea in the Community Shield match prior to the start of the 2017-18 Premier League season. Akin to their previous meeting, the Blues were again reduced to ten men after Pedro was given his marching orders for a horrendous tackle on Mohamed Elneny.
Victor Moses scored early in the second-half but Sead Kolasinac leveled proceedings with a close-range header in the 82nd minute of the game. Both sides failed to find a winner as the match went to penalties, which was ultimately won 4-1 by the Gunners, with striker Olivier Giroud slotting home the decisive spot-kick.
1. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (2020 FA Cup Final)
In their latest contest, two young managers in Frank Lampard and Mikel Arteta led Chelsea and Arsenal to the final of the competition, giving themselves a real shot at winning some silverware at the end of a long and grueling year.
The Blues began the game on the front-foot and drew first blood with in-form attacker Christian Pulisic getting on the score sheet following some delightful link-up play with Oliver Giroud. However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a goal in each half to lead the Gunners to their 14th FA Cup crown. This was the Gabonese frontman’s second consecutive brace in the tournament after he had notched two goals in the semis to knock defending champions Manchester City out of the competition.