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Sunday 23 March 2014

On this day in 2008: Drogba double sees off Arsenal

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Chelsea’s comeback victory over the Gunners

  • Two late goals from Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory over London rivals Arsenal

  • The powerful Ivory Coast striker's quickfire double moved Chelsea up to second

  • Defender Bacary Sagna scored his first Arsenal goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

23 March 2008 – Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

Didier Drogba scored two late goals as Chelsea earned a victory over Arsenal that enabled them to overtake their London rivals to go second in the Barclays Premier League table.

The Ivory Coast international struck twice in the final 18 minutes after Bacary Sagna had given the Gunners an early second-half lead.

The result left the Blues five points behind leaders Manchester United, who had beaten Liverpool 3-0 earlier in the day, and manager Avram Grant said: "We are chasing and we are now closer to the top."

Former Chelsea defender William Gallas came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when he hit the upright from five yards out.

But it was Arsenal who took the lead in the 59th minute when Bacary Sagna headed his first goal for the club from a Cesc Fabregas corner.

Sagna was later forced off with an ankle injury and, shortly afterwards, Drogba equalised in the 73rd minute after the ball fell to him on the edge of the penalty area.

Drogba won the match nine minutes later when substitute Nicolas Anelka, playing against his former club, flicked on a long ball for his strike partner to force past Manuel Almunia.

It was only Arsenal's second league defeat of the season and stretched their winless run in the league to five matches.

Manager Arsene Wenger said: "We will fight until the end and are not worried about the future but are disappointed now. Today we were unlucky and I thought we played well."

Chelsea were unbeaten for the rest of the season and Arsenal only lost once, at Manchester United, but neither of the London clubs could stop Sir Alex Ferguson's side from retaining their Barclays Premier League title.

The Blues finished second, two points behind Man Utd and two ahead of Arsenal, while they were also narrowly beaten by the Red Devils in the UEFA Champions League final.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Didier Drogba scored twice in Chelsea's comeback victory over London rivals Arsenal