Coca Cola Cup Final - 29th March 1998
Having finally ended a 27-year wait for a major trophy the team had the confidence and belief that they go on to win more. So possibly it was not much of a surprise that the wait this time was one of just ten months.
By coincidence our opponents in the 1998 League Cup Final were Middlesbrough, the team beaten in the previous year’s FA Cup, and the Chelsea faithful reminded their northern counterparts of this by chanting, ‘We’re going to score in a minute,’ as the teams entered the stadium.
This Middlesbrough team, though, was a different proposition to the one that had flopped a year ago. They were closing in on promotion and were far more obdurate adversaries.
It took precisely 94 more minutes this time to open the scoring, Frank Sinclair bursting forward, feeding Dennis Wise and continuing his run to head home Wise’s cross. Just as Eddie Newton had done, Sinclair had earned redemption for conceding a penalty in the 1994 FA Cup Final by scoring a crucial cup final goal of his own.
Roberto Di Matteo added another final goal to his collection in the second period of extra time and Middlesbrough now looked a well beaten team.
As the game wound down to its now inevitable conclusion the Chelsea fans were able to ask, ‘Can we play you every year?’