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Drog the Arsenal hunter

As we prepare to relive the thrilling 2007 League Cup final against Arsenal over on The 5th Stand app, let’s remind ourselves why Didier Drogba was like Kryptonite to the Gunners.

Prior to the Ivorian’s arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2004, the Blues had a far from stellar record against our London rivals over the previous decade.

By the time he left west London for good in 2015, having established himself as a club legend, it’s fair to say Arsenal and their supporters were glad to see the back of Drogba.

In 15 matches against the Gunners, he found the back of the net 13 times and lost only once, winning 10 of those games. A quite phenomenal record.

Seeing as one of his not-so-unlucky 13 goal tally came in the aforementioned League Cup final, we thought we’d whet your appetite for an exclusive viewing of that contest on the 5th Stand app by picking out five memorable efforts against Arsenal.

Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal (Premier League), 2005/06

Drogba’s first Premier League strike against the Gunners was a memorable one, but perhaps not for the reason the Ivorian would have hoped – and he even admits that the ‘shot’ which beat Jens Lehmann was actually an attempt to control the ball! Lady Luck was certainly smiling down on the Blues striker that day.

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal (Community Shield), 2005/06

If the previous selection was about good fortune, Drogba’s second pick simply typifies the never-say-die attitude which Chelsea fans came to expect from a striker whose warrior-like displays saw him strike late on in matches more times than we can recall. He simply wanted it more than the Arsenal defence...

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal (League Cup), 2006/07

Headers don’t come much better than this. With the two sides locked at 1-1 at the Millennium Stadium and extra-time beckoning in the League Cup final, Drogba turned a hopeful-looking cross from Arjen Robben into a thing of beauty as he directed a perfect header into the far corner. The wide-eyed run and trademark knee slide in celebration weren’t bad, either.

Watch the full game on the app from 3pm UK time, just head to the top of the Follow feed.

Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea (Premier League), 2009/10

Few Chelsea strikers have enjoyed a campaign as prolific as Drogba in 2009/10, when the Ivorian’s goals fired the Blues to our first-ever league and cup Double. Arsenal were expected to be one of our main title rivals, but the Drog and Co put paid to that with a resounding win at the Emirates Stadium which included this sublime finish in off the crossbar from Chelsea’s legendary No11. As the man himself put it, “This was a striker’s goal.”

Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea (Premier League), 2009/10

Even better was to come from Drogba in the same game, as he put the icing on the cake of a 3-0 victory with a beautiful free-kick. How many other strikers can claim to be able to lead the line with a combination of brute force, finesse and intelligence? As Arsenal found out to their cost time and time again, he was the ultimate striking all-rounder.

- Watch our 2007 League Cup final win over Arsenal from 3pm on the official Chelsea app, The 5th Stand.

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