TEAM HISTORY - 2010s
Champions of Europe
Chelsea began the new decade by winning the league and FA Cup Double for the first time, however the season that followed, 2010/11, was to prove to be the first without silverware or major final appearances since 2003/04 and was statistically the worst set of results since the pre-Abramovich era. Carlo Ancelotti still managed to steer his squad to a second-place league finish - for only the fourth time in our club's top-flight history - and our goals-for tally was bettered only three times in the previous 12 seasons - but there was a weak showing against Manchester United in the quarter-final of the Champions League and with the overall outcome falling below expectation, the Italian was dismissed after the final game of the campaign.
John Terry and Frank Lampard both reached 500 games for Chelsea in 2010/11.
Andre Villas-Boas was the man chosen to take over following an extremely successful year at Porto in his native Portugal. At 33 years of age when appointed, he was a rising star of football management and returned to Stamford Bridge where he worked as opposition scout under Jose Mourinho.
However his attempts to remodel the team's playing style came at the expense of results and with just a 48 per cent win record by the first week of March 2012, plus a three-point gap to fourth place in the Premier League and a big first-leg deficit against Napoli in the Champions League, it was decided results and performances of the team had not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.
Roberto Di Matteo, assistant to Villas-Boas having returned to club where he had been so successful as a player in the late 1990s, was appointed first team coach on an interim basis until the end of the season and won his first game in charge, an FA Cup replay at Birmingham.
Soon after came one of the great European nights at Stamford Bridge as the 3-1 defeat in Naples was overturned. Champions League success continued with wins over Benfica and then European champions Barcelona with a backs-to-the-wall display of incredible fortitude and defensive quality in Spain when reduced to 10 men in the first half.
The FA Cup was duly won against Liverpool at Wembley (how Di Matteo loves that competition!) and although the eventual league finish of sixth left the club facing no Champions League football for the first time in the Abramovich era, all was well that ended well when the final game of the season finished with the lifting of the European Cup for the first time in our history, ensuring Champions League participation again.
Didier Drogba headed a late equaliser against Bayern Munich and then scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out - the perfect ending to his glorious Chelsea career. In his eight seasons he became the club's fourth highest scorer with 157 goals, nine of them in nine cup finals - truly the man for the big occasion.
Having enjoyed a unique month of achievement for Chelsea, Di Matteo was appointed manager on a permanent basis.