The rivalry between Arsenal and Chelsea is a football local derby in London between the two clubs. Arsenal play their home games at the Emirates Stadium, while Chelsea play their home games at Stamford Bridge.
While they never considered each other primary rivals, as two of the biggest and most successful clubs in London there has always been strong needle between the fans dating back to the 1930s. Matches between them would often attract large attendances.
The Arsenal and Chelsea rivalry has been more recently considered an important derby, after Chelsea's rise to the top class of the Premier League in the 2000s, when the two started to compete constantly for the Premier League title.
According to an internet survey of fans in December 2003, the Arsenal fans who responded to the survey said that they considered Chelsea as their third rival, after Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
In a 2009 survey by the Football Fans Census, Arsenal fans named Chelsea as the club they disliked the most, ahead of their traditional rivals Tottenham. Chelsea fans named Arsenal as their second most-disliked club, behind Liverpool. A 2014 Bleacher Report article ranks Arsenal as Chelsea's second-most hated rival.
The first league meeting between the two teams took place on 9 November 1907 at Stamford Bridge. This was the first Football League First Division game played between two London clubs and drew a crowd of 65,000. A match between the clubs at Stamford Bridge in 1935 drew a crowd of 82,905, the second highest recorded attendance for an English league match. They met in two close contested FA Cup semi-finals in the 1950s, with Arsenal winning both times. In the 1960s Chelsea dominated the tie with 14 wins, two draws and just two losses during the decade.
The clubs have contested three major finals: the 2002 FA Cup Final, which Arsenal won 2–0, the 2007 Football League Cup Final, which Chelsea won 2–1, and the 2017 FA Cup Final, which Arsenal won 2–1. The two teams have also met in the UEFA Champions League in the quarter-finals in 2003–04, drawing 1–1 at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea winning 2–1 at Highbury to go through to the semi-finals.
The 2007 League Cup final was one of the most noted incidents. The game was marred by a fracas involving Frank Lampard, Cesc Fàbregas and others that resulted in yellow cards for the two and three other players sent off, the dismissal of Emmanuel Adebayor and incidents of Chelsea fans throwing celery at Arsenal players. This led the media to dub it the "Snarling Cup final".The match ended in a 2–1 victory for Chelsea.
On 29 October 2011, another game was played at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal won 5–3 with Robin van Persie scoring a hat-trick and André Santos and Theo Walcott scoring one goal each. Frank Lampard, John Terry and Juan Mata scored the goals for Chelsea.
On 22 March 2014, in Arsène Wenger's 1,000th game in charge, Chelsea won 6–0. This marked the most goals Chelsea had scored against Arsenal, Chelsea's biggest margin of victory against Arsenal and the joint heaviest margin of defeat suffered by Wenger at Arsenal. Notable incidents in the match included Chelsea jumping out to a three-goal lead inside of 15 minutes, as well as the sending off of Kieran Gibbs by referee Andre Marriner for a handball committed by his teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
On 5 October 2014, Chelsea beat Arsenal 2–0, which meant Arsenal manager Wenger had not won against José Mourinho in 12 attempts. This game also featured former Arsenal captain Cesc Fàbregas playing against his former club for Chelsea for the first time, recording an assist on Diego Costa's goal. The match, however, is most notable for a touchline fracas that occurred between the managers in the technical area during the fierce match.
On 24 September 2016, Arsenal beat Chelsea 3–0 at the Emirates Stadium. It was the first time Arsenal scored against Chelsea since 2013, and Arsenal's first win over The Blues since 2011 in the Premier League. All three goals were scored in the first half by Alexis Sánchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Özil. It was Arsenal's biggest win over Chelsea since 1997.
On 4 February 2017, Chelsea beat Arsenal 3–1. Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fàbregas scored Chelsea's third goal.
The two teams have met in the 2017 FA Cup Final, where Arsenal won their record 13th FA Cup trophy by defeating Chelsea 2–1. Arsenal repeated the feat in the 2017 FA Community Shield, winning 4–1 on penalties after the match ended 1–1. It was also the first time the "ABBA" penalty taking system has been used in FA football.
Overall, Arsenal have won the more games in history, having won 74 times to Chelsea's 62, with 56 draws (as of 17 September 2017). Arsenal's record win was a 5–1 victory in a First Division match at Stamford Bridge on 29 November 1930. Chelsea's record win was a 6–0 victory at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on 22 March 2014. Chelsea also had scored five goals against Arsenal at Highbury on 11 November 1998. On 29 September 2012, Chelsea became the first team to beat Arsenal three times at the Emirates with a 2–1 away victory. This followed a 4–1 win in 2009 and a 3–0 scoreline later that year. Didier Drogba holds the mark for the most derby goals with 13 in all competitions.
|4||Robin van Persie||Arsenal||5|
|UEFA Champions League||0||1|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup / UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League||1||1|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1||2|
|UEFA Super Cup||—||1|
|First Division / Premier League||13||6|
|Full Members' Cup||0||2|
|FA Community Shield||15||4|
As of 17 September 2017.
|UEFA Champions League|
|FA Community Shield|
2. Chelsea 2–1 Arsenal: 88,103 (18 April 2009), Wembley (neutral)
3. Arsenal 1–0 Chelsea: 85,437 (2 August 2015), Wembley (neutral)
4. Arsenal 1–1 Chelsea: 83,325 (6 August 2017), Wembley (neutral)
8. Chelsea 2–1 Woolwich Arsenal: 65,000 (9 November 1907), Stamford Bridge (Chelsea home)