Friday 21 February 2014
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Unbeaten Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal stretched their lead at the top of the table to seven points with victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, unaware that their opponents were about to begin a historic run.
The Gunners hit back from a goal down to win and increase their unbeaten run in the League from the start of the season to 26 matches.
For Chelsea, the fixture turned out to be the last time they lost at Stamford Bridge with League points at stake for a record-breaking 86 matches. The run stretched to 26 October 2008, when they lost 1-0 at home to Liverpool.
Eidur Gudjohnsen had given Chelsea the lead after only 27 seconds when he controlled a left-wing cross from Geremi and fired the ball into the net.
Arsenal equalised in the 15th minute when Patrick Vieira scored his first goal of the season after he raced through a gap to collect Dennis Bergkamp's pass. Five minutes later, the Gunners took the lead when Neil Sullivan misjudged a corner from Gilberto and Edu was on hand to score his second Barclays Premier League goal of the season from close range.
Visiting keeper Jens Lehmann then John Terry before Claude Makelele's free-kick caused a few problems. But the Blues' hopes were dented when Gudjohnsen was sent off for a second bookable offence after he brought down Gilberto.
The Brazilian recovered from the challenge to test Sullivan twice near the end as Arsenal secured their 19th League win of the season.
The result left Chelsea trailing second-placed Manchester United by two points and Arsenal by nine.
"It’s not a two-horse race because Chelsea are still in it but at the end of the season this will be a magnificent victory," Gunners manager Arsene Wenger said.
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri added: "Both teams played well and created chances. Arsenal scored with theirs and Chelsea did not."
Arsenal remained unbeaten for the entire season and were dubbed 'The Invincibles' after a remarkable campaign. Wenger's side took the Barclays Premier League title by 11 points from second-placed Chelsea.
Current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was in charge for 60 matches during that unbeaten run, before leaving the club in September 2007. The Portuguese has still yet to be beaten at home in the Barclays Premier League since returning ahead of the 2013/14 campaign. His own unbeaten home run in the top-flight stands at 73 games, with Chelsea taking on Everton at home on Saturday, 22 February.