Chelsea have to overturn a first-leg deficit against Tottenham Hotspur to reach this season’s Carabao Cup final but it is a position from which we have managed to emerge victorious several times in the past.
Going back as far as the 1965/66 season, when we recovered after losing our initial matches against Vienna Sports Club and AC Milan to reach the Fairs Cup semi-finals, the Blues have shown the resilience to come back and turn the tables on our opponents on more than a dozen occasions.
Here is a look at some of our most memorable comeback victories in recent years. and you can let us know which is your favourite in the poll below.
Arsenal – 1997/98 League Cup
With Gianluca Vialli taking charge of the Blues as player-manager for the first time, the Blues recovered from a 2-1 deficit to see off the Gunners in the League Cup semi-finals. Mark Hughes levelled the aggregate score after 10 minutes at Stamford Bridge, before spectacular strikes by Roberto Di Matteo and Dan Petrescu early in the second half put us firmly in charge. Arsenal got a late consolation but Chelsea advanced 4-3 on aggregate before beating Middlesbrough in the final.
Vicenza – 1997/98 Cup Winners’ Cup
Less than two months after the win against Arsenal, the Blues staged another dramatic semi-final comeback against Vicenza in the Cup Winners’ Cup. Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, our task was made harder when the Italian side extended their lead after 32 minutes at the Bridge. However, Gustavo Poyet pulled one back three minutes later and Gianfranco Zola headed home early in the second half, setting the stage for Mark Hughes to smash in the winner 14 minutes from time.
Barcelona – 2004/05 Champions League
Trailing 2-1 after the first leg of our Champions League round of 16 clash, Chelsea struck three times in the first 19 minutes at Stamford Bridge through Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff to take a 4-2 aggregate lead. However, a Ronaldinho brace levelled things up before half-time and Barca looked to be going through to the quarter-finals on away goals until John Terry soared above the Catalan defence to nod in the winner in the 76th minute.
Napoli - 2011/12 Champions League
The Blues appeared down and out after losing 3-1 in the first leg of our last 16 encounter in Italy. However, Roberto Di Matteo’s side battled back in London with Didier Drogba and John Terry levelling things up, before Frank Lampard sent the game to extra-time after Gokhan Inler had put Napoli back in front. Drogba then turned provider for the winner, crossing for Branislav Ivanovic to grab the extra-time winner as we marched on to win the Champions League for the first time.
Steaua Bucharest - 2012/13 Europa League
A year to the day after the famous win against Napoli, the Blues faced another daunting test in the last 16 of the Europa League against Steaua Bucharest after a 1-0 loss in the first leg in Romania. Juan Mata levelled at the Bridge but Steaua scored again just before half-time to leave us needing two more goals to advance. However, John Terry headed home just before the hour and then Fernando Torres struck 19 minutes from time to seal our passage to the quarter-finals.
Paris Saint-Germain – 2013/14 Champions League
Down 3-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals, Chelsea staged another great comeback on our home ground to overcome the French champions. Andre Schurrle narrowed the deficit in the first half, however efforts from the German and Oscar came back off the woodwork as PSG clung on to their slender advantage. However, our intense pressure finally paid off when Demba Ba turned the ball in two minutes from time to send us into the last four on away goals.