While the last five years haven’t been as fruitful as the previous five in terms of hardware for Chelsea, any supporter that lived through the 90s and before knows that younger fans of the club are spoiled.
But that’s not to say these recent years haven’t yielded their fair share of honours (such as that one competition won in Munich) and unforgettable matches. This is true even more so for those that bet on Chelsea football, as any match can become one of your all-time favourites if you have a nice wager on it.
So what are the very best Chelsea games of the past five years? After pruning down a long list of possible candidates, below we have come up with our top five matches (listed chronologically).
March 14, 2012: Chelsea 4-1 Napoli
After going down 3-1 against Napoli in the first-leg of the Round of 16, Chelsea needed a miracle performance at Stamford Bridge to keep their 2012 Champions League title dreams alive. That’s of course exactly what they got, getting a goal back from Drogba in the 28th and then an aggregate-equaliser from Terry shortly after the restart.
Napoli would fend off the surge momentarily with a goal minutes later, but a Lampard penalty make ensured extra time. In the 110th, Drogba slotted a pass across the box to a wide open Branislav Ivanovic, who rammed the ball home for the exclamation on the remarkable comeback.
April 24, 2012: Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea
In 2009, Chelsea were (very) controversially eliminated by Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final on the away goals rule. But just three years later, they would get to exact revenge against the Catalans in the 2012 semis.
Despite being down 2-1 on aggregate and also down a man due to John Terry’s dismissal in the 37th, underdog Chelsea would equalise just before the half. A draw would send the Blues through to the Final, and the second half was very much just a parking of the bus by the entire Chelsea squad. Somehow they survived the defending-champs onslaught, and Fernando Torres would score on a breakaway to officially book the trip to Munich.
May 19, 2012: Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (3-4 on penalties)
After knocking off the world’s number one-ranked club, Chelsea was tasked with going into Bayern Munich’s home arena for the 2011-12 Champions League Final. Channelling their strong defensive performance from the semi, CFC held tough the first 83 minutes of the game until Bayern’s Muller would finally break the 0-0 draw.
But minutes later Didier Drogba would remind us all why he was one of the most clutch players in the world, tying the match on a header. In extra time, Petr Cech would issue a similar reminder by stopping an Arjen Robben PK, securing Chelsea a chance to win in penalties. Both leaders would then step up again, with Cech saving another penalty and Drogba hitting the winning PK to claim Chelsea their first European championship in his very last match with the club.
May 15, 2013: Benfica 1-2 Chelsea
While it might not have been the exact European trophy supporters had dreamt of winning, 2013’s run to the Europa League title is no less an occasion to celebrate and remember fondly. Standing in Chelsea’s way of lifting the UEFA Cup and becoming the fourth club to win all three major European club titles was Benfica, the club they beat in the quarters of the previous season’s Champions League.
Missing Eden Hazard and John Terry due to injury, the match was 1-1 heading into the final minutes despite the run of play being with the Portuguese for much of the match. With extra time looking imminent, Ivanovic decided that was unnecessary, scoring off a corner late in stoppage.
May 2, 2016: Chelsea 2-2 Spurs
Normally draws don’t end up on lists like these, but the one against Spurs in May 2016 was just as good as a win in our book for matters of pure schadenfreude. Needing a win to keep their slim Premier League title hopes alive, Spurs started strong with a 2-0 halftime lead at Stamford Bridge.
But the match would devolve into a melee (literally) from there, complete with eye gouges, brutal tackles, and eight yellow cards in the second half alone (part of nine total for Spurs). There were of course two super goals, too: a left-footed volley from Cahill and then an arching upper-90 masterpiece from Eden Hazard that crushed the spirit of their London rivals and raised those of an entire city just three hours up the M1.