Looking back on what was happening on this day in Chelsea’s history:
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREPARATION
Three years ago today, with the team preparing for the Champions League Quarter Final first leg at home to Bayern Munich, manager Jose Mourinho chooses the eve of game press conference to announce that striker Mikael Forssell will start the game on the bench, ending seven months of injury misery and the premature ending of his loan period with Birmingham. With Kezman suspended and Robben injured, attacking options were limited, so the 24 year old Finn was to make an unexpected return to Stamford Bridge action and begin what was to be a final 3 months as a Chelsea player.
STADIUM OF LIGHT SUCCESS
2003 and the last match played on this date sees goals from ‘Franco Zola & substitute Carlton Cole give us a 2-1 Premier League victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland were to finish bottom, with a record Premiership low total of 19 points. Claudio Ranieri’s team went on to finish 4th.
A great performance from the Blues on this day in 2000 when goals from a ‘Franco free-kick and two from Tore Andre Flo put Chelsea 3-0 up against the Catalans. Alas Figo managed to get an away goal that would ultimately become significant in the second leg of this Champions League Quarter Final.
FIRST LEAGUE CUP VICTORY
A goalless draw in the second leg of the League Cup Final of 1964 is enough to see the Blues parading the trophy in front of the fans at Leicester’s Filbert Street, following on from the narrow 3-2 victory at Stamford Bridge in the first instalment.
SEMI FINAL DRAWN
5 April 1952 and for the second time in three seasons the Blues face Arsenal in a FA Cup Semi Final. As previously the game is played at White Hart Lane, as previously it ends in a draw (Billy Gray scoring for Chelsea) and as previously we were come second best when the teams met again two days later.
THE BRIDGE HOSTS ITS FIRST INTERNATIONAL
1915 sees the first of three international matches to be staged at Stamford Bridge. 52,000 fans see England beat Scotland 1-0 to win the British Championship.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERLAND
Former Blues defender Erland Johnsen was born on this day in 1967. The popular Norweigan went on to play for the blues 182 times and was an important part in our Cup Successes of the 1990’s.
Daily Dose: 6 April
Another look back through history with Dan Davies with the Champions League Quarter finals providing recent memories:
REMEMBER THE WOOLLY HAT?
Three years ago, and it was Champions League Quarter Final First leg time, with German powerhouses Bayern Munich visiting SW6. Chelsea took less than 200 seconds to take the lead, with Joe Cole converting a Damien Duff cross with a little help from a deflection from Lucio, Bayern’s Brazilian defender. No further goals came before the interval, and our opponents pulled level early in the second period with Sebastian Schweinsteiger following in to knock home a rebound from a Ze Roberto shot. Parity lasted only six minutes before Frank Lampard brought us back in front, volleying home from the edge of the box. If Lampard’s first volley was spectacular, his second was sublime as he extended our lead to 3-1 when he swivelled to knock home his own chest down of a Makelele through ball in text book fashion. The tie appeared safe when Drogba made it four one before a very late and extremely dubious penalty, won & scored by Michael Ballack gave our visitors a little hope for the second leg, in which as for this game, Jose Mourinho would be serving a touchline ban, which he was attempting to circumvent by high tech methods, including seeming to relay messages to coach Rui Faria, who was wearing a ‘suspicious’ woolly hat whilst sitting on the bench.
WAYNE BRIDGE, SCORED A ****ING GREAT GOAL
A night of high passion in the Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg at Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium. Chelsea are definite underdogs having drawn the first leg 1-1 and having failed to beat the Gooners in 17 previous attempts. The home side took the lead in first half stoppage time when Ambrosio failed to deal with a Lauren cross and allowing Reyes to stab home, but in a dramatic second half, Frank Lampard tucked home the rebound from an accurate(!) Claude Makelele shot and with 3 minutes to go Left Back Bridge brought the ball forward down the left wing, played a lovely 1-2 with Eidur, and sent the Blues into raptures with a well placed shot past Lehman to win the tie.
SEMI FINAL DEFEAT
Today in 1995 sees a Gus Poyet Inspired Real Zaragoza beat us 3-1 in a European Cup Winners Cup Semi-Final first leg in front of 35,000 at La Romareda. Despite a heroic fight back in the second leg, Chelsea go out. It’s not all doom & gloom however, for the result does pave the way for the glorious #”Nayim, from the Half Way Line” goal that beats Arsenal in the Final.
TOPSY TURVY DRAW
1991 and a first division fixture against Luton. Chelsea go 3-0 down to the visitors in short time, before coming back through goals from Le Saux, Stuart & Wise. Victory is denied when Le Saux is sent off. Frank Sinclair makes his first team debut for the Blues.
THE END OF AN ERA
1933 and Chelsea’s longest serving Manager signs off. In David Calderhead’s final game before retirement, Chelsea draw 1-1 with Sunderland, the point ensuring that Chelsea narrowly avoid relegation.
Daily Dose: 7 April
JT IS PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Three ago today, and John Terry is named PFA player of the month, becoming the third Chelsea player (after Robben in November and Lampard in January) to win the award, voted for by fans visiting the PFA website. Chelsea had gone undefeated through March and our captains fine month was of course topped off when he struck the decisive goal in the 4-2 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League fixture at Stamford Bridge.
DEMOLITION DERBY (1)
The last time that we played on this date saw 4 second half goals demolish Derby County in a Premiership match at Pride Park. Gianfranco got the first, before a lob from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink doubled our advantage with 5 minutes to go. Gus Poyet grabbed the last two, the first from a corner and the second a trademark header to seal a comprehensive victory on this day in 2001.
DEMOLITION DERBY (2)
A different kind of derby, but the same outcome. 1984 and a Second division clash with Fulham at the Bridge. Chelsea on their way to the championship put four without reply past our neighbours in front of nearly 32,000 fans. Victory is achieved through a brace for Kerry Dixon, supported by goals from Pat Nevin & David Speedie.
FA CUP SEMI FINAL HEARTACHE
1952 and a mere two days after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal, the Blues are again at White Hart Lane and facing the Gooners. Alas the blues come second best and fail to make the final, with a crowd of 57,450 witnessing the 3-0 reverse.
WARTIME WEMBLEY TROPHY
Today in 1945 sees Chelsea in Football League South Cup Final action for the second time in two years. Goals from George Wardle and John McDonald see Chelsea climbing the 39 steps and lifting a trophy for the first time after a 2-0 victory over Millwall in front of 95,000 spectators.