Sheffield Wednesday 4 Chelsea 4 – League Cup (30 January 1985)
The final results might not show it, but this 1985 League Cup quarter-final draw was one of the most exciting matches of the decade for the Blues. Number seven in our countdown is Chelsea’s epic comeback vs. Sheffield Wednesday.
For many Chelsea supporters, this second match – in the three-part epic vs. Sheffield Wednesday – is a timeless classic that every fan should know. It defined an era and reinforced one of the club’s biggest rivalries at the time.
Following a 1-1 draw in London just days earlier, Chelsea supporters traveled to HillsboroughStadium, ready to brave the cold and secure a win. Unfortunately, Chelsea did not get off to a strong start. The Owls were up 3-0 at half-time, and our players were frustrated. During the interval, while the team devised ways to gain momentum, the visiting Blues fans impressed the team by singing loudly, willing them to stay defiant.
The high spirits in the stands helped get the team back in the game. Just 11 seconds after coming on as a substitute at the start of the second half, Paul Canoville guided in the first goal for the Blues. Kerry Dixon squeezed in another at the 64th minute, fueling the crowd even more. The equalizer, at 76 minutes, was a beautiful shot by winger Mickey Thomas at the top of the net from a distance, thrilling fans and fellow team-mates.
After 85 minutes, Canoville tapped in another, nearly running over the opposing goalkeeper and taking the team to 3-4. Victory seemed so close, but it would actually be days away. In the final seconds of regular time, Sheffield Wednesday player Mel Sterland was tripped and scored via a penalty against the Blues, making the score 4-4. With both teams exhausted, the action-packed game ended in a draw. It was a disappointing finish for both sides, but certainly a comeback to remember.
“If you talk to the supporters from that era, that 4-4 always gets mentioned. It was amazing,” confirmed our former midfielder Nigel Spackman. The draw forced a second replay in London days later, which resulted in a 2-1 win for the Blues. It was a hard-fought win, but a sweet celebration when it finally happened.
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