Will the Blues be adding more memorable moments in Europe this season?
After a season away, Chelsea is back in the biggest club competition in world football.
The UEFA Champions League.
And the Blues start their latest venture across the continent, looking to add another historic chapter to the club’s finest nights in Europe. European trophy number seven on the cards this season? Let’s hope so.
With this in mind, The Chelsea Echo decided to take a look at the best moments that Chelsea has experienced against the best clubs in Europe.
But as we are a football website, we don’t do ‘Top 10’s’.
We do ‘Top 11’s.’
Without further ado, here is ‘The Top 11 Chelsea nights in European football’…
CHELSEA 2-1 REAL MADRID (1970-71 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final Replay)
Athens. Where Chelsea finally made a name for themselves in Europe.
The 1971 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final Replay was played just 48 hours after the first final, which had resulted in a 1-1 draw following a last-minute equaliser from Real Madrid.
Two goals in seven first-half minutes from Peter Osgood and John Dempsey put Chelsea in charge. Madrid came back strongly in the second half and Sebastián Fleitas pulled a goal back with fifteen minutes remaining, but Chelsea held on to win their first European trophy.
CHELSEA 1-0 VFB STUTTGART (1997-98 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final)
One of the greatest substitutions in Chelsea’s history as Gianfranco Zola, twenty seconds after his introduction, picked up the lofted through pass from Dennis Wise and earned man-of-the-match accolades with an unstoppable right-footed shot from the edge of the box to score the only goal and give the Blues their second European trophy in Stockholm.
CHELSEA 1-0 REAL MADRID (1998 UEFA Super Cup)
Gianluca Vialli’s side completed a memorable first summer in charge of Chelsea FC by lifting the UEFA Super Cup after a 1-0 victory against Real Madrid CF in Monaco.
Following up their League Cup win with victory against VfB Stuttgart in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final, they claimed their second European trophy in three months thanks to substitute Gus Poyet’s 83rd-minute strike.
AC MILAN 1-1 CHELSEA (1999-2000 Champions League – Group Stages)
Oh Dennis Wise, Scored a f***ing great goal, In the San Siro, With ten minutes to go…
The valuable equaliser from the captain after Oliver Bierhoff put the Serie A champions into the lead changed the course of Chelsea’s season. From Roberto Di Matteo’s diagonal pass, Wise slotted home under the body of the onrushing Christian Abbiati, making the continent’s best stand up and take note of Chelsea’s status as a rising club in Europe.
ARSENAL 1-2 CHELSEA (2003-04 Champions League – Quarter-Final, 2nd Leg)
Coming up against ‘The Invincibles‘, at Highbury, with no win against the Gunners in five years… it almost felt like the impossible job for Chelsea.
But Wayne Bridge’s late winner, set up via an exquisitely deft pass from Eidur Gudjohnsen, stunned the hosts and ended Arsenal’s 17-match unbeaten run against the Blues. A sweet night for doomed manager Claudio Ranieri.
CHELSEA 4-2 BARCELONA (2004-05 Champions League – Round of 16, 2nd Leg)
Three unanswered goals in an electrifying opening twenty minutes, the sheer individual brilliance of Ronaldinho, the leap and header of a lifetime from John Terry, a euphoric Jose Mourinho celebrating on the pitch after the final whistle… “Boring, boring Chelsea.”
This game had everything. Arguably the best European match ever at Stamford Bridge, if not the best, period.
CHELSEA 4-4 LIVERPOOL (2008-09 Champions League – Quarter-Final, 2nd Leg)
Playing each other in European competition for the fifth season in a row, few observers expected a classic after the four previous games had been tense, protracted affairs.
What happened then was one of the most entertaining matches in Champions League history. Trailing 3-1 from the first leg, Liverpool cancelled out the deficit with goals from Fabio Aurelio and Xabi Alonso. Didier Drogba, Alex and Frank Lampard then put Chelsea 6-3 ahead before two further Liverpool replies. Lampard made sure of it at the end to seal a crazy 7-5 aggregate win.
BARCELONA 2-2 CHELSEA (2011-12 Champions League – Semi-Final, 2nd Leg)
Gary Cahill limping off, John Terry’s sending off, intense Barcelona possession, Ramires’s stunning chip on the half-time whistle, Lionel Messi’s missed penalty, Fernando Torres’s solo goal. Gary Neville’s scoregasm. Sheer drama for the Chelsea fans up in the Gods.
Arguably the greatest moment in Chelsea’s history.
For 25 days…
BAYERN MUNICH 1-1 CHELSEA (2011-12 UEFA Champions League Final)
The Champions League Final.
Against Bayern Munich.
At the Allianz Arena.
11 men against the vast sea of red Bavarian support.
Chelsea had reached the final against all odds and had to win against all odds again to seal the greatest night in the club’s history.
Didier Drogba, in what was at the time his final game for the club – along with the help of Petr Čech – created two moments that will never be forgotten by any Chelsea fan.
Unbridled joy gushed out from the players and fans alike as Chelsea clinched their first Champions League crown.
19th May 2012 – the pinnacle of Chelsea Football Club.
BENFICA 1-2 CHELSEA (2012-13 UEFA Europa League Final)
After failing to get out of the group stage of the Champions League, Chelsea dropped down to the Europa league in 2013. The Blues comfortably made it to the Final and were one win away from becoming the first team in European football history to simultaneously hold both the Champions and Europa League trophies.
Fernando Torres rounded the keeper to give the Blues a deserved lead. Benfica equalised from a Óscar Cardozo penalty, with the game on the verge of going to extra time before Branislav Ivanović’s stoppage-time winner helped the Blues lift the Europa League for the first time.
CHELSEA 4-1 ARSENAL (2018-19 UEFA Europa League Final)
The memorable nights in Europe for the Blues began in Athens and 48 years later, the latest one happened in Baku.
Goals from Olivier Giroud, Pedro and a brace from Eden Hazard – another iconic player playing his last game for Chelsea in a European Final – helped the Blues thrash Arsenal in a one-sided affair, securing the club’s sixth major European trophy and the first major honour for then-manager Maurizio Sarri.
Here’s hoping for at least another magical European night over the next few months…