Five classic Arsenal v Chelsea encounters to relive ahead of Saturday's derby
13:28 GMT, 27 September 2012
It’s always one of the stand-out fixtures on the Premier League calendar and this time Arsenal and Chelsea seem close to the peak of their powers going into Saturday’s Emirates encounter.
Arsene Wenger’s men continued their impressive start to the season with a well-earned point at Manchester City last weekend and thrashed npower League One side Coventry 6-1 in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.
Glory: Wayne Bridge (right) secured a famous Champions League victory for Chelsea
Although Wenger admitted he is
delighted former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is not around to haunt
him anymore, his Gunners face Roberto Di Matteo’s in-form Blues who
currently sit top of the table.
Here, Sportsmail looks back at five classic match-ups between the two London rivals.
29 October 2011 – Premier League
Chelsea 3 Arsenal 5
Robin van Persie was the hero for a rampant Arsenal, scoring a hat-trick to inspire his team to an incredible victory with Andre Vilas-Boas’ men obliterated in the second half.
Goals from Frank Lampard and John Terry gave Chelsea the half-time lead after Van Persie had equalised for Arsenal.
But Andre Santos responded immediately after the break and Theo Walcott put Arsenal ahead for the first time, before Juan Mata’s spectacular strike looked to have salvaged a point for Chelsea.
However, Terry dramatically slipped to allow Van Persie to race clear for Arsenal’s fourth with only 5 minutes left, before the striker completed his hat trick by hammering the ball past Petr Cech deep into stoppage time to complete a famous victory.
12 December 2004 – Premier League
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 2
Thierry Henry scored a brace, but left Chelsea and Jose Mourinho fuming with his second goal by firing in a free-kick while Petr Cech was lining up his wall.
Chelsea eventually claimed a deserved draw with a late equaliser from Eidur Gudjohnsen.
Arsenal had got off to a flier when the Frenchman broke the deadlock just 75 seconds in, rifling home a shot after a chested pass from Jose Antonio Reyes.
Terry levelled with a thumping header before Henry caught Cech napping with his set piece. Gudjohnsen then made it 2-2 before Henry missed a glorious chance to win it late on.
6 April 2004 – Champions League
Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2 (Chelsea win 3-2 on aggregate)
Wayne Bridge was the unlikely match winner as he scored a late goal to send Arsenal crashing out of the Champions League.
The London rivals came into the second-leg of this quarter-final with the scores locked at 1-1 after goals from Gudjohnsen and Pires in the first leg set up an enthralling tie.
Jose Antonio Reyes and Frank Lampard traded goals either side of the break and the game looked set for extra-time.
But Bridge had other ideas. In the 87th-minute, the full-back flew into the Gunners half, played a clever one-two with Gudjohnsen and coolly slotted home past Jens Lehmann to send the Gunners out of their second competition in a matter of days – they had just been knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United.
4 May 2002- FA Cup
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0
Wenger’s men completed one half of the double by winning an FA Cup Final which will forever be remembered for Ray Parlour’s wonder strike.
The mop-haired midfielder jinked his way into the Chelsea half before arrowing a shot past Carlo Cudicini into the top corner.
Shortly afterwards, Freddie Ljungberg curled in a second goal to rubber-stamp cup glory for Arsenal.
23 October 1999 – Premier League
Chelsea 2 Arsenal 3
Nwankwo Kanu's hat-trick capped one of the all-time great comebacks as Arsenal stunned Gianluca Vialli’s men at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal were trailing 2-0 with 15 minutes to go when the Nigerian striker seized the game by the scruff of the neck.
Incredible: Nwankwo Kanu seals his hat-trick from a preposterous angle
Kanu deftly brought a wild Marc Overmars shot under control before stabbing in to give Arsenal faint hope. He then levelled matters eight minutes later by drilling past Blues keeper Ed de Goey.
And with 90 minutes on the clock, the striker completed the unbelievable comeback.
De Goey rushed out to meet the striker on the byline, but Kanu jinked past him and curled his shot into the top corner to the delight of the delirious away fans.