The match took place with one week remaining in the Premier League calendar for the 2001–02 season. Arsenal were in first position, but still needed a point from their final two games to secure the championship, which they achieved in their next match with victory over second-placed Manchester United. Chelsea had to win their remaining fixture to confirm the position of fifth they held at the start of the match; they lost again and finished in sixth. In the league fixtures between the two clubs, Arsenal had the upper hand, with a 1–1 draw at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge on 8 September 2001 and a 2–1 win at Highbury on Boxing Day.
Arsenal's subsequent Premier League title triumph saw them equal Manchester United's record of three doubles.