by Bulldog Drummond
This decade has been a good one for Chelsea, with three doubles:
- 2009–10: League and FA Cup
- 2011–12: FA Cup and UEFA Champions League
- 2014–15: League and League Cup
In addition they won the League in 2017, the Europa League in 2013, and the FA cup in 2017–18. Whatever we might think of the club and its funding, this is impressive.
Arsenal have achieved much less during this decade with just three FA Cup wins in 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2016–17. However we might particularly notice the 2017 FA Cup final, in which Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1. Chelsea had previously won the league finishing 18 points above Arsenal who came in fifth. So although these records do give us some guide to how events might turn out they are not perfect predictors.
And thus it is worth looking a little deeper into the stats…
Chelsea’s results in the Europa League this season show that out of 14 games played they won 12 and drew just two. Most impressive along the route was the 3-0 win at home against Dynamo Kiev and the 0-5 away win thereafter. They were less impressive at the start of the campaign to reach the final, beating PAOK Salonika away 0-1 and Videoton at home 1-0.
And while Arsenal slaughtered their way through the semi-final Chelsea only managed to win on penalties 4-3 in the second leg.
|20 Sep 2018||PAOK Salonika v Chelsea||W||0-1|
|04 Oct 2018||Chelsea v Videoton||W||1-0|
|25 Oct 2018||Chelsea v FC BATE Borisov||W||3-1|
|08 Nov 2018||FC BATE Borisov v Chelsea||W||0-1|
|29 Nov 2018||Chelsea v PAOK Salonika||W||4-0|
|13 Dec 2018||Videoton v Chelsea||D||2-2|
|14 Feb 2019||Malmö FF v Chelsea||W||1-2|
|21 Feb 2019||Chelsea v Malmö FF||W||3-0|
|07 Mar 2019||Chelsea v Dynamo Kiev||W||3-0|
|14 Mar 2019||Dynamo Kiev v Chelsea||W||0-5|
|11 Apr 2019||Slavia Praha v Chelsea||W||0-1|
|18 Apr 2019||Chelsea v Slavia Praha||W||4-3|
|02 May 2019||Eintracht Frankfurt v Chelsea||D||1-1|
|09 May 2019||Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt||W||1-1 (4-3)|
When it comes to their last ten games in the league this past season, the results were less impressive with four wins, four draws and two defeats (one to Liverpool and the other to Everton, both by 2-0, both away. Perhaps they don’t like Merseyside – although we can’t really blame them for that).
|10 Mar 2019||Chelsea v Wolverhampton W||D||1-1|
|17 Mar 2019||Everton v Chelsea||L||2-0|
|31 Mar 2019||Cardiff City v Chelsea||W||1-2|
|03 Apr 2019||Chelsea v Brighton and Hove||W||3-0|
|08 Apr 2019||Chelsea v West Ham United||W||2-0|
|14 Apr 2019||Liverpool v Chelsea||L||2-0|
|22 Apr 2019||Chelsea v Burnley||D||2-2|
|28 Apr 2019||Manchester United v Chelsea||D||1-1|
|05 May 2019||Chelsea v Watford||W||3-0|
|12 May 2019||Leicester City v Chelsea||D||0-0|
As we know only too well, Chelsea finished above Arsenal in the league at the end of the season, although only by two points. If one of Arsenal’s defeats turned into a victory and we would have been third. We might have been a long way off the top two, but the next three were seriously bunched.
And since, in the final, both teams are playing “away” as it were, we should perhaps consider Chelsea’s away form in the league against ours.
Away games only
Here Chelsea do have the advantage, getting two more wins away from home than we did – although there was only one goal in it, in terms of goal difference.
Finally if we look now at the last ten games between the two sides in all competitions we see this…
|24 Sep 2016||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||3-0||Premier League|
|04 Feb 2017||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||3-1||Premier League|
|27 May 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||FA Cup|
|06 Aug 2017||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||1-1||FA Community Shield|
|17 Sep 2017||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|03 Jan 2018||Arsenal v Chelsea||D||2-2||Premier League|
|10 Jan 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||0-0||League Cup|
|24 Jan 2018||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-1||League Cup|
|18 Aug 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||3-2||Premier League|
|19 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-0||Premier League|
Despite the perception in many quarters that Chelsea are a much stronger team than Arsenal, the head-to-head doesn’t show this – in the past ten games in all competitions, Arsenal have won five, three have been drawn and two were defeats, with both defeats being at Stamford Bridge.
Put the recent record in winning trophies, their performance in the Europa this season and their position in the League this season (noting particularly their away record) and they look like the stronger team of the two. But we might hold onto that FA Cup victory. Maybe now, as then, we need a particularly sharp eyed referee when it comes to diving.
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