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Chelsea's rivals: Who are the Blues' primary rivals, and what sparks the heat in these rivalries?
Chelsea Football Club is one of the oldest teams in the world. Since 1905, the West London club has locked horns with several teams, nursing friendly and unfriendly rivalries alike. Dig in for comprehensive details on all of Chelsea's rivals.
Who are the biggest rivals in the Premier League? Critics are divided on whether enmity between teams fosters healthy competition in major and minor soccer leagues. Discover which Chelsea's rivals hold the most bitter grudges in the English Premier League, FA Cup, London Derby and the UEFA Champions League.
Who are Chelsea's rivals?
Association football enmity spices up the game, giving players and fans a deep-seated sense of motivation to be the best. These rivalries go a long way in unifying the team and fans while adding drama to the season.
In 2020, an X(Twitter) poll by The Athletic was set to determine who Chelsea's main rivals are. Fans voted for Premier League teams, with Tottenham Hotspur coming up first with 58.6%. Other English teams, such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester United, also ranked highly in the poll. Scroll down to understand more about some of the biggest rivalries in English football.
Are Tottenham Hotspurs and Chelsea rivals?
Animosity between Chelsea arch rivals, the Hotspurs and the Pensioners, can be traced back to the 1960s. More specifically, the tight competition is linked to the Spurs' First Division title win in 1951 thanks to two former Chelsea players, Jimmy Greaves and Terry Venables.
The highly contested Cockney Cup Final victory was quickly followed by other significant triumphs for Tottenham, including the First Division Championship and FA Cup double victories in 1961 and the 1967 FA Cup win. Here is a summary of Sports Brief's analysis of the Blues' head-to-head statistics against Tottenham Hotspurs.
Matches played against Tottenham
1997/98 EPL (6-1)
Goals scored against Tottenham
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Are Arsenal F.C. and Chelsea rivals?
Why are Arsenal and Chelsea rivals? Although Arsenal is considerably more successful compared to Chelsea, their bitter rivalry has existed for decades. From their first competitive match in 1907 to their latest game in October 2023, the teams have been locked into an eternal struggle to outdo one another.
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While violence has not been reported as much by Chelsea fans, Arsenal players have reported getting hit by pieces of celery thrown by the fans. Reportedly, the heat of the feud has intensified over the recent years.
According to a head-to-head analysis by Transfermarkt, the clubs have met in 160 matches, with the Pensioners getting 53 against Arsenal's 64 wins. The competitive Londoners have had an almost similar number of goals, with Chelsea getting 219 against Arsenal's 229 goals.
Are Liverpool F.C. and Chelsea rivals?
Do Chelsea and Liverpool have a rivalry? According to the Athletic's poll, 10.6% of the Blues' fans regarded Liverpool as their greatest enemy. Complete with songs to back their tradition of intense animosity, the teams have consistently fought to outperform each other.
How many times has Chelsea beat Liverpool? Until the 14th of August 2010, when the Blues recorded a 6-0 win against West Bromwich, their 6-1 victory over Liverpool on the 28th of August in 1937 was their biggest victory. Here is a summary of the Pensioners' statistics against the Reds.
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Matches played against Liverpool
1937/38 Division One (6 - 1)
Goals scored against Liverpool
Are Leeds United and Chelsea rivals?
In the 1960s, seeds of mutual dislike were first planted as the teams became locked in an intense battle to lead the First Division. The pensioners outperformed Leeds in 1963, earning a promotion to Division One, which Leeds achieved in 1965.
The teams' feud was at times marked by violence, such as the 1965 match that ended in bloodied socks and the 1969 League Cup match that became known as the 'almighty clash of brute force'. Additionally, cultural differences between the Northern Leeds and Southern Blues helped intensify the vendetta between fans.
Are Barcelona and Chelsea rivals?
In 1966, the Blues first clashed and lost to Barça during the Fairs Cup Semi-Finals match. Although they never met again for nearly 34 years, Barça proved to be the better team during their 2000 match at Camp Nou.
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The roots of their rivalry can be traced to the 2005 and 2009 Champions League tournaments. However, other publications report that their enmity began between 1999 and 2000. Take a look at the Pensioners' head-to-head UCL statistics against Barcelona.
Matches played against Barcelona
Goals scored against Barcelona
Are Chelsea and Fulham rivals?
What is the relationship between Chelsea and Fulham? A 2018 thread on Quora ranking Chelsea's most heated contentions concluded that their West London neighbours, Fulham F.C., were not their most bitter competitors.
Throughout their shared history, Fulham, regarded as Chelsea F.C.'s derby rivals, have been constantly outperformed by the Blues. The contenders have battled it out in the West London Derby, clashing in over 80 matches.
Matches played against Fulham F.C.
Goals scored against Fulham F.C.
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Are West Ham and Chelsea rivals?
To many West Ham United F.C. fans, Frank Lampard's exit from the Hammers to the Blues in 2001 fueled the existing feud. Until recently, meetings between the teams were marked by hooliganism and mob violence. While both teams have passionate fans, their animosity is not regarded as the strongest in the league.
The Hammer first met the Blues in 1915 during the London Combination Primary competitions. Since then, the teams have been locked in battle in almost 120 matches. Scroll down for a comprehensive summary of West Ham vs Chelsea F.C. stats.
Matches played against West Ham United
1965/66 Division One (6 - 2)
Goals scored against West Ham United
Are Manchester United and Chelsea rivals?
According to the Bleacher Report, the feud between Man U and Chelsea is linked to their seemingly evenly-matched talent. The decades-long hostility is a competitive rivalry attached to the Premier League title, Champions League, F.A. and League Cups. Here is a summary of the Blues' stats against The Red Devils.
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Matches played against Manchester United
1999/00 (5-0), Stamford Bridge
Goals scored against Manchester United
Are Man City and Chelsea rivals?
The 1985/86 Full Members' Cup marked one of Chelsea's first major victories against Manchester City. The top-tier clubs have clashed in several major competitions, including the European Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, and the English League Cup.
By 2021, City had bested their enemies, scoring 60 goals in 25 UEFA Champions League matches. The analysis by UEFA also concluded that as of May 2021, Chelsea's rivals had been beaten by 68 wins with 40 draws out of City's 58 victories. Here is an analysis of their performance stats at the time of writing.
Matches played against Manchester City
2007/08 Premier League (6-0)
Goals scored against Manchester City
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Who are QPR's biggest rivals?
The Queens Park Rangers F.C. are not regarded strongly as Chelsea's rivals. However, Chelsea's captain, John Terry's racial abuse against QPR's Anton Ferdinand after his side suffered defeat in 2011 set the ball rolling on an intense mutual hatred. Although the Football Association issued a $269,590 fine against the skipper and a four-match suspension, Rangers' fans have been less forgiving.
Compared to proximity-linked feuds, Chelsea's rivals are seemingly attached to performance. The top-tier Premier League team has progressed from violent play to competitive hunger on the pitch. Fans have taken on the same attitude, with fewer violent incidences being reported.
Sports Brief has published a report ranking the most prominent English football rivalries ever to exist. The article covers an in-depth analysis of the North-West derby, North London derby, Manchester derby, and Merseyside derby rivalries. Click the link above to learn about the top UK football derbies, their rankings, and head-to-head statistics.