On this day: Arsenal comeback stuns Chelsea

On this day in 2008, a Robin van Persie double earned Arsenal a 2-1 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea started life under new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari in the autumn of 2008 with an impressive record of just one defeat in 14 Premier League fixtures, while also earning eight points from five Champions League fixtures.

However, Chelsea's one setback in the league had seen Liverpool bring an end to their remarkable 86-match unbeaten record at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.

As for Arsenal, three defeats in four games threatened to derail their title challenge before the halfway stage of the campaign, and manager Arsene Wenger was under pressure to improve on a record of just seven Premier League wins in 14 matches.

Scolari was forced to name an attack-minded midfield, with Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard and Deco featuring as the central three, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie provided the ammunition for the Gunners up front.

Arsenal began the game on the front foot, and former Blues defender William Gallas came near to converting a close-range effort after Petr Cech had done well to prevent a Samir Nasri shot finding the net.

Chelsea's Brazilian manager Luiz Felipe Scolari gestures during their Premier League match against Stoke at Stamford Bridge, London, on January 17, 2008© Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas also came close to netting the opener as Arsenal continued to dominate the first 30 minutes of the match, but Chelsea dealt the Gunners a sucker-punch 14 minutes before half time by taking the lead against the run of play.

After being gifted the ball by Manuel Almunia, Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa curled a cross into the middle, with Arsenal defender Johan Djourou sliding the ball into his own net.

Van Persie led Arsenal's response by forcing Cech into another stop, but after reaching the break ahead, Chelsea returned for the second half with a spring in their step, and they should have doubled their advantage through Lampard, but the England international failed to connect properly from 18 yards.

That missed opportunity came back to haunt Chelsea as Arsenal evened things up with a fortuitous equaliser shortly before the hour. Denilson played in Van Persie, who looked suspiciously offside, but the flag never went up to leave the Dutchman to drive the ball past an helpess Cech.

The home side were furious with the decision, but their pain worsened three minutes later when Van Persie struck again to hand the North London outfit the lead.

Arsenal's Dutch Striker Robin Van Persie celebrates scoring his first goal with teammate Brazilian Midfielder Denilson during their Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, London, on November 30, 2008© Getty Images

Fabregas floated a free kick into the penalty area for Adebayor to rise above the Chelsea defence, and the Togolese striker's header found Van Persie to fire a superb effort past Cech.

Scolari introduced Florent Malouda and Miroslav Stoch, but as the minutes ticked by, Chelsea struggled to launch any kind of assault on Almunia's goal, with Arsenal looking the more likely to extend their lead.

Cech was forced to deny Denilson as the game entered added-on time, but the Gunners held on for a morale-boosting triumph as Chelsea slumped to their second home loss of the campaign.

The defeat acted as a catalyst for a number of indifferent displays from Chelsea, and a run of four victories in 10 league fixtures saw Scolari lose his job after a goalless draw with Hull City.

In stark contrast, Arsenal went on an incredible 21-match undefeated streak as they made sure of Champions League qualification, but ironically, their run came to an end after a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

Rafael Benitez of Napoli looks on during the Emirates Cup match between Napoli and FC Porto at the Emirates Stadium on August 4, 2013
Read Next:
On this day: Liverpool end Chelsea's unbeaten home run
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2455141535-2020
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account