Kanu says He’s always being asked about special goal he scored nearly two decades ago that completed a Stamford Bridge hat-trick and, more importantly, a win from 2-0 down
It came in October 1999 when Kanu inspired the Gunners to one of their most memorable wins at Chelsea.
After wiping out the Blues’ 2-0 lead, Kanu completed the comeback and his brilliant hat-trick with a goal that went down in club folklore.
With seconds to spare, he charged down Albert Ferrer’s clearance, rounded keeper Ed de Goey near the corner flag and, from an improbable angle, whipped a stunning finish into the far corner over Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf.
After their shock defeat home defeat to Watford, Arsene Wenger’s current crop now need an incredible comeback of a different kind in the title race.
Gunners favourite Kanu said: “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?’
“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 make 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 work. 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.”
Arsenal ended the campaign in second place but Kanu and Arsenal did lift the title in 2002 and 2004. However, they haven’t won it since then.
“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.”
For much of this season, it seemed Arsenal had regained some of those old qualities.
But the Watford setback has seen old criticisms being aimed at Arsenal again ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime trip to Stamford Bridge.
Nigeria legend Kanu, 40, said: “The pressure is now on the whole team to go and get a result because that is a crucial game for them. They have to do whatever they have to do to get it.