5 Greatest Moments in Chelsea-Arsenal Rivalry

Brandon Glass@@bglass20Correspondent IAugust 6, 2013

5 Greatest Moments in Chelsea-Arsenal Rivalry

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    It's been long known as one of the greatest rivalries in European soccer. It's Chelsea-Arsenal

    The two London clubs, only separated by eight miles, have battled on the pitch for over 105 years, dating back to the 1907-08 Football League season. 

    In the 179 meetings between the Blues and the Gunners, there have been plenty of close calls, blowouts, spectacular goals and trophies won. 

    Arsenal currently has the upper-hand in the rivalry, with 68 wins ahead of Chelsea's 59. However, over recent years, it's been tightly contested.

    Superstars such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard have done battle to claim who is the true king of London. 

    With all of that said, here are my top five moments from the rivalry between Chelsea and Arsenal. 

5. Kanu Hat Trick at Stamford Bridge: October 23, 1999

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    When most fans think of Arsenal players to get a hat trick at Stamford Bridge, most would look at Robin van Persie's trio in 2011. 

    However, when Nwanko Kanu scored three times to lead a magnificent comeback for the Gunners in West London, it was even more magical. 

    Despite Chelsea racing out to an early 2-0 lead, it was the boys in red who would have the last laugh on the day. 

    After goals from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu, Kanu single-handedly earned Arsenal the three points.

    Kanu scored an absolute brilliant goal in the final minutes to cap the comeback, as the Nigerian made his way around Chelsea goalkeeper Ed De Goey and rifled a shot into the upper corner from a seemingly impossible angle. 

    It's not often that Chelsea give up a two goal lead, especially at home. But, thanks to Kanu, Arsenal can say they've done the improbable. 

4. Wayne Bridge Leads European Celebration: April 6, 2004

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    The date: April 6, 2004. The place: Highbury, London, England. 

    After drawing 1-1 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge in the 2004 Champions League quarterfinals, Arsenal were considered to be favorites to advance to the next round. 

    After all, they were playing in the home stadium and had an away goal in their pockets. 

    Although Jose Antonio Reyes got the Gunners out to a lead right before halftime, nothing would stop the Blues from taking this one. 

    A Frank Lampard equalizer and a late Wayne Bridge stunner gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory on the day and a 3-2 win on aggregate. 

    It was a stunning result for the boys from West London, and one that will go down in history as one of Chelsea's greatest European victories.  

3. Michael Essien Stunner Ties It Late: December 10, 2006

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    Simply put, you will not see many better goals than Michael Essien's long-range effort against Arsenal in December 2006. 

    After Mathieu Flamini beat Henrique Hilario to give the away side a lead in the 78th minute, it was Chelsea's Player of the Year for that season who rescued the Blues six minutes later.

    Receiving a pass from fellow midfielder Frank Lampard, the Ghanaian teed up a strike from 35 yards with the outside of his right boot that curled just inside of Jens Lehmann's right post. 

    Sending the Stamford Bridge crowd into a frenzy, Essien raced over to the corner flag, celebrating one of the best goals in the Blues' history. 

    Just sit back, watch and enjoy, folks. 

2. Arsenal Lift the FA Cup: May 4, 2002

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    As with all rivalries, Chelsea-Arsenal games just get massively bigger when there is a trophy on the line. 

    That was exactly the case in May 2002, when Chelsea and Arsenal met at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for the right to hoist the FA Cup. 

    The match looked set to go into extra time, with both teams creating good scoring opportunities, but neither of them could find the back of the net. 

    That was, until 20 minutes from time. 

    In the 70th minute, Arsenal man Ray Parlour struck a beautiful, curling effort into the top right corner of the net that Carlo Cudicini could only wave at. It was a fitting goal for a cup final and proved to be the difference in the game. 

    Freddie Ljungberg added a second for the North London side and Arsenal went on to hold onto a 2-0 victory. 

    It was Arsenal's eighth FA Cup trophy and it was a part of a season in which the Gunners recorded a historic double. 

    For the Blues, it was a missed opportunity to get their hands on a second FA Cup in three seasons. 

1. Carling Cup Scuffle: February 25, 2007

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    This game had all the makings of a Chelsea-Arsenal rivalry. 

    There was a trophy on the line, superstars on the pitch and a battle of two fantastic managers on the sideline. 

    Add that up, and what do you get? A scuffle in the final seconds. 

    After a Theo Walcott opener was wiped out by a Didier Drogba double, Chelsea led the Gunners 2-1 with only seconds remaining in the 2007 Carling Cup final. 

    After what Kolo Toure thought was a poor challenge from John Obi Mikel, the two squared off and, from there, all hell broke loose. 

    Frank Lampard and Cesc Fabregas immediately came to the assistance of their respective teammates, and ending up getting in a spat with each other. 

    Eventually, the majority of the 22 players on the field joined in on the chaos. Even Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger deemed it appropriate to enter the pitch and help the matter. 

    The fight led to three red cards, handed out to Mikel, Toure and Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor for their actions in the scuffle. 

    It was a tense moment in a cup final when everything was on the line. 

    In other words, it was yet another Chelsea-Arsenal showdown.