Chelsea Women and Arsenal are taking their London rivalry Stateside this summer as part of our USA Tour. Ahead of the clash in Washington DC, we have reflected on some iconic matches between the two clubs.

‘Welcome to a new era of women’s football’ was the message from the FA on the first-ever day of the new Women’s Super League back in April 2011. And what a clash to introduce a new age as Chelsea Ladies, as we were called then, hosted Arsenal at Imperial Fields.

In the decade that has passed since, there have been title-race battles, FA Cup finals, League Cup finals and plenty of memorable moments as the Blues and Gunners established themselves as two of the most successful English clubs in the modern era.

We have looked back on some of the best match-ups between the two sides for a taste of what is to come in the United States this summer…

Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal: FA Cup final, 2018

The 2018 FA Cup final was the second time Chelsea and Arsenal had met for the Wembley showpiece, with the Blues finishing as runners-up in 2016. On this occasion, it would be Emma Hayes’ side who would go on to lift the trophy.

A second FA Cup title was clinched - in front of a then record crowd of 45,423 - with a 3-1 victory thanks to a Ramona Bachmann brace and a Fran Kirby goal.

It had been a quiet first half at the national stadium, before two strikes from Bachmann in the second half put the Blues in control. Vivianne Miedema halved the deficit, but any hope from Arsenal was soon quashed when Kirby restored our two-goal advantage and secured the win.

After losing the 2016 final Hayes criticised her side for not turning up for the occasion. The same could not be said two years later, as she hailed an entirely dominant performance.

‘This is more enjoyable than the first time around [2015's final victory] because that was such a dominant performance from us,’ said Hayes, who was 33 weeks pregnant at the time of the final.

‘The last thing I needed was something too nervy and that was the most relaxed I've felt in a final in my entire career.’

With the men’s team also winning the FA Cup in the same season, Chelsea became only the third club, at the time, to win both the men's and women’s competition in the same campaign.

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal: Continental Cup final, 2020

A maiden Continental Cup final for Chelsea saw us face Arsenal, who had appeared in all but one of the finals since the competition’s inception in 2011, at Nottingham Forrest’s City Ground. It proved to be a first final and a first win for the Blues as we lifted the trophy following a 2-1 victory.

It was a tightly contested showdown with it being end-to-end after Bethany England opened the scoring after only eight minutes. After piling on the pressure, with goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger making a series of fine stops to keep Chelsea in front, Arsenal finally breached our defence when Leah Williamson levelled the game with five minutes left on the clock. But it wasn’t over though, as England got her second of the afternoon in injury time to secure a dramatic win.

With Chelsea crowned League Cup champions, it meant Hayes became only the second female manager to win all three major domestic honours in England. She would go on to win the fourth domestic trophy, the Community Shield, in August of the same year.

Chelsea 3-0 Arsenal: FA Cup final, 2021

A century after the FA infamously banned women’s football, Chelsea would win a third FA Cup title in front of more than 40,000 fans, once again beating Arsenal at Wembley. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the occasion was postponed from the usual May spectacle to 5 December, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the FA’s ban.

It would be the first time the Blues would play in front of such a big crowd following the pandemic and the players delivered a performance which left the fans more than delighted.

It was a dominant display from start to finish with Kirby opening the scoring after only three minutes. Sam Kerr, who highlighted this game as one of her best in Chelsea blue after signing her contract extension, scored twice in the second half to claim a 3-0 win.

The Australian international’s second goal left those inside Wembley in awe. She burst wide after receiving the ball from Melanie Leupolz, before chipping Arsenal goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger.

‘I found myself out wide and I don’t know what I was doing out there,’ Kerr said when she recently reflected on the goal. ‘I just saw Mellie [Leupolz] intercept the ball and I was off.

‘I knew I was levelling outside [Steph] Catley. I knew if I took a big touch I’d be through on goal. I had so long to think about it, but I just remember hitting it and seeing it float over her head and thinking it was going to drop in.

‘You honestly dream about those goals. It was the first time after Covid that we’d played in front of such a big crowd. I would have done a backflip, but I was so tired!’

The 2021 FA Cup win would mark the first of a hat-trick of consecutive victories as the Blues would go on to beat Manchester City and Manchester United in the following two finals.

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: WSL, 2023

Our penultimate fixture of the 2022/23 season saw the Blues host Arsenal at a packed-out Kingsmeadow.

We took the lead through Guro Reiten, before former captain Magdalena Eriksson scored in her final appearance on home turf. She had announced that week that she would be leaving the Blues after nearly six trophy-laden years at the club. After finding the back of the net, Eriksson wheeled away to celebrate with the fans and marked a fitting end to life at Kingsmeadow in Chelsea blue.

The 2-0 win put us within touching distance of a fourth consecutive title as a vital three points put us two clear of second-placed Manchester United going into the final day. We would go on to lift the trophy at Reading on the last day of the season.

Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal: WSL 2024

The Blues hosted Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in the last WSL meeting of the two sides in our most recent season. Having been beaten 4-1 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates earlier in the campaign, Chelsea were looking to right some wrongs.

And they certainly did that by securing a 3-1 win. Lauren James netted our first on the 15-minute mark, before Sjoeke Nusken scored a brace with goals in the 21st and 32nd minutes. James’ opener was her seventh WSL goal at the Bridge, having previously scored hat-tricks at the stadium in matches against Liverpool and her former club Manchester United earlier on in the campaign.

After her goal against Arsenal, James said: ‘It’s always nice to play at Stamford Bridge. It’s home and I feel the freedom here. The players behind me make sure I’m doing my job defensively, and if I’m doing that they say “do what you want” in possession.’

The victory was played out in front of a then-record crowd for a women’s game at Stamford Bridge - that was until we sold the stadium out for our Champions League semi-final clash against Barcelona the following month. But the 32,970 who watched against Arsenal remains our biggest attendance for a WSL game at home.

Buy your tickets for the USA Tour here!