Soccer Fixture: Chelsea Versus Arsenal

Chelsea and Arsenal met in the First Division of the Football League at Stamford Bridge for the first time on the 9th November, 1907 – 30 years after the stadium had first been opened for use by the London Athletic Club. Chelsea won 2.1 with both goals scored by George Hilsdon. Arsenal’s reply came from Charlie Satterthwaite.

George Hilsdon was the first player to score 100 goals for Chelsea and a weather vane modelled on him can still be seen at Stamford Bridge. Legend has it that Chelsea will suffer ‘great misfortune’ if it is ever removed, as it was during ground works in the late 1970’s when Chelsea were in financial and football decline. Hilsdon was the victim of a gas attack on the Western Front in WWI and never played professional football again, dying in 1941. His grave is unmarked.

This first match was watched by a then record crowd for England’s top division: 65,000. Arsenal were still known as and based at Woolwich Arsenal at the time but they had a huge away following for this match due to it also being the 66th birthday of King Edward VII. The munitions factory – where many of the workers who followed the club were based – was closed for the day, hence they were free to travel to West London.

In fact, Arsenal could have been more local rivals of Chelsea than Tottenham Hotspur. A local businessman – Henry Norris – had a significant role in the development of both clubs. Amassing a fortune from property Norris became a Director and then Chairman of Fulham. Another Edwardian businessman called Henry – Henry Augustus Mears – had acquired Stamford Bridge with a view to it becoming one of the finest venues for association football in the capital if not the whole country. He offered Norris the chance to move Fulham FC to the ground but Norris refused to pay the annual rent of some £1500 and so Mears created his own team – Chelsea FC – in 1905. Had Norris not been so careful with his money, there might not have been a Chelsea football club at all.

Five years later Norris, still Chairman of Fulham became a majority shareholder of Woolwich Arsenal which had gone into voluntary liquidation. Becoming Chairman of that London club too, Norris proposed merging them with Fulham to form a super-club. The move was blocked by the Football League and so Chelsea and Fulham remained local rivals rather than Chelsea and Arsenal.

This match between the two teams in 1907 was the first ever to be played by two London clubs in the First Division and so the first major ‘London derby.’ All subsequent league meetings between the two sides to date have been in the top tier of English football (the old First Division and now the Premier League).

Woolwich Arsenal got their revenge the following season with a 2.1 win on 28th November, 1908 – Chelsea’s goal coming from George Hilsdon again. The Gunners won on Chelsea turf in the season after that as well, before the first draw – 1.1 – in this league fixture on 15th February, 1913. This was the last time the two sides met before Woolwich Arsenal moved to Highbury and changed their name to Arsenal.

Indeed, after that win in their first meeting, Chelsea did not win the fixture again until 13th December, 1919 when they won 3.1 with goals from Robert McNeil, John Cock and Henry Ford in front of a huge post-war crowd of 60,000.

The fixture on 12th October, 1935 was played in front of another enormous crowd: 82,905, which was the second highest recorded attendance for an English league match. It finished in a 1.1 draw. Joseph Bambrick scored for Chelsea and Jack Crayston for Arsenal.

Arsenal’s record league win at Stamford Bridge came in front of 74,667 football fans on 29th November, 1930 – a 5.1 victory, with David Jack scoring a hat-trick as Arsenal moved closer to their first League Championship win and domination of English football in the 1930s. They scored five times again on 24th November, 1934 – in a 5.2 victory this time – with legendary Arsenal centre-forward Ted Drake scoring four of Arsenal’s goals. Drake would go on to manage Chelsea in 1952 and was largely responsible for changing their nickname from The Pensioners to The Blues.

The Gunners also scored five goals in a 5.3 win on 29th October, 2011 with Robin Van Persie scoring a hat-trick for the victors.

Chelsea’s largest win in the fixture came in a 6.0 win in the Premier League on 22nd March, 2014 which was also Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger’s 1000th game in charge. This is the highest number of goals Chelsea have scored against Arsenal in a league fixture at Stamford Bridge and also represented the biggest margin of victory by The Blues. Oscar scored two goals that day alongside one each from Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah in front of an attendance of 41,614.

The sides are neck and neck in terms of wins in this fixture. In the years when Chelsea have gone on to win the League Title they have never lost at home to their rivals from North London, drawing the matches in the 1954/55 and 2004/05 seasons and winning each of them in 2005/06, 2009/10 and 2014/15.

For Arsenal, in the 13 seasons where they have finished as League Champions, they have only lost at Chelsea on two occasions (Chelsea were in the Second Division in the 1988/89 season so there was no fixture) – on 29th August, 1970 when Paddy Mulligan and John Hollins scored for Chelsea and Eddie Kelly got one back for Arsenal – and on 2nd February, 1991. Kerry Dixon and Graham Stuart scored for Chelsea that day with Alan Smith replying for Arsenal in front of a crowd of 29,094. This was the only league defeat of the season for George Graham’s Arsenal team and their first in 27 First Division matches, stretching back to a 2.0 loss at Luton Town on 21st April, 1990.

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"Hands-Up-To-The-Sky" – Ricardo Kaka Biography

Kaka Biography – Introduction

I’m writing this Kaka biography a few weeks after the 2006/2007 Champions League final, a final ending with a happy result, 2-1 for the Brazilian’s team, AC Milan against England’s Liverpool.

I must say, as impressive as Filippo Inzaghi (who scored both AC Milan’s goals) was, my eyes were focused on the Brazilian Kaka throughout the entire match. His passes, his dribblings, his speed and his vision on the pitch were honey to my eyes.

I decided to write this Kaka biography not because the Brazilian needs it, but because I want you to find out who the real Ricardo Kaka is, how he rose up the ladders of his career before being a super star and what exactly does that «hands-up-to-the-sky» kaka celebration mean.

Kaka Biography – Early Career

After spending his early days at different youth clubs around his home town of Brasilia and Sao Paulo, Kaka was eventually offered a professional contract at a very tender age: seventeen.

Since Kaka played great soccer for Sao Paulo’s youth teams, the reserve team and the Brazilian U-17 national squad, he immediately attracted the eyes of several European clubs, the one coming forward first being Turkish side Gaziantepspor.

Sao Paulo agreed to sell Kaka, for a sum of $1.5m, a sum that, if you think of the player’s market value now, would seem like peanuts. Still, the sum was quite big for the Turkish side, especially for a 17-year old footballer, Kaka’s young age giving them no guarantees that he will turn out to play great soccer regularly on professional level.

Kaka Biography – Swimming Pool Incident Sao Paulo FC

In his first season as a professional player for Sao Paulo, Kaka didn’t play for the Brazilian team, but he used this time to accommodate himself with his new colleagues and the hardships of professional soccer in Brazil.

He was probably going to get his debut that season still, but an unfortunate swimming pool incident almost ended his career as a footballer, Kaka fracturing his spine in September 2000. Not only did he risk his future, but this fracture almost cost him his life and he was in real danger of being paralyzed for the rest of his life.

Miraculously, Kaka made a full recovery and came back to training after his full strength came back to him. From that day forward, Kaka found faith in God and some of his profits as a professional footballer always go to the Church, as a small gesture of thanking God for saving his life and his career. The famous Kaka celebration, after he scores a goal, is related to that incident, as each time, he thanks God for allowing him to play soccer and be there on the pitch.

Kaka Biography – Attracting the European Giants

After fully recovering from his horrible fracture, Kaka was finally given a chance to play for Sao Paulo, in January 2001 and he didn’t disappoint, scoring no less than 12 goals in 27 appearances that season. This guaranteed him a solid first team place for the 2001-2002 season, in which he scored another 10 goals in 22 matches and whenever a young Brazilian soccer player performs that well, he’s bound to get a few calls from some major European clubs.

One of these clubs would be AC Milan, one of Italy’s most important teams and Kaka signed without blinking, eager to start a European career.

You probably know the story from here. Kaka is currently in his fourth season with Milan, whom he won the Serie A championship with once, the Italian Super Cup once, and the UEFA Champions League a few weeks ago (he also played another Champions League final in the 2004-2005 season, but lost it to Liverpool in what is considered one of the most beautiful finals of the tournament). He became an indispensable player for AC Milan but also for Brazil.

As a Brazil soccer player, Kaka scored 31 goals in 52 matches so far and gave out numerous perfect assists in his role as an attacking midfielder. Having the young midfielder in the squad, Brazil football became even more technical and quick (if that was even possible) and they’re considered amongst the main favorites for the following international tournaments.

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