Nwankwo Kanu scored a hat-trick including a worldie as Arsenal came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in 1999.
Ahead of Arsenal’s visit to Chelsea this weekend, Gunners’ legend Nwankwo Kanu has relieved THAT goal he scored in a memorable hat-trick as he raised the Gunners from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in October 1999.
Almost 20 years on, Kanu still remembers that match, and has spoken about it once again ahead of a repeat of that 1999 clash between the Blues and the Gunners at Stamford Bridge.
“Whenever everybody sees me and it is something to do with Chelsea, even the fans in Nigeria, they are always trying to curse me and say, ‘Why did you score that goal?’, he was quoted by the Mirror.
“But then the Arsenal fans are happy. They always remind Chelsea fans ‘Can you remember what Kanu did against your team?’
“You live with that. If you ask me the greatest goal I have ever scored, that is what I would say.
“Chelsea then were really good. They hadn’t lost any home game. From being two down to making it 2-2 and then to score that wonderful goal from the line after dribbling the keeper, that was my best day for Arsenal.
“Before the game I was talking to (Nigeria team-mate and Chelsea defender) Celestine Babayaro. He told me that he told them my moves – one was going around the goalkeeper – so I have to be careful because everybody knows what I am going to do.
“He told them to always watch the ball not me. I don’t know if the keeper remembered what he said. That game, I was flying. Everything I did worked. None of my teammates believed I could score from that angle. Even Arsene Wenger said, ‘How did you do that?’
“It was a goal people will live to remember, even me.”
Although Arsenal didn’t win the title that season, they did win it in 2002 and 2004, but they haven’t it since and the former Nigeria international says it is something they are not happy about.
“That is something every Arsenal fan is angry with — knowing that this is a very big club with a big culture that wants to win trophies,” he said.
“When I was at Arsenal, everybody in the team was a winner. We were all captains. We didn’t look up to one player. There was a mixture between the old and young and people like Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira pushed everyone. We had leaders and we had the heart.
“From then something has been missing, and that something is why they have not been winning leagues. When we were playing and went to a team, no matter who you are, we get a result. We could grind out games.”