Chelsea vs Arsenal: Battle of Britain (In the Bird's Nest)

By Nick Mateer, July 17, 2017

1 0

Arsenal and Chelsea have never played each other outside of England – until now. On July 22, the teams play a pre-season friendly at Beijing’s very own Bird’s Nest. Don’t follow two of the biggest teams in England? More of a Chinese Super League fan? Don’t worry – here’s your cheat sheet.

The Good

Chelsea: Diego Costa might well be the most effective player in all of England. (A controversial statement, we know.) While his inflammatory antics lend him a negative reputation, he bagged more than 20 goals last season, even while missing some games.

Arsenal: For the 2017-18 season, Arsenal haven't made the Champions League – which is a good thing, many believe, because, for the past few years anyway, it's only resulted in humiliation on the international stage. The only problem is…

The Bad

Chelsea: Ugly is the way Chelsea won the Premier League title – the team won eleven games by a single goal. It counts all the same, but this isn’t exactly a high-firing team. This, coupled with their potential loss of Diego Costa (see below), could mean a long drought for the boys in blue.

Arsenal: Arsenal’s bitter rivals Tottenham have eclipsed them in the standings for the first time in almost two decades. And not only that, but next season Tottenham will have a brand-new, 60,000-seat London stadium to bring in the pounds and, potentially, hot new signings. Dark days for Arsenal fans.

The Embarrassing

Chelsea: Bad news Beijing: The aforementioned Diego Costa might be leaving. Late last year he answered a reporter’s question regarding a potential transfer by hinting at a potential future at Atletico Madrid. Losing Costa would not only strip Chelsea of their primary source of goals, but also their go-to offensive coordinator.

Arsenal: The mid-season Arsenal collapse has become an annual comedic tradition. Once again, the New Year brought a top-performing Arsenal squad to its knees for no apparent reason. Maybe it’s their holiday hangovers, or maybe it’s seasonal affective disorder. Whatever it is, Arsenal can’t seem to play decently when the calendar resets.

Sat Jul 22, National Stadium (Bird’s Nest); visit for tickets, see event listing.

more news

PHOTOS: NBA Fan Appreciation Day at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center

The NBA held their fifth annual Fan Appreciation Day at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center days before exhibition games featuring the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans.

Where to Watch Dragon Boat Races in Guangdong 2018

We've selected some of the best-known and adrenaline-pumping races to watch in our fair province.

Sino Celeb: Zhou Dongyu

The young actress is known as one of the 'Four Renowned Actresses of the Post-90s Generation.'

Rowdy Shanghai Punks Dirty Fingers on Staying DIY and Touring the World

"We are going to see those brutal pyramids and get those mummies to dance."

Book Review: Justin Mitchell's Shenzhen Zen

"Life, Love and Misadventure in the Middle Kingdom."

Tickets to Guns N' Roses in HK Go on Sale on This Date

Axl, Slash and the rest of the group are set to perform two shows in Hong Kong on November 20 and 21, 2018.

7 Movies Hitting Chinese Theaters in June 2018

Here are all the major international movies to catch in Chinese theaters this June.

Superstar Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing Accused of Tax Evasion

Fan Bingbing was accused of tax fraud by fellow television presenter Cui Yongyuan last week, prompting authorities to launch an official probe.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.