Chelsea’s past European finals as Blues look to be in seventh heaven

·4 min read

Chelsea will contest their seventh major European final in Saturday’s Champions League showdown with Manchester City.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the Blues’ past top European showpiece appearances.

1971 Cup Winners’ Cup: Chelsea 2 Real Madrid 1 (replay)

Soccer – Chelsea FC – Peter Osgood
Peter Osgood helped Chelsea to their first major European title (PA)

Chelsea’s 1970 FA Cup winners went on to European glory the following year, battling all the way to a stunning victory over giants Real Madrid – but only after two bites at the cherry. In the first meeting, Peter Osgood put the Blues into a second-half lead that they almost held, only for Ignacio Zoco to level the scores on the stroke of full-time. Extra time came and went without score, leading to that replay. So two days later the teams slugged it out again in Piraeus, with John Dempsey and Osgood striking twice in six first-half minutes to put the Blues in control. Sebastian Fleitas clawed a goal back for Real, but this time Chelsea held out.

1998 Cup Winners’ Cup: Chelsea 1 Stuttgart 0

Chelsea Zola/Vialli celeb
Gianfranco Zola, left, and Gianluca Vialli, right, lift the Cup Winners’ Cup (Adam Butler/PA)

Super sub Gianfranco Zola climbed off the bench and rifled home with almost his first touch to seal Chelsea’s second European crown. Gianluca Vialli replaced Ruud Gullit as Blues boss midway through the campaign, and the Italian steered the Stamford Bridge men all the way courtesy of his compatriot Zola’s fine finish.

2008 Champions League final: Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1 (aet), United won 6-5 on penalties

After a season of great promise, Chelsea wound up empty handed in the toughest fashion. Losing the League Cup final to rivals Tottenham stung, before United twisted the knife by pipping the Blues to the Premier League title by just two points. Avram Grant’s men had everything on the line in Moscow against United then, but that revenge mission ultimately fell flat. Cristiano Ronaldo put the Red Devils ahead, before Frank Lampard levelled. John Terry and Nicolas Anelka fluffed their lines in the shootout however, handing United the trophy.

2012 Champions League final: Bayern Munich 1 Chelsea 1 (aet), Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties

Roman Abramovich’s ultimate mission on buying Chelsea was to conquer Europe. The 2008 final defeat would always stick in the craw until the Champions League was in the bag. But the Blues had to do it in the hardest way, taking on Bayern in their own back yard. Thomas Muller put the hosts ahead in the closing stages, only for Didier Drogba to head home a last-gasp equaliser. Drogba was left to swipe the silverware by firing in the winning penalty and sparking jubilant celebrations.

2013 Europa League: Benfica 1 Chelsea 2

Rafael Benitez ensured his interim tenure ended on a high as the Blues inched past Benfica thanks to Branislav Ivanovic’s stoppage-time winner. Fernando Torres had put Chelsea ahead on the hour and seemingly into control, only for Oscar Cardozo to level from the penalty spot soon after. Ivanovic popped up right at the last to steal the glory however, putting a positive seal on another season of upheaval.

2019 Europa League: Chelsea 4 Arsenal 1

Eden Hazard waved goodbye to Chelsea in stunning style, with a two-goal salvo to sink London rivals Arsenal in Baku. A cagey first half gave way to a Hazard masterclass after the interval, with the Belgium playmaker showing exactly why Real Madrid would pay north of £150million later that summer to prise him away from Stamford Bridge. Olivier Giroud netted against his old club with Pedro on target too, with Alex Iwobi’s effort merely a consolation for the gutted Gunners.