by Richard Bowdery.
Have you heard the one about the Englishman, the Irishman and the Scotsman? Two wore red, one wore blue, all three scored and it was the first time their clubs had met. No?
Well it was thirty seven years ago this week that Arsenal faced Chelsea for the first time ever in the League Cup. They met in the fourth round and goals from Frank Stapleton and Trevor Ross for the Gunners saw them gain a 2-1 victory over the Blues whose only goal was scored by David Hay.
Fast forward to Tuesday 29 October 2013 and they meet again in the fourth round and the rivalry will be just as intense; although it is probably fair to say this particular cup competition isn’t held in the same esteem as it was in the 70s. But then again calling it the Milk Cup does have a devaluing effect.
In total both sides have met five times at various stages in this competition with Chelsea claiming the bragging rights over Arsenal, so far, having won three times to Arsenal’s two successes. That could all change when the referee blows for full-time on Tuesday.
Both clubs have reached the final stage of this competition a combined total of 13 times since its inauguration in 1961 (the winner’s that year were Aston Villa who beat Rotherham United).
Their respective records are:
Arsenal – winners in 1987 and 1993 and runners-up in 1968, 1969, 1988, 2007 and 2011.
Chelsea – winners in 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007 and runner-up in 1972 and 2008.
Those eagle eyed among you will note that both sides featured in the 2007 final which was also another first: the first time two London club’s contested a League Cup final. Arsenal took the lead through Theo Walcott’s first ever goal for the club but a goal in each half from Didier Drogba sealed the win for Chelsea in an incident packed match (see below).
And the reference to the Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman at the start of this piece? You have the names, so I’ll leave you to work it out…