There’s always something special in the air when Arsenal face Chelsea. Sure, both have historically preferred to spar with Tottenham but in the Premier League era an entirely separate rivalry has come to the boil.
Red cards have been commonplace, touchline spats a staple and animosity a given when these two London rivals clash.
The Gunners haven’t won a Premier League game against the Blues since October 2011, when a Robin van Persie-inspired outfit ran out 5-3 victors at Stamford Bridge.
No doubt those of a red persuasion will prefer to remember a time before their current barren spell.
And that’s where our trip down a pre-Twitter/Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram/delete as applicable memory lane comes in.
These are the moments that came before the power to instantly mock-up an image of Arsene Wenger doing his best Vince McMahon impression.
This is how Social Media would’ve reacted to previous clashes between Arsenal and Chelsea…
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal, 14 May 1995
Back in the mid-nineties both Arsenal and Chelsea were treading water in the FA Carling Premiership and on the surface this end of season match-up didn’t appear to have much riding on it.
Well, apart from the fact that the home side could ensure they finished the 1994-95 campaign ahead of the Gooners.
And so they did with these precious three points secured courtesy of goals from Paul Furlong and Mark Stein with a John Hartson leveller sandwiched in between.
This particular meeting came just days after Arsenal had agonisingly lost the Cup Winners’ Cup final to Real Zaragoza, courtesy of a memorable Nayim strike in extra-time.
And Ray Parlour was looking forward to a break from it all…
Meanwhile, Chelsea enforcer Dennis Wise was ready to rub salt into the Arsenal wounds and look into what would prove to be a pretty accurate crystal ball…
The Chelsea fans were in pretty prophetic mood too…
Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal, 21 September 1997
Tasty is probably the best word to describe this encounter with Frank Leboeuf’s sending off arguably the turning point.
Chelsea were a goal to the good courtesy of Gustavo Poyet’s opener on 40 minutes although Dennis Bergkamp hauled the visitors level before half-time.
The Dutchman wasn’t finished there, handing Arsenal the advantage before the hosts equalised 77 seconds later through a Gianfranco Zola effort.
However, Leboeuf’s second yellow card shortly after that proved to be the deciding factor and the Blues couldn’t hold on.
Nigel Winterburn’s stunning 25-yard strike in the 88th-minute settled matters and it was a particularly sweet moment for the veteran defender.
On the flip side, Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit was none too pleased to see his side lose for the first time in 20 matches at home, the previous defeat also coming against Arsenal.
And in a nod to a now well-worn debate he also offered up some candid thoughts on the domestic-European fixture schedule.
Chelsea 2-3 Arsenal, 23 October 1999
It would be unheard of now but 17 years ago this particular match was confined to the traditional 3pm kick-off slot on a Saturday afternoon.
A certain Nwankwo Kanu did the damage with the third goal of his incredible second-half hat-trick prompting the memorable screech of ‘can you believe it?!’ from Sky Sports commentator, Martin Tyler…
Before the Nigerian’s star turn, Chelsea had been in cruise control.
Headed goals from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu had handed the hosts a two-goal advantage before Kanu replied with strikes in the 75th, 83rd and 90th minutes.
Pensioners goalkeeper Ed de Goey was at fault for the winner, having mistakenly raced out to try and meet the ball, only for Arsenal’s hero of the hour to score past him from a seemingly impossible angle.
Incredibly, the Dutch glovesman hadn’t conceded a single goal at the Bridge all season.
We know our Social Media gurus would’ve been all over a statistic like that…
…and then have to promptly eat their words.
*This article is a parody. Unless you’re of a certain age you’ll probably have to Google ‘Mark Stein’*
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing