Inside Blue Tue 16 Jan 2018
Gianfranco Zola scored an unforgettable goal to settle an FA Cup tie with Norwich City at the second attempt in 2002, but do you remember these other third-round replay heroes?
While a 0-0 draw with the Canaries was far from ideal for Claudio Ranieri's men, it gave the Italian maestro centre stage to strike with a jaw-dropping effort that is still talked about today.
His mid-air heel flick was simply out of this world, helping us to a 4-0 win and a place in the next round, but Zola is far from the only man to steal the show for the Blues in an FA Cup third-round replay.
Chelsea's last replay at this stage of the competition was in 2009, when Southend United surprisingly held us to a 1-1 draw at the Bridge. However, at a foggy Roots Hall we eventually asserted our dominance despite falling behind early and Kalou was the orchestrator, scoring what proved to be the winner and having a hand in two more goals as we ran out 4-1 winners. We went on to lift the FA Cup that year by beating Everton in the final.
Chelsea faced Newcastle United in the third round of the FA Cup in 1996, when the Magpies were at the peak of their powers and challenging for the Premier League title. Glenn Hoddle's men went toe-to-toe with them over two matches, both of which finished all square, which meant penalties were needed to settle the tie. Newcastle missed their first and Kevin Hitchcock saved the second, which allowed Newton to step up and convert the decisive spot-kick.
If Eden Hazard is the hero against Norwich, he won't be the first Blue with that surname to save the day in an FA Cup third-round replay. That honour went to Micky, whose extra-time penalty saw off Aston Villa at the second attempt. A special mention, too, for David Speedie and Gordon Durie, whose late goals in either game ensured Hazard had the opportunity to be the hero.
Wigan Athletic lifted the FA Cup five years ago, but back in 1985 they had been in the Football League for less than a decade and were languishing in the third tier. Even so, they defied the odds to hold Chelsea to a draw in the third round, but they had no answer to the brilliance of Dixon in the return leg, as he netted four times in a 5-0 victory for the Blues.
Another Third Division side, Chester, went even closer to shocking the Blues in 1952. We overcame a 2-0 deficit at the Bridge to earn a replay at Sealand Road and extra time was needed after the two sides were locked at 1-1. Going into the final 10 minutes, an own goal was followed by a clever lob by Smith, who finished only one goal behind top scorer Roy Bentley that season. It was a vital strike by the Blues No9, as Chester pulled one back late on. However, our bid for FA Cup glory fell short once again as we lost to Arsenal in the semi-final.
This season we are set to play Arsenal five times, just as we did in the 1946/47 campaign, when our FA Cup third-round tie required two replays to separate the sides. Our star centre-forward at the time, Lawton, had netted a late equaliser in the first replay to ensure the sides did it all again at a neutral venue, set as White Hart Lane, and he was the hero once again with a match-winning brace in a 2-0 victory, including the header pictured above.