Chelsea 4 Roma 1 – Inter Cities Fairs Cup, September 22nd 1966
Roma 0 Chelsea 0 – Inter Cities Fairs Cup, October 6th 1966
European nights have always been special at Stamford Bridge but on occasion they have been memorable for more than the football.
One such game was the Fairs Cup tie against Roma which came to be known as ‘The Battle of the Bridge.’
The Italian side came to intimidate, bully and terrorise. But a team containing the likes of Harris, McCreadie, Venables, Graham and Osgood could not be cowed.
McCreadie was sent off before the break for punching Carponetti while Venables was the victim of a crude challenge by Barison. Venables had his revenge after being treated by engineering a brilliant free kick for the first of his three goals that night. George Graham also scored but even a 4-1 lead could not be considered to have made the second leg safe.
The atmosphere for the game in Rome was ferocious on and off the pitch. The Chelsea players performed with great composure and refused to be provoked by the Italians’ thuggery. A stalwart defensive performance saw the game end goalless but the drama did not end there.
Several of our players were attacked by their opponents and even outside the ground they were threatened by home supporters. Nearly every window on the team coach was smashed by bricks and bottles as the players hid under their seats and prayed that no-one suffered serious injury. Thankfully none did.