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Home, sweet home

Chelsea are one away from reaching 1,000 Premier League goals scored at Stamford Bridge. We look back at the players who brought up the other major milestones in that tally.

Since the English top flight was rebranded in 1992, only two teams have taken their home goals tally into double figures: Manchester United and Arsenal.

The Red Devils lead the way with 1,079 goals, with the Gunners 51 behind, and then come the Blues on 999, followed by Liverpool on 983.

Our maiden strike at home in the Premier League also happened to be our first in the new competition, as striker Mick Harford leathered an unstoppable effort past Jon Hallworth in a 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic.

Since then Blues fans have seen the back of the opposition net rippled a further 998 times in Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge – and here are the men responsible for bringing up each century in the competition.

Our first 100 goals took almost three-and-a-half years to arrive, with the Blues often languishing in the bottom half of the table, and the century was brought up in a manner which indicated a changing of the times in west London. Ruud Gullit, Dennis Wise and Dan Petrescu were all involved, the latter crossing for John Spencer to sweep home a volley against Nottingham Forest in the first month of 1996.

Our 200th Premier League home goal was netted by Tore Andre Flo, the 90th minute clincher in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in December 1998. Most significantly, however, was the fact this victory took us to the top of the league for the first time since 1989, back in the days of Kevin Wilson, David Lee and Dave Beasant; now we had the likes of Gianluca Vialli, Robbie Di Matteo and Gianfranco Zola.

The latter brought up goal number 300, finishing off a fine team move to put us in front against Ipswich Town in 2001, although our 2-1 win is perhaps better remembered for the goal which followed from Sam Dalla Bona in the 90th minute as the young midfielder enthusiastically celebrated with the supporters.

The best of the milestone goals may well be the strike from Eidur Gudjohnsen which set us on the way to a 2-1 win over Fulham in March 2004. Receiving a pass 35 yards from goal, the Icelander was given far too much time and space to turn and line up a left-footed strike which arrowed into the top corner.

Both our 500th and 600th goals at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League were scored by Didier Drogba, who brought up the half century in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in September 2006 before netting two sensational efforts on the opening day of the 2009/10 season against Hull City.

That Double-winning campaign saw the Blues net 68 times in the league in front of our own fans, which is why the next century of goals took less than two years to arrive. This time it was courtesy of a beautiful goal from Frank Lampard against his old club West Ham, as he put the finishing touch on Ashley Cole’s low cross at the end of a fine move. You’ll probably remember our second goal in that 3-0 win in April 2011 rather better, as Fernando Torres opened his account for Chelsea after his January move from Liverpool.

The Spaniard was responsible for goal number 800, which came in October 2013 at the end of a pulsating game against Manchester City. The two sides looked set share the spoils in a 1-1 draw when a comical defensive mix-up left Joe Hart stranded, allowing Torres the simplest of finishes to score the winner.

Bringing us up to date is a man who surely must be one of the leading contenders to score our 1,000th. Eden Hazard helped get Antonio Conte’s Chelsea reign off to a flying start against West Ham United on the opening day of our 2016/17 Premier League title-winning campaign, converting a penalty to take our home goal tally in the competition to 900.

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