As Chelsea go into the home straight of the season in search of winning a double of both the Premier League and Champions League, I decided to look back on some famous Chelsea moments and perhaps the current crop can take any inspiration from past heroes and the top goals in Chelsea’s History.
10: David Webb vs Leeds United (FA Cup Final, 1970)
Chelsea’s first FA Cup triumph came in dramatic circumstances. The Blues looked defeated at Wembley after Mick Jones made it 1-2 to Leeds in the 84th minute but Ian Hutchinson hit back two minutes later to force the final to a replay that would be played at Old Trafford 18 days later.
The rematch in Manchester was no less exciting either. Leeds took the lead again, Jones again with the goal but Chelsea icon Peter Osgood levelled with 12 minutes to go before David Webb scored in extra time to bring the world’s oldest football cup competition to Chelsea for the first time ever.
Chelsea had to wait another 27 years before they would win the cup again but since then have become somewhat FA Cup specialists, winning further finals in 2000, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
9: John Terry vs Barcelona (Champions League Round of 16 second leg, 2005)
Captain.Leader.Legend. Those are the three words used to describe Chelsea skipper John Terry on banners that can be found all over Stamford Bridge and on this famous night in West London, Terry proved why.
Barcelona travelled to London leading thanks to a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp thanks to goals from Maxi Lopez and Samuel Eto’o after Juliano Belletti scored an own goal following a Damien Duff cross.
It was Chelsea who started the second leg on the front foot though as they raced into a 3-0 lead on the night with Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff all grabbing goals inside the first twenty minutes.
The Catalans fought back with Ronaldinho grabbing a brace, one a routine penalty, the other an exquisite finish, dummying the ball multiple times and then toe poking it past Petr Cech from the edge of the area to put Barcelona in control, the travelling Spaniards going through on away goals.
Captain fantastic John Terry headed in from a corner with quarter of an hour remaining to save the hosts and spark celebratory scenes at full time with Jose Mourinho not hiding his delight at overcoming the club he loves to hate. Chelsea would go on to eliminate Bayern Munich 6-5 on aggregate in the Quarters before controversially losing to Liverpool in the Semis.
8: Steven Gerrard’s own goal (Carling Cup final, 2005)
Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Chelsea also saw the arrival of a fair few trophies at SW6. Two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one Community Shield were joined by two League Cup wins, the first of which came in February 2005. Mourinho’s first trophy win in English football.
It was Liverpool who made the perfect start though with John Arne Riise opening the scoring after just 45 seconds but Chelsea restored parity after transfer target Steven Gerrard headed into his own net without any challenge from a Chelsea player from a Ricardo Carvalho freekick.
Didier Drogba and Mateja Kezman would both score in extra time to ultimately win the cup for Chelsea with Antonio Nunez getting a late consolation for Liverpool but if it wasn’t for Gerrard’s own goal from what was a half chance at best, the Blues would have headed back to London trophy-less.
7: Branislav Ivanovic vs Napoli (Champions League Round of 16 second leg, 2012)
The 2011/2012 Champions League campaign will stay in the memories of Chelsea fans for a lifetime, games full of nerves, tension and pure determination led the Blues to their first ever Champions League crown. And it all started one dramatic night at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea trailed the Italians 3-1 after a lacklustre defensive display in Naples but Juan Mata’s away goal kept the Londoners’ hopes of qualifying very much alive, a 2-0 victory was all that was needed to secure their place in the next round.
By the time the two sides met back on English shores, Andre Villas Boas had been sacked and replaced by the Assistant Manager he brought to the club, Roberto Di Matteo.
Didier Drogba made sure half the job was done when he powered a header past Morgan Di Sanctis in the Napoli goal while John Terry also headed in, following a corner.
Gokhan Inler scored a magnificent controlled volley to turn the tie back in Napoli’s favour but Chelsea’s all time record goalscorer Lampard scored a penalty to force the tie into extra time.
With the tie slowly edging towards a penalty shootout, Branislav Ivanovic surged forwards and blasted home Drogba’s low cross just before half time in the first period of extra time to send Chelsea through to the Quarter Finals.
6: Didier Drogba vs Manchester United (Premier League, 2010)
Carlo Ancelotti’s debut season in the Premier League, winning an FA Cup and Premier League double, the latter was helped largely in a winner takes all match at Old Trafford, that Chelsea won, albeit in fairly controversial circumstances.
Joe Cole had given Chelsea an early lead in Manchester but it was Drogba’s goal that would seal the three points. The Ivorian was clearly in an offside position but the goal stood nevertheless. The United fans were understandably angry, however Federico Macheda’s goal soon after to drag the score back to 1-2 had more than a hit of handball to it.
5: Ramires vs Barcelona (Champions League Semi Final second leg, 2012)
In what was undoubtedly the highlight of Chelsea’s run to their maided Champions League glory (other than the final), Ramires scored one of the most important and aesthetically pleasing goals in the club’s history.
Chelsea were already two goals and a man down when Lampard’s ambitious through ball landed at the feet of Ramires who scored a delicious first time chip over Victor Valdes who was far too far off his line to put the tie back in Chelsea’s favour.
Fernando Torres sealed the aggregate win when he rounded Valdes and slotted in for 2-2 on the night in injury time and perhaps cruelly stole the headlines from Ramires who scored the more important goal.
4: Frank Lampard vs Bolton (Premier League, 2005)
The moment. The moment Chelsea proved they were a force to be reckoned with. In what was an incredible season for Chelsea in the club’s first year under Jose Mourinho, the Blues had only lost one game all season (Manchester City away) and on the 30th of April 2005, a Lampard brace won the club their first league title in 50 years.
A long Petr Cech free-kick was headed on by Gudjohnsen, the ball bounced by Jarosik and then Drogba headed it onto Lampard who shrugged off Vincent Candela and then smashed the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen for 0-1 for jubilant celebrations for the opener on the hour mark.
Chelsea’s record goalscorer sealed the win with a second 15 minutes from a Bolton corner was exploited and Chelsea hit them on the counter attack. Lampard had a clear run starting from just inside the Bolton half and ran with it before rounding Jaaskelainen and sealing the win and league title.
3: Didier Drogba vs Bayern Munich (Champions League Final, 2012)
Since Roman Abravomich’s takeover in 2003, the aim for him was for his Chelsea time to lift Europe’s most elite prize: The Champions League. In 2012, his ambition finally came to fruition.
Thomas Muller almost dashed the dreams though when his 82nd minute header looked to have won the final for Bayern, who were playing on their own ground.
The Blues had a “never say die” attitude throughout tournament though with most members of the squad heading towards the closing stages of their careers with limited chances of winning the continental competition.
Drogba was one of them and his trademark powerful header two minutes before the final whistle from Mata’s corner to send the final to extra time and ultimately penalties, where another special Drogba goal would come.
2: Didier Drogba’s penalty vs Bayern Munich (Champions League Final, 2012)
Unbelievably, Drogba almost scuppered his own chances of being the match winning hero. During extra time he was the one who fouled Franck Ribery for the penalty which former Blue Arjen Robben had saved by Cech.
Following the miss, it appeared that Chelsea’s glory was written in the stars.
Penalties had been cruel to Chelsea in the past (losing all of their previous Champions League shoot outs ) including one in the 2008 final, while penalties had been kind to Bayern (winning all of their previous penalty face offs) including winning the 2001 final against Valencia thanks to the the dreaded spot-kicks.
The history book was thrown out the window though as due to Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger missing their penalties, Didier Drogba was left to tuck home the winner which he did with consumate ease, taking just two steps and then sweeping it
1: Jesper Gronkjaer vs Liverpool (Premier League 2003)
The most important goal in Chelsea history? Ahead goals that won the club two league titles and it’s first Champions League? The goal that made it all possible.
Russian billionaire Roman Abravomich was travelling London looking to buy a football club. Tottenham Hotspur had caught his eye until he noticed cash-strapped Chelsea had a do or die clash with Liverpool to determine the final Champions League spot on the last day of the season at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues led Gerard Houllier’s Liverbirds by a single point going into the game so only a point was needed so when Marcel Desailly’s header cancelled out Sami Hyypia’s opener, the place was theirs.
It was Gronkjaer’s goal though that would secure all three points for Chelsea and secure their place in Europe’s top tournament for the next season.
The Dane scored an impressive winner, collecting Mario Melchiot’s pass, taking one touch away from his marker and then curling in from a tight angle to score the goal that would transform Chelsea into a World superpower financed by one of the richest men on the planet.
Without the goal, Liverpool may have grabbed the winner themselves, leaving Chelsea to play UEFA Cup football yet again. And who knows? Maybe it could have been Tottenham who would have become one of the most successful teams in the last ten years instead.