Blog

Chelsea's scorers in major European finals

As the Blues prepare to take on Arsenal with the Europa League trophy at stake, we look back at all the players who have found the back of the net in major European finals for the club.

Wednesday night's Europa League final will be the sixth time we have contested the final of a UEFA competition, and four of the previous five have ended in victory for west London's finest.

As we look to improve that record to five from six, with new names added to our list of European heroes, here are the eight players who have already written their own chapter in the club's continental history by scoring on the big stage.

After winning the FA Cup in 1970, we embarked on a campaign in the now-defunct Cup Winners' Cup the following season and Dave Sexton's men made it all the way to the final in Athens, where we met the mighty Real Madrid.

A gritty Chelsea display was capped by a goal from Peter Osgood, who reacted quickest when centre-back Gregorio Benito failed to deal with Johnny Boyle's cross to net with a low, left-footed shot, but a late equaliser meant we had to do it all again 48 hours in a replay.

It was here that an unlikely hero was crowned. Real’s defence would hardly have been fearing the worst when John Dempsey’s header from a Cooke corner somehow rebounded back to him, but the centre-half rifled home the sweetest of volleys to give us the lead.

Ossie added another soon after with a well-struck goal from the edge of the box, and we held on for a 2-1 win which meant Chelsea were no longer just the Kings of the King’s Road, but Cup Kings of the Continent.


It would be another 27 years before we were in another European final, when Gianluca Vialli led us to Stockholm in search of our second Cup Winners' Cup trophy, and this time VfB Stuttgart awaited us in the final.

The match itself was a bit of a damp squib, and one sensed it needed a sprinkling of magic to settle – who better to provide such a moment than Gianfranco Zola, who had been named among the substitutes after only just recovering from a torn hamstring in time to make the matchday squad.

The little Sardinian could have been forgiven for feeling a little cheesed off at starting the game on the bench, but when he stepped on the field in the 71st minute, all that anger came out within 20 seconds of his arrival as he lashed home an incredible winner to hand the Blues just our second continental trophy.


A decade later, life had changed significantly at Stamford Bridge – we were now regular diners at Europe's top table, and it was the Champions League we were competing for in Moscow when we met Manchester United in the first all-English final of Europe's premier club competition.

After the Red Devils took the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo, we levelled on the stroke of half-time when a Michael Essien shot was deflected into the path of Frank Lampard and, with Edwin Van der Sar committed, the Englishman slotted home his 20th of the season.

Sadly it wasn't enough; Didier Drogba hit the post in the second half and Lampard stuck the bar in extra-time, and we lost out in a penalty shoot-out to suffer heartbreak on the biggest stage in club football.

It looked to be a similar story in Munich four years later, when Roberto Di Matteo's miracle men, after the most incredible run to the final, were trailing late on to Bayern on their home turf.

All looked lost, but then Fernando Torres was thrown on and quickly won a corner – our first of the game – that Juan Mata stepped up to take. The delivery was perfect, straight onto the head of Drogba who met it crisply and sent the ball rocketing into the top corner of the net via Manuel Neuer's palm.

Of course, you don't need us to tell you how that one ended, but let's enjoy that moment once again. Petr Cech superbly denied Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the penalty shoot-out, giving Drogba the chance to win it. Was there ever any doubt? Chelsea were champions of Europe for the first time!

Almost a year to the day on from that incredible night, more history was made – although perhaps not in the manner we would have wanted as Champions League group-stage elimination had dropped us into the Europa League knockout phase, and we had made it all the way to the final of UEFA's secondary competition.

No club had ever simultaneously held both the Europa League and Champions League, but the final against Benfica in Amsterdam gave us the opportunity to do just that.

Torres, who finished as the competition's third highest scorer, netted our first as he showed great pace and strength to beat two defenders before rounding the keeper and slotting home from a tight angle. The celebration was not bad, either.

The lead was short-lived, and extra-time looked to be on the way when the Blues won a corner deep into stoppage time. Just as in Munich, Mata took it and this time it was Branislav Ivanovic, not the departed Drogba, who met it with a header. Time almost seemed to stand still as the ball looped into the far corner of the net, creating another chapter of Euro history for Chelsea.

What's more, the Blues joined a distinguished group of clubs – Ajax, Bayern Munich and Juventus – to have won all three UEFA club competitions.

Only two clubs have lifted the Europa League trophy more than once (Sevilla and Atletico Madrid have three apiece), but we can add our name to that list with victory over the Gunners.

Who will be the next Blue to join the collection of European final goalscorers? Tune in on Wednesday night to find out.

MORE FROM CHELSEA