Division One - 28 August 1937
Chelsea had demonstrated some improvement in recent seasons but with so much talent lured to the Bridge it was disappointing they so rarely all seemed to pull in the same direction at the same time. Few expected the Pensioners to create make such a historic statement on the opening day of the 1937/38 season at home to a decent Liverpool side.
In truth it all came together for the hosts and the game was rarely even a contest. Pacy George Mills hit the first goal on four minutes and Billy Mitchell added a stunning, dipping second from distance soon after.
Briefly in the game, Liverpool hit back. Their 55-goal signing from Mansfield Town, Ted Harston, was set up by Matt Busby and reduced the deficit just inside the first quarter of an hour. He might have netted another but for the brilliance of Pensioners’ goalie Vic Woodley. Instead, with 10 minutes of the opening half remaining, the deadly Mills burst free again and made it 3-1.
As soon as the second half started Chelsea tore a patched-up Liverpool defence to ribbons and Mills completed his hat-trick after one minute. Six minutes later Jimmy Argue made it five and within moments Harry Burgess completed Chelsea’s biggest ever opening-day victory. Job done, as the Guardian noted, Knighton’s side ‘took matters with an unmerciful unconcern in the last half-hour.’
Disappointingly, no Chelsea player has yet been able to emulate Mills’ hat-trick against the Anfield club.