Chelsea will look to maintain our good home record against Spanish clubs in the Champions League group stage when we host Valencia at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in our opening game in this season’s competition.
The Blues have met La Liga teams at the Bridge on six previous occasions during the opening round of Europe’s premier club tournament and have taken points from the Iberian sides in all of those matches.
Real Betis – October 2005
Chelsea beat Real Betis 5-2 on aggregate during our victorious Cup Winners’ Cup campaign in 1998 and we enjoyed another fine win against the club from Seville when they made their only Champions League appearance in 2005/06.
Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho took advantage of defensive errors to give the Blues a two-goal lead at half-time before a sublime finish on the counter-attack by Joe Cole and a header by Hernan Crespo after the interval completed a 4-0 rout.
Barcelona – October 2006
While Chelsea and Barcelona have met in seven editions of the Champions League, our only opening round match at the Bridge was in 2006/07 when the Blues were without Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini after both goalkeepers had to be hospitalised after a league win at Reading the previous weekend.
Third choice keeper Hilario kept the defending champions at bay and Drogba got the only goal of the game with a spectacular effort just after half-time as he made a deft turn past Carles Puyol on the edge of the box before firing past goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
Valencia – December 2007
Having eliminated Valencia 3-2 on aggregate in the 2006/07 quarter-finals, Chelsea met them again in the group stage the following season, coming from behind to beat them 2-1 at the Mestalla with goals by Joe Cole and Drogba.
The Blues had already secured first place by the time we hosted Valencia in our final group game, but we were unlucky not to get all three points as goalkeeper Santiago Canizares made a series of saves and Salomon Kalou and Joe Cole both hit the woodwork in a 0-0 draw.
Atletico Madrid – October 2009
In our first Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, Chelsea produced a fine attacking display as we cruised to a 4-0 win over the Spanish side.
Salomon Kalou missed a great chance early on but the Ivorian made up for it by turning in Ashley Cole’s cross just before half-time and heading in Frank Lampard’s corner early in the second half. Lampard added a third with a low 25-yard drive before Florent Malouda’s free-kick was headed in by Atletico defender Luis Perea in stoppage time.
Valencia – December 2011
Chelsea were in a must-win situation for our final group game against Valencia in 2011/12 but a heroic display by Drogba ensured we progressed to the knockout rounds.
The Ivorian calmed the nerves of the Stamford Bridge crowd by breaking the deadlock after three minutes and then set up Ramires to add a second midway through the first half. He got his second of the game to make it 3-0 with 14 minutes left as the Blues marched on to lift the Champions League trophy for the first time,
Atletico Madrid – December 2017
Atletico Madrid were the most recent group stage visitors to the Bridge in the 2017/18 campaign when a 1-1 draw prevented the Blues from securing top spot in the group.
The Spaniards took the lead early in the second half when former Blue Fernando Torres flicked on a corner for an unmarked Saul Niguez to head in from close range.
The Blues turned up the pressure and were rewarded when Eden Hazard's cross was turned in by defender Stefen Savic but we were unable to find a winner as we settled for second place in the group behind Roma.