The Bluebirds and the Gunners have shared a number of interesting clashes across the years. Before we welcome Arsenal to CCS, we take a look back at some of the more intriguing moments...
Aaron Ramsey is a Bluebird
They say you should never forget your roots. Well in Aaron Ramsey’s case – we don't have to worry. The midfielder visited Cardiff City Stadium in November 2013 in the form of his career, having netted 13 goals for club and country in the first few months of the campaign.
Unfortunately for City – Ramsey's excellent form was to continue. The Welsh international midfielder opened the scoring with a deft header in the first half before adding to a fine individual performance in added time with a thunderbolt. Arsenal left South Wales on that day with all three points, but our Academy graduate showed his love and respect for the Cardiff City faithful with an Ayatollah and muted celebration. It is rare to see somebody applauded by the home support after netting against us.
Once a Bluebird…
1927 FA Cup Final
Well... this one practically writes itself. Cardiff City became the first (and currently only) non-English team to win the FA Cup in 1927 - defeating Arsenal, 1-0, at Wembley Stadium. Hughie Ferguson's 74th minute effort was the only goal that separated the two teams in a tight Cup final, witnessed by over 91,000 people. Up until that point - the term 'The English Cup' was used to describe the competition. This changed after Fred Keenor and the Bluebirds brought the trophy back to South Wales!
SuperKev – Premier League
It was a day every Bluebird wanted to see. Kevin McNaughton appearing for Cardiff City in the Premier League - and quite the opening challenge. He was a key player for Bolton Wanderers during a loan spell earlier in the season but was immediately thrust back into the team for the trip to Arsenal on New Year's Day 2014. The right-back helped keep the dangerous Gunners quiet for 88 minutes, only for two late goals to seal the win for the hosts. Despite the result - it was a lovely and deserved moment for a loyal Bluebird.
One final game at Ninian for Rambo
Aaron Ramsey’s 33 minute cameo in a 3-0 win over Barnsley on May 4th, 2008, looked as if it would be his final ever appearance at Ninian Park. The central midfielder departed our first home for the Emirates Stadium in June 2008 with the Bluebirds set to move across Sloper Road to Cardiff City Stadium the following season.
This wasn’t to be the case though - as Ramsey was given a final match at Ninian during the FA Cup Fourth Round in January 2009. The Caerphilly-born midfielder was applauded by all four sides of Ninian Park. The match finished goalless, though the Bluebirds went closest to winning it with Ross McCormack’s effort cannoning out off the crossbar. This turned out to be the final ever FA Cup match played at Ninian Park.
Ramsey later returned to the Bluebirds on loan in 2010-11, running out at CCS six times during his one month spell.
FA Youth Cup 2007 – Arsenal 3-2 Cardiff City
Now this one may be a little more obscure than the other four selections. The Bluebirds were the first youth side to visit the Emirates Stadium in January 2007 when they faced Arsenal in the quarter final of the FA Youth Cup. Our U18 side, containing Aaron Ramsey faced off against a young Gunners squad, including the likes of Jay Simpson, Kieran Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny (unused sub). Ramsey’s first appearance at the Emirates was a goal-scoring one – but it was the Gunners who were victorious, 3-2, thanks to a Simpson hat-trick.
It was a busy few days for Chris Gunter. The full-back, who went on to win the Football League Championship Apprentice of the Year, was meant to feature in this match at the Emirates but was included by our First Team squad the following day away at West Bromwich Albion. Darcy Blake was also eligible to play for our Youth Cup side - but played alongside Roger Johnson at the heart of the City defence at the Hawthorns instead.