MMA Root

Soccer Fixture: Chelsea Versus Arsenal



Chelsea and Arsenal first met in the First Division of the Football League at Stamford Bridge on November 9, 1907 – 30 years after the stadium first opened for use by the London Athletic Club. Chelsea won 2.1 with both goals scored by George Hilsdon. Arsenal ‘s response came from Charlie Satterthwaite.

George Hilsdon was the first player to score 100 goals for Chelsea and a weather wing based on him is still visible at Stamford Bridge. Legend has it that Chelsea will be ‘unlucky’ if it is ever removed, as it was during earthworks in the late 1970s when Chelsea was in financial and football decline. Hilsdon suffered a gas attack on the Western Front in World War I and never played professional football again, dying in 1941. His grave is unmarked.

Crowds never watched this first game for the English premiership: 65,000. Arsenal were still known and founded by Woolwich Arsenal at the time but they had a big away game for this game because it was also the 66th birthday of King Edward VII. The munitions factory – where many of the workers who followed the club – were closed for the day, so they were free to travel to West London.

In fact, Arsenal may have been more local rivals to Chelsea than Tottenham Hotspur. A local businessman – Henry Norris – played a significant role in the development of both clubs. Collecting luck from property Norris became Director and then Chairman of Fulham. Another Edward businessman named Henry – Henry Augustus Mears – acquired Stamford Bridge in order to make it one of the best venues for association football in the capital if not the entire country. He offered Norris the opportunity to move Fulham FC to the ground but Norris refused to pay the annual rent of around £ 1500 so Mears created his own team – Chelsea FC – in 1905. If Norris had not been so careful with his money, b ‘maybe it wasn’t a Chelsea football club at all.

Five years later Norris, who was still Fulham Chairman, became a majority shareholder of Woolwich Arsenal which went into voluntary liquidation. Also Chairman of that club in London, Norris suggested merging them with Fulham to form a great club. The Football League blocked the move so Chelsea and Fulham remained local rivals apart from Chelsea and Arsenal.

This match between the two teams in 1907 was the first ever played by two London clubs in the First Division and thus the first major ‘London derby’. All subsequent league meetings between the two sides so far have been in the upper tier of English football (now the former First Division and Premier League).

Arsenal Woolwich got their revenge the following season with a 2.1 victory on November 28, 1908 – a Chelsea goal coming from George Hilsdon again. The Gunners also beat Chelsea on the turf the following season, before the first draw – 1.1 – in this league game on February 15, 1913. This was the last time both sides met before Woolwich moved Arsenal to Highbury and they changed their name to Arsenal.

In fact, after that victory in their first meeting, Chelsea did not win the fixture again until December 13, 1919 when they won 3.1 with goals from Robert McNeil, John Cock and Henry Ford in front of a huge crowd of 60,000 after the war. .

The fixture was played on October 12, 1935 in front of another huge crowd: 82,905, which was the second highest attendance ever in an English league game. He finished with a draw 1.1. Joseph Bambrick scored for Chelsea and Jack Crayston for Arsenal.

Arsenal’s highest ever victory at Stamford Bridge came in front of 74,667 football fans on November 29, 1930 – a 5.1 win, with David Jack scoring a hat-trick as Arsenal moved closer to their first League Championship victory and football domination England in the 1930s. They scored five times again on November 24, 1934 – in a 5.2-time win – with Arsenal midfielder Ted Drake scoring four of Arsenal’s goals. Drake would continue to manage Chelsea in 1952 and was largely responsible for changing his nickname from The Pensioners to The Blues.

The Gunners also scored five points in a 5.3 win on October 29, 2011 with Robin Van Persie scoring a hat-trick for the winners.

Chelsea’s biggest win in the fixture came in a 6.0 win in the Premier League on March 22, 2014 which also saw Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger’s 1000th game lead. This is the highest number of goals scored by Chelsea against Arsenal in a league game at Stamford Bridge and they also showed the biggest winning margin at The Blues. Oscar scored two points that day alongside one-on-one from Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah in front of an attendance of 41,614.

Neck and neck are on the sides in terms of the winners in this fixture. In the years when Chelsea went on to win the League Title they have never lost at home their rivals from North London, pulling the games in the 1954/55 and 2004/05 seasons and winning all of them in 2005 / 06, 2009/10 and 2014/15.

As for Arsenal, in the 13 seasons in which they have finished as League Champions, they have only lost at Chelsea twice (Chelsea were in the Second Division in the 1988/89 season so there was no fixture) – August 29, 1970 when Paddy Mulligan and John Hollins scored for Chelsea and Eddie Kelly scored for Arsenal – and on February 2, 1991. Kerry Dixon and Graham Stuart scored for Chelsea that day with Alan Smith responding for Arsenal in front of a crowd of 29,094. This was the only league loss of the season for Arsenal ‘s George Graham team and their first in 27 First Division games, stretching back to a 2.0 loss at Luton Town on April 21, 1990.

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