The Arsenal v Chelsea rivalry pits the two most successful teams in London. Yes, Arsenal’s rivalry with North London neighbors Tottenham Hotspur is more bitter, but when Arsenal and Chelsea meet, there is usually a trophy, or Champions League place up for grabs.
The competitive nature of the fixtures involving the Gunners and the Blues became more intense in the 1930s even though the teams had been meeting for more than 25 years.
The first league fixture involving the two clubs occurred on 9 November 1907 at Stamford Bridge. The home team, Chelsea, beat Arsenal 2-1. The teams have met a total of 200 times (as of 21 January 2020). Since 2000, with the rise of Chelsea in the Premier League, the rivalry has taken on more importance.
Arsenal v Chelsea Rivalry Frequently Asked Questions
Who do fans say is their teams biggest rival?
Chelsea fans who responded to the 2009 survey by the Football Fans Census saying that they considered Arsenal as their main rival, however Tottenham and Fulham are their more traditional rivals. In the same survey, Arsenal fans named Chelsea as the club they disliked the most, ahead of their traditional rivals Tottenham.
Which London club has the most fans?
We’ve taken a look at the number of followers each London club have on their social media sites. Arsenal have the biggest Twitter following with 15.8 million followers. Chelsea have the next most with 14.3m followed by Tottenham with 4.26m.
Statistics and Records
In matches, Arsenal leads Chelsea 76 to 65 victories. There have been 59 draws. The clubs have met in league play 166 times with Arsenal winning 63, Chelsea 53, and there being 50 draws.
The Gunners have earned the most titles and honor with two international and 43 domestic crowns. Chelsea has a total of 31 such titles. Six of those honors are international and 25 domestic. Internationally, Chelsea has won the UEFA Champions League once, while Arsenal has never garnered that honor. Chelsea also has two UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups and the Gunners have one.
In England, Arsenal has won the Premier League title 13 times, while the Blues have captured it six times. The FA Cup has gone to the Gunners 13 times and to Chelsea 8. Also the Blues have taken the Football League Cup five times and the FA Community Shield four. The Gunners possess two Football League Cups and 13 Community Shields.
Over the years, a total of 26 players have either played and/or managed for both teams. Only John Hollins has done the player treble, starting with Chelsea from 1963–1975, then going to Arsenal from 1979–1983 and then back to Chelsea from 1983–1984. He also served Chelsea as manager from 1985–1988.
Important Games, Players and Managers
Arsenal and Chelsea have two of the most colorful and savvy football managers to be found. The legendary Arsène Wenger, a former midfielder, has been managing the Gunners since 1996. His record stands at 613-249-204.
Often this rivalry is about streaks, missed opportunities, and finding a way to simply turn things around. As an example, on 27 December 2010, Chelsea played Arsenal at the Emirates. At that point, the Blues had beaten the Gunners five times straight, and they had done so soundly. The goal differential was 13–2. This time Arsenal managed to work their way through their rival’s defense and score three times. Final score was 3-1.
Arsenal managed another win on 29 October 2011 in a derby played at Stamford Bridge. It was an exciting match, as Robin Van Persie scored a hat trick and André Santos and Theo Walcott each scored one goal for the Gunners. There was plenty of scoring for the Blues, as Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Juan Mat netted goals. But Chelsea fell short this time losing 5-3.
Mourinho return meant a downward trend for Arsenal in their fixtures with Chelsea. On 22 March 2014, Mourinho ruined Wenger’s 1000th game by having his squad destroy the Gunners 6-0. It was the most goals and the biggest margin of victory for the Blues in playing Arsenal. It also marked Wenger’s worst defeat as a manager for the Gunners.
On 5 October 2014, Chelsea beat Arsenal again, 2-0, and in their next meeting at Emirates Stadium the two teams fought to a nil-all draw. That outcome derailed Arsenals’ eight game Premier League winning streak.
Most Hated Fans?
You get a good sense of a rivalry from fan feelings. A 2009 survey by Football Fans Census found that the club that Arsenal fans dislike the most is Chelsea. That dislike it beyond what they feel for their longtime, traditional rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea fans noted that Arsenal was their second most disliked football club. Liverpool was number one on Chelsea fan’s list.
The Arsenal and Chelsea football rivalry is a major intercity competition powered by quality players, and loyal fans. It’s a rivalry that offers a lot of excitement and fantastic play.