If you were to ask an Arsenal fan what three things are guaranteed to happen in any given season, the most likely answers would be injuries, horrific defending, and losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Gunners’ record away at the Bridge is one of their worst in the Premier League, winning just three times in west London since Roman Abramovich took over the club in June 2003 and suffering some humiliating results such as the famous 6-0 loss on Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal and the 2-0 defeat in 2015 that saw the Frenchman and Jose Mourinho get into a game of fisty-cuffs.
A moment in time – Arsenal’s last win at Stamford Bridge
It’s been nearly eight years since the north London side last won at Chelsea, but it was a game that still lives long in the minds of Arsenal fans who remember it.
The year was 2011. Bin Laden had been found and killed in May, Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot a few weeks earlier, and football fans were still wondering why Chelsea had spent £50 million on Fernando Torres, and for Arsenal fans, the 2011/12 season had been nothing short of weird heading into the London derby.
Wenger signed five players on transfer deadline day following an infamous 8-2 loss to Manchester United, and Robin van Persie was single handily keeping the Gunners chances of another top-four finish alive, a theme that would continue for the rest of the season, so as expected, fans weren’t confident facing off against Chelsea.
And sure enough, it didn’t start off well for the Gunners as Frank Lampard opened the scoring 14 minutes into the match. Van Persie managed to squeeze in an equaliser 22 minutes later, but John Terry thumped the Blues back ahead on the brink of half-time with a powerful header.
All looked lost already for Arsenal, after all, conceding before the break is the worst time to let the opposition back into the game, but every now and then football has its magical way of throwing everything on its head, and sure enough, it did that afternoon.
Summer signing Andre Santos, in his finest moment in an Arsenal shirt, pulled the game level just four minutes after the restart, and six minutes later Theo Walcott, unleashing his inner Diego Maradona, slalomed past the entire Chelsea defence to thwack it past Petr Cech to give Wenger’s side a surprise lead.
As the minutes ticked on, Arsenal fans started to believe that the curse might be over and that a win at Stamford Bridge was actually on the horizon, but a Juan Mata curler 10 minutes from full-time brought supporters in the Shed End back to reality.
Still, a draw wasn’t bad for the Gunners, and as the minutes whittled away it was looking like the points would be shared, but then in a moment of pure footballing madness, Terry slipped in defence when trying to reach a back pass, gifting the ball to van Persie, who burst through on goal, rounded Cech, and put the ball into an empty net with five minutes to go.
The then Arsenal captain rounded off his hat-trick moments later with a powerful strike at the near post, sending Gunners fans into euphoria.
Arsenal are still yet to win at Stamford Bridge since that day, and although things are still and never will be happy between the supporters and van Persie, fans can thank the Dutchman for one of their greatest Premier League results ever, and with the Europa League final against Chelsea on the horizon, the north London faithful will be hoping their side can recapture the magic their team crafted eight years ago.
Arsenal fans, will the Gunners ever win at Stamford Bridge again? Let us know!
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