Stats making up a fierce London rivalry

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  • Post published:September 17, 2017

This weekend, Chelsea and Arsenal will play out the latest instalment of a rivalry where club greats have forged their reputations.

Few fixtures in the Premier League boast the backstory of Chelsea versus Arsenal, with numerous celebrated names having made their mark on a fierce London rivalry.

Prolific strikers and long-serving defenders have all had their time to shine across Stamford Bridge, Highbury and Emirates Stadium.

As Chelsea prepare to host the latest instalment on Sunday, we look back across Opta data to pick out the best and worst times for those in red and blue.

Top scorers

Alexandre Lacazette and Alvaro Morata will be keen to make their mark in a first Premier League outing against one another, and as is generally the case for Arsenal and Chelsea strikers of this vintage, Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba set the benchmark.

Blues hero Drogba and Gunners great Henry have eight goals apiece in games between the two sides, one more than ex-Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright. It is a list dominated by Arsenal players, with Robin van Persie’s match-winning 2011 hat-trick helping him to five, while Theo Walcott and Dennis Bergkamp have four apiece.

Longest winning runs and losing streaks

Given that Arsenal’s 1990s mastery of the rivalry extended into the current century before giving way to Chelsea dominance, it is not surprising that the Gunners’ three instances of three straight wins came between November 1993 and May 2000.

Jose Mourinho might have wrought the most misery upon Arsene Wenger of any Chelsea manager, but it took Carlo Ancelotti to complete a four-match winning against Arsenal, with three of those triumphs coming after the Italian’s arrival for a title-winning 2010-11. Five of Drogba’s goals came during this streak.

Biggest results

Arsenal inadvertently altered the course of last season’s title race by hammering Antonio Conte’s Chelsea 3-0 at Emirates Stadium, matching their best Premier League win in the match from April 1997.

Mourinho soured Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal in March 2014 with a 6-0 thumping that stands as Chelsea’s best.

A more pleasing outing for the Frenchman came in October 2011 against Andre Villas Boas’ Blues, when the aforementioned Van Persie’s treble helped to snatch a stunning 5-3 victory. The combined eight goals are the most this Premier League fixture has produced.

Most appearances

John Terry heads a predictably familiar cast here with 26 Premier League appearances against Arsenal. Fellow Stamford Bridge favourite Frank Lampard faced the Gunners on 22 occasions.

Petr Cech’s 23 appearances to date has come across spells with Chelsea and Arsenal, much like Ashley Cole (21) and Cesc Fabregas (19).

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