5 Memorable Arsenal vs. Chelsea Fixtures from the Past 20 Years

Joe Gallagher@joesgallagherFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2016

5 Memorable Arsenal vs. Chelsea Fixtures from the Past 20 Years

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    It's first versus 14th in the Premier League on Sunday, but it's no ordinary fixture.

    Arsenal host Chelsea in the third derby match between the two sides this season, with the Gunners having won the Community Shield in August and the Blues winning the first league meeting between the two sides in September.

    On that day, a Kurt Zouma header and Calum Chambers' own goal won the points for the Stamford Bridge team in a match which saw two red cards for Arsenal and plenty of controversynot surprisinglycentred around serial offender Diego Costa.

    But plenty has changed in the months since with Jose Mourinho sacked, Chelsea's descent in the league table well documented and Arsenal now facing their best chance of winning the Premier League title since 2004.

    But while Arsene Wenger's side are 13 places and 19 points ahead of their visitors, Guus Hiddink's men will always pose a tough challenge in the fiery fixture.

    To mark Sunday's big clash, we've taken a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the most memorable fixtures between Arsenal and Chelsea in recent history.

Kanu's Hat-Trick Inspires Arsenal Comeback, 1999

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    Arsenal looked dead and buried with 15 minutes left to play at Stamford Bridge in October 1999, but up stepped an unlikely hero in Nwankwo Kanu.

    The cult figure scored a late hat-trick to inspire a 3-2 victory after Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu had put Chelsea 2-0 up and cruising midway through the second half.

    Kanu scored twice in eight minutes, but it's the Nigerian's final goal which will live longest in the memory. The Arsenal striker pounced on a positioning error by Blues goalkeeper Ed de Goey before firing home the winner from a tight angle in stoppage time.

Essien Stunner Rescues a Point for Chelsea, 2006

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    One of the best goals scored in this fixture, Michael Essien's shot lit up a dark Stamford Bridge in 2006.

    Mathieu Flamini's goal had Arsenal in front after 78 minutes, but just six minutes later, the Ghanaian hit a glorious, swerving, outside-of-the-boot strike past Jens Lehmann to rescue a deserved point for the home side.

    To add extra spice to the clash, it was the first time Ashley Cole faced off against his former employers.

Blues Edge Gunners in Feisty Final, 2007

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    It took 102 minutes, but Chelsea finally prevailed in a tense and fiery marathon League Cup final in Cardiff in 2007.

    Jose Mourinho's side went into the game with a lengthy unbeaten run against the Gunners, though Arsenal had earned praise for the manner in which they dispatched Tottenham and Liverpool in their run to the final.

    Theo Walcott scored early on before Didier Drogba cancelled out his opener and scored the decider after 84 minutes (in any other match, this might be considered a "late" winner).

    But this game would be remembered for a stoppage-time brawl that saw five players carded, with John Obi Mikel, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure sent off.

Van Persie Scores 3 in 8-Goal Thriller, 2011

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    Robin van Persie was the man of the moment as Arsenal stunned Stamford Bridge with two late goals to win 5-3 in October 2011.

    Arsenal had twice fought from a goal down and led early in the second half thanks to Theo Walcott's brilliant individual goal.

    But Juan Mata bettered the Englishman's strike with 10 minutes to play to set up a grandstand finish, and Van Persie didn't disappoint.

    Before completing his hat-trick in stoppage time, the Dutchman pounced on a horrible defensive error by John Terry (nobody remembers slips in the Premier Leagueright?) to put the Gunners back in front after 85 minutes, a lead they would not give up again.

Chelsea Score 6 to Ruin Wenger's 1,000th Game, 2014

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    For Arsene Wenger, this result will sit alongside Arsenal's 8-2 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

    A bad day got off to an awful start in March 2014 when Samuel Eto'o and Andre Schurrle scored within the first 10 minutes.

    And when the referee wrongly dismissed Kieran Gibbs for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's handball, Wenger's 1,000th game in charge quickly became a nightmare.

    Eden Hazard, Mohamed Salah and Oscar (twice) then scored to register a famous 6-0 Chelsea victory, the Blues' biggest against Arsenal.