Chelsea v Arsenal: the history between them, Arsenal’s improvement, and the team



By Bulldog Drummond

‘We’re third, we can’t be that bad’   That is the wonderful headline about Tottenham Hotspur in the Guardian today.   To which I suppose the Arsenal response is, “no, you are not THAT bad.  But not quite as good as Arsenal.”    (Although Arsenal, are reminded in another piece in the Guardian that “To be at the summit after only 14 games is not too much of a prize“).  Which is a bit rich after they predicted (like all the rest of the media) that we would end the season in fifth.

The Telegraph meanwhile goes with “Arsenal have fixed their centre-back problem thanks to Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba,” while the Mirror has “5 things noticed from Arsenal training as Gunners prepare for Chelsea showdown”.  Those five things are

  • 1. Team spirit high
  • 2. Xhaka driving standards
  • 3. Arteta’s Zinchenko message   (We are told that “The Ukrainian is one of the main brains behind the new philosophy [at Arsenal] and Arteta was snapped having specific conversations on a one-on-one basis with the player.”   Whether the new philosophy is metaphysics, epistemology, axiology, or logic we are not told.)
  • 4. Competitive edge
  • 5. Jesus eyeing top form once more.  (Apparently, he is looking sharp)

The Express however just can’t get away from imagined problems with “Arsenal have double suspension issue to concern Mikel Arteta heading into Chelsea clash” which tells us that “Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba have been key to the Gunners’ pre-World Cup success so far this term but both stand on four Premier League yellow cards.”

Anyway, moving on to somewhat more factual issues, here is the league table…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 13 10 2 1 39 12 27 32
2 Arsenal 12 10 1 1 30 11 19 31
3 Tottenham Hotspur 13 8 2 3 26 16 10 26
4 Newcastle United 13 6 6 1 24 10 14 24
5 Manchester United 12 7 2 3 17 16 1 23
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 6 3 4 22 17 5 21
7 Chelsea 12 6 3 3 17 15 2 21
8 Fulham 14 5 4 5 23 24 -1 19
9 Liverpool 12 4 4 4 23 15 8 16


Which shows us that we are within a point of having double Liverpool’s total number of points for far this season, both clubs having played 12 games.   And there is a rather nice gap opening up between second place (in which we now sit, with one game in hand) and fifth.  Eight points in fact.  “Mind the gap” as they used to say.

We remain second highest scorers in the league (nine behind Manchester City) and with the second best defence in the league (one goal more conceded than Newcastle who have played one more game).  And with the second-best goal difference (+17 better than Chelsea, who of course we play today.)

So overall not too bad.

Moving onto Chelsea, Arsenal have beaten them 81 times (fractionally under 40%), to Chelsea’s 66 victories over Arsenal.  58 games have been draws.

Across the last ten league games (which takes us back to 17 September 2017) we have won four (three times by two clear goals), Chelsea have won three and three have been draws.  So we are slightly edging it in recent history despite our league position of two 5th, a 6th and two 8th place finishes.  Chelsea over this period have a 3rd, two 4ths and a 5th place finish.

So the teams…

The Sun, who we very rarely mention for reason that ought to be obvious, give the team of


White  Saliba  Gabriel  Tierney

Partey  Xhaka

Saka  Odegaard  Martinelli


The Standard has exactly the same.

90 Min do have a slight variation


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.

The Sports Mole agrees with 90 min, Yahoo Sports agrees with the Sun

And that just about is it.   I’m going down the pub to watch it, and it will probably be quite empty at least for the first half hour. before the regular sunday crowd turn up: there are very few Arsenal or Chelsea supporters in Northamptonshire.   On the other hand if it were Manchester United we were playing, the place would be packed and I’ve have to get there an hour before kick off just to get served.


4 Replies to “Chelsea v Arsenal: the history between them, Arsenal’s improvement, and the team”

  1. F*ck me… what a performance…. this was awesome to watch. Never really in trouble at all.

  2. Walter,

    yep, you just said it.
    And there were fascinating moments, passing the ball around like a pinball, controlling the game.
    This team HAS grown big.
    Then you look at the stats and Chelsea had just 5 shots all game, one on target, and end up with 5 yellow cards, which means their only strategy to counter Arsenal was rotational fouling.
    Saka is getting more physical and not letting others impress him. Saliba just keeps being the boss of the deence, Gabriel is getting into the to10 or 20 PL scorers if I am not wrong.

    And at the end I was really surprised that Xhaka did not get booked. Strage….

    Anyway, it was a great afternoon, were are still top of the league and it s deserved. And we beat another Top 7 club..

    Great sunday, ain’t it ?

  3. Watched it with a Chelsea chum. He thought we may have “edged it” but a draw would have been fair….

    I need to dry my trousers!!

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