Daily Dose: 19 April 2006

ARSENAL LOOMING

36 months ago today, and focus switches to the forthcoming Arsenal tie which could lead us just one step from the title. Henry, Campbell and Ljungberg were nursing injuries and we were told the title was ours for the taking. A first win over Arsenal at the Bridge in ages seemed expected – experienced Blues knew better than to count their chickens!

EUROPEAN HIGHLIGHT

One of the finest European performances at the Bridge came on this night in 1998. One nil down to Vicenza from the first leg, Chelsea had it all to do in the European Cup-Winners Cup Semi Final Second Leg. On a rain filled evening, Chelsea spirits were dampened by the visitors taking the lead against the run of play early on. The Blues had a mountain to climb. But Climb they did – firstly Gus Poyet, capitalising on a palmed out Zola shot made it one all on the night. Shortly after half time and a picture book cross from Player Manager Vialli, who had hared down the right flank found Gianfranco Zola’s unmarked head, and he planted the ball home to make the scores level on aggregate. Vicenza still lead on aggregate however, until substitute Mark Hughes took down ‘keeper Ed De Goey’s long punt out, beat the defence, and from his own flick down placed the sweetest of left foot volleys into the corner of the net to send the Blues to only their second ever European Final. Pandemonium reigned at the Bridge – the good times were here again!

DEBUT VICTORY

19 April 1997 and goals from Scott Minto and Mark Hughes see Chelsea to a 2-1 Premiership victory over Leicester City. Danny Granville, recently signed for £300k from Cambridge City makes his debut. He would go on to win a Cup Winners Cup medal, but played only 26 times for the Blues before being sold on to Leeds United for £1.6 million.

HISTORY MAKING FLIGHT

Chelsea make history on this day in 1957 with their Good Friday match at St, James’s Park Newcastle, becoming the first English team to fly to a league fixture. The plane home would have been a happy one as the team returned with a 2-1 victory, courtesy of goals from Derek Saunders and Les Stubbs.

VICTORY CUP

Way back in 1919 and in the short-lived “Victory Cup” Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 4-0 at Highbury in a Highbury Semi-Final on the way to lifting the trophy later that month. Goals came from Stewart Davidson, Harry Wilding and Joe Smith.

Daily Dose: 20 April 2006

Following Chelsea through the years has always been about highs and lows. Today’s “Daily Dose” remembers some of the many “lows” through the year – all of them occurring on 20 April!

TITLE WILL HAVE TO WAIT

A goalless draw against Arsenal this time last year may have at least meant that we didn’t have to suffer the ignonimity of some no-mark left back smashing home the winner for our visitors from 40 yards with seconds to go, but did mean that we were still two wins away from winning that elusive first title in 50 years. As Pete Bull reports, we’d been fortunate not to fall behind to a Pires shot that rebounded off the crossbar, but gradually imposed ourselves on the game without creating too many chances. Frank Lampard perhaps had the best, his first half shot saved by the legs of Lehman and a second half shot that fizzed just wide of the German ‘keepers upright.

THE NIGHT IT ALL WENT WRONG

Claudio Ranieri arguably sealed his dismissal on this night in 2004 with the bizarre substitutions that came in the Champions League Semi-Final first leg against Monaco. Having heard that Jose Mourinho may have been being “entertained” on Roman’s yacht in the nearby harbour, and seeing the opportunity to win a game poised at one all following the sending off of Monaco’s Zikos, he sent on the disinterested Veron for Groenkjaer, Hasselbaink for Melchiot, and pushed first Scott Parker and then Robert Huth to right back. Monaco coped well and despite being short-handed scored again through Morientes and Nonda to ultimately put the tie beyond our reach.

NARROW DEFEAT (THANKS GUS!)

After a performance full of passion, Chelsea narrowly lose out to Real Zaragoza in the second leg of the European-Cup Winners Cup Semi-Final in 1995. Goals from Sinclair, Stein and Furlong give us hope, but the Spanish side score the goal to see them through 4-3 on aggregate.

CITY GROUND NIGHTMARE

Saturday 20 April 1991. A rainy City Ground, Nottingham is the venue for a “failed” experiment. Manager Bobby Campbell plays Tony Dorigo on the right wing, looking to use his pace to create chances for Dixon & Durie up front. Alas the pressure is all the other way, as Dave Beasant, under protected by a defence including current assistant manager Steve Clarke (playing as an emergency centre-back) picks the ball out of the net seven times in a humiliating 7-0 defeat. 19 year old Craig Burley makes his debut as substitute, coming on for Kerry Dixon after an hour. There is considerable conjecture that this game is also noted for being the first time that “and Leicester” was added to the “We all follow the Chelsea, over land and sea” chant.

ANOTHER THRASHING

20 April 1935 sees Chelsea going down 6-0 at Anfield, to a Liverpool side who would end the season with only 4 points more than the Blues. John Jackson was the unfortunate goal-keeper risking a sore back.

Daily Dose: 21 April 2006

JESPER ON SONG

Jesper Groenkjaer scores one and sets up another to earn him the “Man of the Match” award in a 4-1 Premiership victory over Everton, the last time we played on this day, in 2003. The win, which guarantees the Blues a European Spot for the following season. As well as the Dane, goals came from Eidur, Jimmy and of course Gianfranco – scoring with a peach of a goal, flicking a right foot lob over Everton goalkeeper Richard Wright to seal the victory with moments to go.

TAKE A BROLLY

The unheralded Mike Brolly scored his only goal in Chelsea Blue on this day in 1973. Brolly, a Scottish winger, and youth team product who went on to make only 9 appearances for Chelsea before being sold to Bristol City joined John Hollins on the score sheet in a 2-1 Division One victory over Southampton at the Bridge.

Brolly would also go on to play for Grimsby, Derby County and Scunthorpe before winding down his career in non-league in the late 1980s.

CHIVERS DEBUT

21 April 1979 was the first time that defender Gary Chivers pulled on a Chelsea shirt. The youngster was given a chance in the Chelsea back-line as soon as relegation from Division One was secured, and made his debut in a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough. Gary went on to play 143 time for the Blues before moving on a free transfer to Swansea City. He is now heavily involved with the Chelsea Old Boys FC, who’s website can be found at www.chelseaoldboys.co.uk.

GOONERS THRASHED

Here’s one to pass on to your North London Friends. Friday 21 April 1916 and Chelsea entertain Arsenal in a London Combination Fixture (the first team league that ran throughout the “Great War”). Entertaining it was as a crowd of 26,000 saw 5 goals from Bob Thompson and 4 from Charlie Buchan see the Blues to a 9-0 humiliation of the Gooners.

Daily Dose: 22 April 2006

MARIO’S DEBUT

The last Chelsea side to turn out on the 22nd April was one in which defender Mario Melchiot was finally making his debut in the year 2000. Mario had been signed from Ajax in the previous close season, but an early injury had prevented him from making a first team impact until now. Mario went on to play 149 times for the Blues, scoring 5 goals before his sale to Birmingham City at the conclusion of the 2003/04 season. Mario and his new team mates drew this game 1-1 through a goal from Gus Poyet.  

CUP WINNERS CUP DEFENCE ENDED

Chelsea’s defence of the European Cup Winners Cup came to an end on this night in 1999. Having drawn the first leg 1-1, a narrow 1-0 defeat saw them going out to Real Mallorca 2-1 on aggregate. Chelsea were to have the bulk of possession, but chances for Di Matteo (post), Flo & Wise (missed) were spurned and the Blues were out.  

CHAMPIONS!

1989 and 30,337 are in attendance at the Bridge, as for the second time in six years, victory over Leeds United secures promotion from Division Two for Chelsea and an immediate return to the top flight. John Bumstead, who also scored in the reverse fixture at Elland Road (the only goals he bagged all season), scores the winner, and this coupled with results elsewhere not only sends us up, but secures the Second Division Championship. The fans had been right all season, we were “The Boys in Blue, in Division Two” and they’d correctly forecasted that “We wont be there for long”!

NEWCASTLE WALLOPED

April 22 1957 and Chelsea put six past Newcastle in a Division One fixture at the Bridge. Goals came courtesy of a brace from each of Peter Brabrook and Jim Lewis whilst Les Stubbs and Ron Tindall got the others in a 6-2 Victory. 20,975 fans look on.

Daily Dose: 23 April 2006

NEARLY THERE

3-1 victory over neighbours Fulham (our third victory over them that season) on 23 April 2006 meant that Chelsea were within just one win of the League title. Joe Cole scored a typically beautiful goal to get us off the mark on 17 minutes, but our nerves resurfaced (following a couple of draws at the Bridge) when Collins John equalised for Fulham five minutes before the interval. Half time saw makeshift left back Robert Huth replaced by makeshift left back Damien Duff, with Jiri Jarosik filling in in midfield. It was Damien who got the move underway that would see us re-take the lead just past the hour mark; his pass to Robben who turned the ball across the face of goal for the onrushing Lampard. Relief swept through the Bridge as our title charge got back on track, and it was reflected in the confident play that brought a third goal from Eidur.

MARCEL’S LOOSE ELBOW

Two years ago today and UEFA find Marcel Desailly guilty of an elbow on Fernando Morientes in the Champions League Semi Final. His ban is initially three games, but reduced to two on later appeal and means that he will miss the Semi Final Second Leg against Monaco.

SEMI FINAL DEFEAT (AGAIN!)

1966 and for the second season in a row the Blues are in FA Cup Semi Final action at Villa Park. Just as was the case a year previously, Chelsea go down by two goals to nil, this time Sheffield Wednesday the victors.

PERRY REMEMBERS – CROSS CHANNEL TROPHY

Dan’s Daily Dose is indebted for the following reminder of good times from correspondent Perry Gascoigne: I know that the 23 April is significant for us winning our first Championship but it is also significant for my first European away game with Chelsea. That was the day that we won the prestigious (?) Cross Channel Trophy by beating Le Harve on away goals. If my memory serves me right it was in 1993 and a Frank Sinclair header sealed the win. Boy that was a good day.

CHAMPIONS!!!

51,421 are at the Bridge on this day in 1955 to witness a 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday which guaranteed the clubs first title success. Goals from Peter Sillett, and two from Eric Parsons ensuring a champagne celebration at the Bridge.

Scott Cheshire recalls *”Sixteen heroes had borne the brunt of the season. Bill Robertson and Charlie Thomson shared the goalkeeping duties. John Harris, now reaching the end of his long and distinguished career here, occupied the full back positions with Peter Sillett and Stan Willemse. Stan Wicks, from Reading, took over Ron Greenwood’s place at centre-half at Christmas, and Ken Armstrong and Derek Saunders were wonderfully consistent wing halves.

Roy Bentley led the forward line with his usual devastating effect and inside right Johnny McNichol scored many important goals. Les Stubbs and O’Connell the remarkable amateur from Bishops Auckland with seven goals from 10 games shared the inside-left position. Eric Parsons, affectionately known as “The Rabbit”, had his best ever season on the right wing where his speed contrasted with the more intricate skills of Frank Blunstone, or Jim Lewis, another amateur, on the left”

TOTTENHAM WIN AT THE BRIDGE???

A rare victory for Spurs at Stamford Bridge as they beat Wolves 1-0 to win the 1921 FA Cup Final in front of a crowd of 72,805

* “Chelsea Football Club – The Full Statistical Story 1905-1988” by Scott Cheshire and Ron Hockings. ISBN 0-9511640-1-5

Daily Dose: 24 April 2006  

BUT FIRST THE GOOD NEWS

It was a year ago today that John Terry became PFA player of the year, pushing team mate Frank Lampard into Second Place. JT was the first defender to win the award since Paul McGrath (12 years previously) and became the first Chelsea player ever to take the title, as voted for by his fellow professionals. Petr Cech, Arjen Robben, and Shaun Wright-Phillips (then at Man City) joined JT in the PFA Premiership team of the season.

RARE LOSS AT OLD TRAFFORD

Chelsea’s last game on this date came on Easter Monday, 2000 when despite goals from Dan Petrescu and Gianfranco Zola, the Blues suffered a rare 3-2 reverse to Manchester United in a Premiership fixture. Ed De Goey will be particularly unhappy to be reminded of this game as his mistakes gifted United their first two goals.

THRASHED AT TURF MOOR

A rare goal from Chopper Harris (one of only 14 in his 19 seasons in the Chelsea first team) and another from the late Peter Houseman were not enough to gain any satisfaction in a 6-2 Division One defeat at Burnley on this day in 1965.

VILLA WIN CUP AT STAMFORD BRIDGE

Aston Villa win the first of three FA Cup Finals to be held at the Bridge with an extra-time goal from Kirton securing the 1920 Trophy in a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town. A crowd of 50,018 watched on.

KHAKI CUP FINAL

In the “Khaki Cup Final” of 1914 (so called because of the number of World War I serviceman in the crowd of 49,557) Chelsea go down 3-0 to Sheffield United. This was the first time that Chelsea reached a Final and the defeat ensured that it would take another 41 years for the first significant silverware to grace the Chelsea Trophy Cabinet.

Daily Dose: 25 April 2006

SAMSUNG BLUE

Monday 25 April 2006 and after much speculation, Samsung Electronics and Chelsea announce a £50 million kit sponsorship deal – said at the time to be the largest in English football: Samsung join the following role of honour of CFC sponsors (email me if I’ve missed any!)

  • Emirates
  • Airlines
  • Autoglass
  • Coors
  • Commodore (sometimes with “Commodore” on the shirts, sometimes with “Amiga”)
  • Bai Lin Tea (“the weight conscious cuppa”)
  • Grange Farms
  • Gulf Air

DEFEAT IN GEORDIE LAND

The last Chelsea side to play a game on this day were to come home from St. James’s Park empty handed following a 2-1 Premier League defeat by Newcastle in 2004. Things could (should) have been different if Big JT’s last minute effort hadn’t crashed against the post but it wasn’t to be Chelsea’s day. In a measure of his declining influence Marcel Desailly, who’d been given a torrid time by Shearer and Amoebi was substituted in place of Shearers “friend” Robert Huth, who proceeded to introduce his studs to the Geordie Captains knackers (but escaped a later disciplinary hearing without a ban)! Joe Cole had given Chelsea the lead before an equaliser from Amoebi and a 35 yarder from Shearer had handed the game to our opponents.

SCOUSERS STUFFED BY CLARKEY

1998 and a sell out crowd of over 36,000 witness an impressive 4-1 victory over Liverpool in a Premier League game at the Bridge. Current Assistant Manager Steve Clarke with a rare goal scores the first, Mark Hughes adds two more and Tore Andre Flo rounds off a resounding victory.

SMALL CROWD FOR SIGNIFICANT WIN

Way back when now, and a crowd of only 7,000 is in attendance at Barnsley’s Oakwell for a Division Two fixture in 1912. The Blues come away with both points, goals from Bob Whittingham and Charlie Freeman securing a 2-0 Victory as the visitors continue their push for Promotion.

Daily Dose: 26 April 2006

FOCUS TURNS TO EUROPE

With Arsenal failing to lose their game on the preivous day a year ago, our wait for the title would go on just a little longer. In the meantime, our European adventure was gearing up for it’s next stage and the visit of Liverpool for the Semi Final first leg the next day. In the pre-match press Conference, Jose stated that he saw this very much as a competition over 180 minutes and urged his players not to panic should they not win the first leg.

FULHAM DRAW

“An absolutely dire performance” wrote Graham Parley in his match report for CFCnet following our most recent match on this day, 2003’s 1-1 Premiership draw with neighbours Fulham. Gianfranco scored our goal (with a little help from Fulham’s Alain Goma) from a free kick, with Louis Boa Morte scoring an equaliser for the Cottagers.

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Scott Parker picked up the PFA “Players Young Player of the Year” award on this night two years ago. The award is arguably based more on his performances in a Charlton shirt following an inconsistent start to his Stamford Bridge Career. It is the first time in Chelsea’s history that a current player had picked up one of these awards.

YOUTH CUP FINAL

Chelsea’s youth team draw 1-1 in the first leg of their first FA Youth Cup final on this day in 1960. Bert Murray scores Chelsea’s goal.

WAR CUP LIFTED

1919 and Chelsea win the London Victory War Cup with a 3-0 victory over Fulham at Highbury, Harry Wilding (2) & Jock Rutherford scoring the goals.

FIRST EVER SIGNING

The newly founded blues make their first signing Bob Roberts, a centre-forward who would later convert to centre back, and inside-forward James Robertson coming from Small Heath for a combined fee of £150 on this day in 1905