Robin van Persie.

Arsenal XI last time they beat Chelsea in the league in 2011

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For well over a decade now, Arsenal and Chelsea have been competing at the very top of the Premier League and, this Saturday, the two perennial title challengers will meet once again.

With both sides regularly challenging for top honours and Champions League football you'd expect their results against one another to be fairly evenly split in recent years. In reality, however, Arsene Wenger hasn't tasted victory in the league against his London rivals for almost five years.

The last time Arsenal took three points from Chelsea was way back in October 2011 when they triumphed 5-3 on the road. The Stamford Bridge club have emerged unbeaten in the subsequent nine Premier League meeting since. 

You'd think, then, that Arsenal's starting XI for such an impressive away win would be jam-packed with star names and elite talent. Looking back, though, it is anything but. Here's how the Gunners lined up that day...

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GK - Wojciech Szczesny

Despite being given numerous chances to secure the number one shirt at Arsenal, Szczesny was always seen as a liability by Arsenal fans due to his over-confidence and tendency to lose concentration.

With Petr Cech now between the sticks, Gooners were more than happy to see the Polish 'keeper depart on loan for the second straight season this summer.

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RB - Johan Djourou

Djourou was playing out of position at right back in 2011 because Thomas Vermaelen was unfit and that might have had something to do with Arsenal conceding three goals in the victory.

The Swiss international never hit the heights expected of him under Wenger and is currently plying his trade with Hamburg in Germany. You'd struggle to find any fan who'd want him over Hector Bellerin this weekend.

Arsenal's Swiss defender Johan Djourou (

LB - Andre Santos 

That's right Arsenal fans, Andre Santos was in the starting XI and you still got the win over Chelsea. What's more, the much-maligned Brazilian even got on the scoresheet to level things up at 2-2.

Santos' performance in October 2011 was probably the high water mark in his Arsenal career. Bought as a £6 million panic buy on deadline day 2011, he ranks amongst Wenger's biggest transfer flops in recent years.

CB - Per Mertesacker

If he was fit, Mertesacker would probably be lining up for Arsenal this weekend. Back then, though, he was new to the Premier League.

The BBC match report of the game described the big German as "ponderous" but he did just enough to keep Chelsea at arm's length come full time.


CB - Laurent Koscielny

Another who has gone on to become a must start for Wenger, Koscielny made a last-gasp intervention to stop Didier Drogba scoring back in '11.

He is now widely considered Arsenal's best defender and continues to provide invaluable protection in front of Cech.

CM - Mikel Arteta

Another deadline day signing in 2011, Arteta was often under-appreciated as he competed for game time amongst a number of talented Arsenal midfielders.

However, on his day, the Spaniard was able to pick apart any team and he capped off Arsenal's 5-3 win with an assist in stoppage time.


CM - Alexander Song

Something of an enigma in an Arsenal shirt, Song was once seen as the natural successor to Patrick Vieira as the Gunners' rock in defensive midfield.

However, just a season after he replaced Cesc Fabregas as Wenger's go-to midfielder, the Cameroon international was sold to Barcelona for £15 million.

LW - Gervinho

Another member of this less-than-stellar starting 11 who was often the butt of jokes amongst Arsenal fans. And the 5-3 win over Chelsea encapsulates the Ivory Coast star perfectly.

He began by missing a sitter before setting up Arsenal's equaliser to make it 1-1. Even at his pacey best, he wouldn't make it into Wenger's current best XI.

Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Ramires (

RW - Theo Walcott

The third current Arsenal player in the line-up that day, Walcott was in fine form in late 2011 - providing plenty of crosses against Chelsea and scoring the Gunners' third goal of the game.

Indeed, a lot of Arsenal fans would probably argue the England winger's form has stalled since the 11-12 season. However, he has looked impressive in his appearances so far this campaign.

AMC - Aaron Ramsey

With Fabregas sold to Barcelona that summer, Ramsey was required to step up and provide the creative spark for Arsenal in 2011 despite having just come back from a nasty broken leg.

Five years on, the Welshman is once again injured and will be missing this weekend. When he is fit, though, he is a potent threat - as proven in his displays for Wales at Euro 2016.

F - Robin Van Persie

Van Persie might now be a subject of hate for Arsenal fans but, back in 2011, he was a hero in north London. A hattrick against Chelsea - including two goals in the final 10 minutes - only added to his reputation.

The Dutch striker went on to top the Premier League goal charts that season with 30 goals to his name. He left in the summer of 2012 for Manchester United.

Arsenal's Dutch striker Robin van Persie

Chelsea team that day: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Bosingwa, Terry, Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Meireles, Torres, Mata, Sturridge

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