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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 March, 2004, 11:07 GMT
Chelsea still live Euro dream
By Jonathan Stevenson

Chelsea will meet Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Champions League

Chelsea still wait to lay the Arsenal curse that has blighted their hopes of success - but they have high hopes as they enter the Champions League quarter-final second leg at Highbury on Tuesday.

Claudio Ranieri's side had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Stamford Bridge after Robert Pires levelled Eidur Gudjohnsen's opener.

It leaves the tie wide open as Arsenal chase Europe's elite trophy, with manager Arsene Wenger admitting he is unhappy with the fixture backlog inflicted on his players.

Chelsea know it is now or never and will regard it as the perfect stage to end the jinx against the Gunners that has haunted them in recent seasons.

Arsenal have held sway for years and remained unbeaten in the last 17 matches between the two - but Ranieri will be hoping the law of averages finally points to a victory at last.


2004: Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal

2004, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL FIRST LEG

Chelsea - well organised by Claudio Ranieri - kept Arsenal's team of many talents well under control as they dictated affairs in the first half.

And they took a well-deserved lead after 53 minutes when Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann fluffed a clearance and Eidur Gudjohnsen demonstrated his class by finishing from an acute angle.

But the lead lasted only six minutes as Robert Pires stole in and latched on to Ashley Cole's cross to score.

Chelsea suffered a blow six minutes from time when Marcel Desailly was sent off for a second bookable offence, a foul on Patrick Vieira.


2004: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea

2004, FA CUP FIFTH ROUND
Jose Antonio Reyes and Ashley Cole celebrates one of the Spaniard's goals against Chelsea

Chelsea looked to be on the way to ending their Arsenal hoodoo when Adrian Mutu's 20-yard strike gave them a 39th minute lead against the Gunners at Highbury.

But it was the day when Jose Antonio Reyes became an Arsenal hero, scoring the first goals since his 16m move from Sevilla.

He struck a brilliant 25-yard finish past Carlo Cudicini after 56 minutes, then just seconds after the Chelsea keeper limped off with a thigh injury, Reyes beat replacement Neil Sullivan in the 61st minute to send Arsenal through.


2003: Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea
Replay: Chelsea 1-3 Arsenal

2003, FA CUP QUARTER-FINAL
Thierry Henry rounds Carlo Cudicini and slots into the empty net

Thierry Henry produced a moment of pure genius in the first tie, but it was not enough to dump Chelsea out as Frank Lampard's late strike earned a replay.

Just before half-time at Highbury, Patrick Vieira sent Henry through and the Frenchman kept his composure to confuse Carlo Cudicini by rotating 360 around the keeper and slot into an empty net.

In the replay, Arsenal produced a definitive display of counter-attacking football.

Under the cosh at the start, they found themselves 2-0 up when John Terry put through his own net and Sylvain Wiltord stroked home after a scintillating team move.

Even the dismissal of Arsenal defender Pascal Cygan could not help Chelsea, with Terry's late header made immaterial by Lauren's low drive.


2002: Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea

2002, FA CUP FINAL
Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg celebrate Arsenal's win

The Gunners completed a glorious league and cup Double by bagging two brilliant late goals to see off the brave challenge of Chelsea in the spectacular surroundings of the Millennium Stadium.

Most of the game was a disappointment, and the stage seemed set for the sudden-death drama of extra-time and penalties.

But Arsenal bust into life with two strikes that will go down in FA Cup folklore.

Not known as a reliable scorer, Ray Parlour has nevertheless produced some crackers over the years, and his 25-yard scorcher left Cudicini grasping at thin air.

And soon after Freddie Ljungberg broke Chelsea's hearts with an even better strike, running from inside his own half, shrugging off Terry's challenge and arching the ball into the top corner.


2001: Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

2001, FA CUP FIFTH ROUND
Dennis Wise and Robert Pires clash at Highbury

The two sides met in the FA Cup for the first time since 1973, and despite four goals it will be remembered largely for a free-for-all eight minutes before the break.

Robert Pires and Dennis Wise started it before Henry and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink among others piled in, with tempers becoming increasingly flared as referee Graham Barber tried to regain control.

Fortunately football eventually came to the fore, Henry slotting home from the spot after Lauren was fouled, only for Hasselbaink to rifle in a leveller.

But Chelsea could not hold on for a replay, substitute Wiltord netting a late brace by chipping Cudicini and then converting Lauren's precise pull-back.

On each occasion, Ranieri's side were taught a lesson by an Arsenal outfit a class above them.

He will hope that the learning curve of the past three years stands his team in good stead this time.





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