In a new section for CFCnet and the fact there has been no game for The Blues this weekend, we’ve taken the opportunity to have a look back at a classic match in a new regular feature.
We take you back to a Conservative ruled Britain under the watchful eye of Margaret Thatcher and a year that also saw the birth of Arsenal player Aaron Ramsey and the death of legendary children’s author Roald Dahl. Madonna released her hit single ‘vogue’ and New Order also released their football anthem ‘world in motion’.
In football, Chelsea had a great season ending up finishing in 5th place in The First Division (Premier League), after being promoted from Division Two the season before. Liverpool won the league, Aston Villa came second and an Alex Ferguson managed Manchester United won the FA Cup. Current Premier League side Burnley finished 16th place in the old Division 4, showing how far they’ve come since then.
David Platt, Matt Le Tissier and John Barnes were the star performers that year and Gary Lineker was the top scorer with 24 goals. Meanwhile, Chris Waddle joined Marseille from Spurs for £4.5 million and in November Chelsea were actually top of the league after thumping Millwall 4-0!
An 18-year-old Dwight Yorke joined Aston Villa, Andy Townsend joined Chelsea from Norwich City for £1.5 million and Erland Johnsen signed for only £300k!
Internationally, England had their best run in a World Cup since winning it in 1966 and ended up losing to West Germany on penalties (I know right, England losing on penalties, surely not?). It was a hugely talented England team and I’m sure the players still rue the only real chance we’ve had to win the World Cup again so far.
On the 15th of December that year Chelsea travelled to Derby being serious title contenders and it was also a game that was to be the last match for Peter Nicholas, who joined Watford shortly after.
In front of over 15,000 supporters, both Derby and Chelsea continued to produce one of the most open and exciting end to end football matches ever witnessed by many fans in a game that was to be eventful and emphatic.
Chelsea lined up with big Dave Beasant in goal, an amazing amount of defenders including Graeme Le Saux, Jason Cundy, Tony Dorigo, Ken Monkou, Gareth Hall, and David Lee. In front of them they had the menace that is Dennis Wise, alongside an attacking three of Kerry Dixon, Gordon Durie and Graham Stuart.
It was Chelsea who took the lead early on when Gordon Durie coasted past two defenders down the right hand side and pinged in a beautiful cross to an unmarked Kerry Dixon, who tapped in from inside the 6 yard box and followed up with his both hands in the air celebration.
Derby had a lot of spirit and determination too and continued to press back at Chelsea for the equaliser. It wasn’t long before Dean Sanders headed in from a cross from the left after a couple of consecutive Derby corners. This is all inside the first 15 minutes.
Three minutes until half time Chelsea responded after determination out on the right from Dennis Wise saw a left footed cross scrambled to the feet of David Lee, who in the style of Lionel Messi (yes I DID just compare David Lee to Lionel Messi!), flicked the ball over the defender and got a shot on goal, which was then parried in to the path of super goal poacher Dixon to tap in another from 6 yards out to give The Blues the lead once more.
In the second half Chelsea continued on top and were pressing so high up the pitch very Barcelona-esque. It was this tactic that got their third goal when they teamed up and pressed the Derby defence, where they lost the ball in error and it ended up in another easy tap in for Gordon Durie, this time after a square pass from Gareth Hall.
Trevor Hebberd then scrambled another goal back for Derby after Chelsea failed to clear a cross 17 minutes in to the second half and then got another in quick succession after more poor defending from Chelsea. Dean Saunders was left unmarked in the middle to head home again to make it 3-3. There were truly a lot of unforced errors in this match, but that cannot take anything away from the pace and abilities involved in both sides attacks.
It’s worth noting after yesterdays incident at Aston Villa, some Derby fans came on to the pitch celebrating this goal, an occurrence that was frequent and normal in those days.
Derby then had the momentum, belief and their noisy support onside and they duly took the lead for the first time this game after a neat finish from close range from Gary Mickelwhite and the stadium erupted.
The tackles continued to fly in and every ball fought hard for as Derby continued to push forward and look for more goals. It was this that allowed Chelsea to counter attack with a powerful run with the ball from Graham Stuart, who switched it over the to the right hand side to find an equally quick Gordon Durie pounding down the touchline to find another delightful cross in to the towering presence of Dennis Wise, who rose to head home from 6 yards out. OK so he didn’t really jump and was totally unmarked, but it was still a headed goal from Wise!
Derby still fancied it though and with the amount of errors and poor defending on display from both sides, you wouldn’t blame them. However, it was another counter attack that allowed Chelsea to take the lead once again. A speedy run out of the back down the left from Durie, who then cut inside the full back to hit a shot past the stranded and angry Peter Shilton the Derby stopper, a goal that almost mirrored a typical Eden Hazard goal in today’s team.
Tony Dorigo then stormed out of the back to run the length of the pitch to lay it off to the supporting Graham Stuart, who beat his man to pull it back to a very youthful looking Graeme Le Saux, who applied a great finish to a goal that was started by a left back and finished by one! Chelsea took a 6-4 lead, incredible!
This proved to be the last kick of the game as Chelsea came out winners in this truly amazing game of football in truly different times in football.
It is worth mentioning that the current Talksport host and Chelsea TV presenter Jason Cundy, had a delightfully solid performance this match and that none of the defensive errors were down to him!
Simon Phillips – News Editor – @cfcneteditor