Once again we look back to important or interesting events on this day in Chelsea’s history:
DERBY DAY VICTORY
The most recent fixture on this date was 1999’s 1-0 defeat over neighbours Charlton Athletic in front of 20,046 at the Valley. Bobby Di Matteo got the decisive goal for Chelsea on the way to our best ever finish (thus far) in the Premiership era. The Blues went on to finish 3rd – 4 points behind eventual champions Manchester United.
HOW WE USED TO LIVE
In a sobering reminder of how things used to be, 4 April 1979 sees only 10,682 attracted to the second division match between Chelsea & Derby County at the Bridge, during Danny Blanchflower’s short time in charge of the Blues. Tommy “Lungs” Langley scored the goal for Chelsea in a 1-1 draw, but apart from young captain Butch Wilkins and the evergreen Chopper Harris, the playing talent consisted of the more prosaic talents of players like Graham Wilkins, David Stride, Mickey Nutton and Lee Frost.
SEMI FINAL AT THE BRIDGE
Today’s date in 1978 sees the most recent FA Cup Semi Final to be staged at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal comfortably beat Leyton Orient 3-0 but are (tragically!) beaten by Ipswich in the final.
WAR CUP CLASH
Back to 1942 now and a Group 4 “War Cup” match sees the Blues make the short trip to Selhurst Park. Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on 4 April. Future England Manager Walter Winterbottom, playing as an Amateur, guested for Chelsea in this game, which was won by 2 goals from Albert Tennant after the opener from Jackie Smith. Winterbottom would go on to play 26 times for the Blues as the war continued.
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