In a match that is usually widely anticipated, the clash between Arsenal and Chelsea is a clash of two English heavy weights. The London derby has been a source of great football every season for both sets of fans and neutrals alike. The 3 encounters between the 2 sides last season saw Chelsea generally gain the upper hand, with the London side winning twice and drawing once.
One key protagonist in this derby over the years has been the Ivorian striker Didier Drogba; and his absence in the clashes last season was one that inevitably reduced the razzmatazz associated with the fixture.
The charismatic striker has mostly made his name as one of the most deadly strikers on the planet, based on his effectiveness in this particular fixture.
Didier Drogba has scored 15 goals against Arsenal alone. In fact, in the 1175 minutes that the 36 year old has played against Arsenal, he has scored an average of one goal every 78 minutes and 20 seconds. His late double against Arsenal in the Emirates cup for Galatasaray improved his amazing record against the Gunners to 15 goals in 15 matches.
The Arsenal manger, Arsene Wenger has taken admittedly put some of the blame on himself for what has become a recurring nightmare. The manager famously rejected a chance to sign Drogba for just 100,000.00 pounds. He decided against a move for the Ivorian, who eventually moved to French side Guingamp for a measly 80,000,00pounds.
“we watched him carefully when he was at Le Mans. It was not only us who watched him. But we felt he might not be completely ready. It was a mistake but, when you are in football, everyone can understand. We had Thierry Henry. We said we should follow Drogba’s progress. We never ruled him out”
Didier went on to score over a 150 goals for Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea, who bought him 5 years later, while scoring 13 goals in 14 matches against Arsenal in a Chelsea shirt.
Lets take a look at the numerous blows that the Striker has dealt to Arsenal over the years;
August 7, 2005 – Community Shield – Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Drogba scored his first goal against arsenal with a sweet volley on the 8th minutes and another goal in the 58minutes.
August 21, 2005- Premier League – Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal
Drogba scored the only goal of the match
February 25, 2007- Carling Cup final – Chelsea 2 -1 Arsenal
Drogba equalized after an early set back and headed in the winning goal with just six minutes to go.
March 23, 2008 – Premier League – Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
Drogba scored another double in the 73rd and 82 minute respectively with Chelsea coming from one down to win again.
April 18 2009 – FA cup semi final – Arsenal 1-2 Chelsea
Didier scores the winner to put Chelsea through to the final.
November 29, 2009- Premier League – Arsenal 0- 3 Chelsea
The Ivorian scores 2 of the 3 goals conceded by Arsenal.
February 7, 2010- Premier League- Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal
The game saw another double by the Ivorian, who continued his blistering form against the gunners.
August 4, 2013- Emirates Cup- Arsenal 1- Galatasaray
The drog showed that even away from London, he could still punish Arsenal.
Fortunately for Wenger, Drogba has been sidelined with an ankle injury and wont be playing this weekend… maybe Arsenal will throw a party to celebrate this.