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All the times Didier Drogba gave Arsenal defenders panic attacks

It became tradition for him to score.

Arsenal’s defenders in the past decade or so have earned themselves a reputation for not being the most robust.

The suggestion was that they could never do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke.


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Shkodran Mustafi vs Peter Crouch

Getty Images - Getty
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Shkodran Mustafi vs Peter Crouch

In reality, they could never really do it in any conditions, on any day if it happened to involve Didier Drogba.

The Gunners defenders were so frightened of Chelsea’s powerhouse forward that they completely turned to stone at the sight of him.

Former Arsenal captain William Gallas, in an interview with RMC Sport, revealed that Philippe Senderos would actually suffer panic attacks before facing Drogba.

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“Please calm down, mate!”

Times Newspapers Ltd
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“Please calm down, mate!”

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It wasn’t just poor old Senderos who used to struggle against the Chelsea man. None of them seem to enjoy it.

The Ivorian scored 13 goals in 15 appearances against the Gunners, and street parties were held across Islington on the day he left Chelsea.

Here are all the times when Drogba bullied Arsenal defenders into utter submission…

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal 2005/06

Where it all began

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Where it all began

The season’s traditional curtain-raiser was settled by Drogba, with his brace helping Chelsea to win the Community Shield.

Having not scored in his first two appearances against the Gunners, he clearly wanted to make amends.

The powerhouse terrorised a centre-back duo of Kolo Toure and Senderos. This is when the latter’s Drogba nightmares began.

Arsenal’s Swiss ‘defender’ was hooked after 72 minutes following his nightmare performance against the Ivorian. They replaced him with Pascal Cygan, so it must have been bad.

Cesc Fabregas netted what turned out to be only a consolation in the second-half, with Drogba’s first-half double proving to be the difference.

Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal – 2005/06

The curse continues

PA:Press Association
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The curse continues

The sides met again just a few weeks later. Again, Drogba was the match-winner.

Toure and Senderos were tasked once more with keeping out the Blues man and to be fair, they almost did.

It took until the 73rd minute for the deadlock to be broken and it was done so in true sh*ithouse fashion.

A lapse in communication between Jens Lehmann and Senderos allowed Drogba to watch the ball simply deflect off his knee into the net.

He literally didn’t even have to try and score against Arsenal.

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal – 2006/07

I quite fancy a Carling now

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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I quite fancy a Carling now

Having not scored in either of the league games against the Gunners, Drogba saved his best for cup competition.

Arsenal were turned inside-out by the forward during the League Cup final, with Drogba scoring twice in a 2-1 win. Shock.

Again, Senderos was the main culprit, with Toure also offering very little to keep out his countryman.

Drogba netted in the 84th minute to all but wrap up the silverware for Jose Mourinho’s men.

The Gunners completely lost their heads after being taught another lesson, having two men sent off in the dying-minutes.

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal – 2007/08

He had some new toys to play with

Reuters
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He had some new toys to play with

Next up, another masterclass from ‘you know who.’

The Chelsea man had some fresh prey to tuck into during their latest clash.

His former team-mate Gallas, alongside Toure, were tasked with keeping Drogba out. They didn’t manage it.

See, it’s not all Senderos’ fault!

Arsenal held the lead until the 73rd minute, when Drobga opened the scoring, before doubling his tally just 10-minutes later.

The Gunners bottled the clash at Stamford Bridge and Drogba got himself another Man of the Match award against Arsene Wenger’s side.

Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal – 2008/09

Questionable goalkeeping

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Questionable goalkeeping

Having spoiled the Gunner’s new Wembley debut the year before, the Ivorian was on-hand to ruin the day once again.

With the FA Cup semi-final in the balance, of course it would be Drogba to make the difference.

Arsenal took an early lead but the parity was restored courtesy of Florent Malouda.

With just six minutes left on the clock, and extra-time looming, Drogba had other ideas.

A defensive partnership of Toure and Mikel Silvestre folded like a pack of cards, allowing their tormentor to round Lukas Fabianski and tuck home.

Chelsea 3-0 Arsenal – 2009/10

Dat banner LOL

Action Images - Reuters
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Dat banner LOL

Drogba may well have been approaching the twilight-zone of his career, however his desire to score against Arsenal was going nowhere.

He unsurprisingly opened the scoring with a header, rising highest against Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen.

The crowning glory of his Man of the Match performance came with four minutes to go.

Drogba rifled a free-kick past a hapless Manuel Almunia to double his tally. Thwack!

In between his strikes, Vermaelen even resorted to scoring an own-goal. The Drogba effect right there.

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal – 2009/10

Easy

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Easy

Vermaelen and Gallas were again the guilty party on the day, allowing Drogba to walk all over them.

Scoring twice in the first-half, the Chelsea man had all but wrapped up the three points for Carl Ancelotti’s men after 23 minutes.

Drogba almost got his first hat-trick against the Gunners when he rattled the crossbar with a free-kick late on.

Believe it or not, there’s still one more goal to come…

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal 2010/11

What’s his go-to karaoke song?

Graham Hughes - The Times
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What’s his go-to karaoke song?

Arsene Wenger’s worst-nightmare was at it again.

In what would turn out to be one of Drogba’s final appearances against the Gunners, he made sure he went out in a blaze of glory.

He toyed with Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci all day, burying a flick at the near-post after 39 minutes.

Alex sealed all three points for the Blues with an outrageous free-kick, however it was Drogba who stole the headlines.

His latest strike took his tally against the Gunners to a ridiculous 13 goals in as many appearances.

Arsenal fans when they realise it’s finally all over

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Arsenal fans when they realise it’s finally all over

The Ivorian went onto face Arsenal twice more following his return to Stamford Bridge, however he was unable to add to his record.

Even at 40-years-old he still hasn’t retired yet… he wouldn’t come back again, would he?

As for Gallas firing shots at one of his old team-mates, it’s pretty unjustified.

The Frenchman ends up looking like a right idiot, especially when you realise he conceded one more goal against Drogba than Senderos did.

Not really what you want to see from your captain

PA:Press Association
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Not really what you want to see from your captain

At least he never sulked on the pitch… oh wait.


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