Chelsea 1 Arsenal 1 – Champions League, 24th March 2004
Arsenal 1 Chelsea 2 – Champions League, 6th April 2004
Chelsea had not beaten Arsenal in 15 attempts going back over five years before the two clubs were drawn together in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2004.
There was a definite belief amongst the team that this could be our time though. With Claude Makelele dominant in the first leg at the Bridge, we controlled midfield for the first time in ages against Arsenal. Frank Lampard was particularly impressive.
It was no surprise when we took the lead, Eidur Gudjohnsen capitalising on a goalkeeping error to squeeze a shot home. Arsenal’s one move of note resulted in a quick equaliser and when Marcel Desailly was sent off late on it seemed that the tie had turned in our opponent’s favour. The team though, had lost none of their pre-match belief.
Chelsea were positive from the outset at Highbury with Lampard and Damien Duff going close. It was against the run of play when Arsenal scored with the last kick of the first half.
The goal failed to break the Chelsea spirit though. Jesper Gronkjaer replaced Scott Parker at the interval and within six minutes of the restart we were level. A rare Makelele shot was spilled by the keeper and Lampard swept home the rebound.
From that moment it seemed inevitable that Chelsea would go on to win the tie. All the attacking substitutions were made by Chelsea and Gudjohnsen had a shot miraculously cleared off the line. Then with extra time looming, Wayne Bridge played a one-two with Gudjohnsen and finished perfectly, to record a goal that has gone down in Chelsea Football Club history.