Frank Lampard reminisces his first win over Arsenal as a Chelsea player
Chelsea go into this weekend’s clash against the Gunners as overwhelming favourites. However, that was not the case back in 2004.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal had gone invincible the season before and were on their way to winning the title once again. Their chances of taking Europe by storm was put on hold when they took on Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The first leg ended 1-1 at Stamford Bridge, setting the stage for a European classic at Highbury. Thierry Henry put the Gunners ahead before Frank Lampard himself brought the Blues level on the night and in the tie.
Wayne Bridge would go on to score a late winner and Chelsea would have their first win over Arsenal in 18 attempts.
“The evening was a turning point when we got that result because it gave us a huge amount of belief at that time.”
Having just been bought by Roman Abramovich, Chelsea were beginning to emerge as a force in English football. Lampard believes that night in Highbury gave the team the belief that they could push onto greater things.
“We were changing, we were young. That night gave us belief so it did push us on at that point..”
Lampard will hope that his young side will once again put the Gunners to the sword and emerge out of the game with a similar self-belief.
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That landmark win in 2004 changed the dynamics of football in London. A power shift was on the cards and Stamford Bridge has since emerged as the pre-eminent team in the capital.
Arsenal have not won a Premier League since then, while the Blues have triumphed five times. More importantly, we also managed to go on and lift the Champions League in 2012.
Little did Bridge know how important his goal was to be to the club and its future.
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