With the help of club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton, we look at Chelsea's past in Sweden...
We Have History
Chelsea and Malmo meet for the first time in competitive action, but the Blues have faced fellow countrymen of theirs on two previous occasions. In October 1971, Dave Sexton’s side faced Atvidaberg in defence of the Cup Winners’ Cup.
Having thrashed Jeunesse Hautcharage of Luxembourg by an aggregate 21-0, the Londoners were brought down to earth in the tiny Kopparvallen Stadium and missed a host of chances, drawing 0-0 ahead of the home leg. The away goals rule meant that a 1-1 draw at the Bridge was enough to ensure Atvidaberg’s progress.
The only other away match against Swedish opposition was in round one of the same competition, again as cup holders, against part-timers Helsingborgs. It finished 0-0, but the Blues prevailed 1-0 on aggregate.
That was largely thanks to Dennis Wise ‘helping’ a visiting defender out of the wall so that Frank Leboeuf’s free-kick could find its mark at the Bridge.
Lest we forget, the Blues also won the 1997/98 Cup Winners’ Cup on Swedish soil at the Solna Arena, Stockholm, by beating Stuttgart 1-0. The scorer of that unforgettable goal was our current assistant coach, Gianfranco Zola.
Chelsea also faced Malmo in pre-season in July 1977 at their old ground, Malmo Idrottplats, a mile or so from tonight’s stadium. Tommy Langley (pictured top) was on target with the only goal.
A combined Malmo/Norrkoping XI also managed to beat Tommy Docherty’s touring team 1-0 in pre-season 1965/66, though that was at Norrkoping, in mid-Sweden.
Back to the present, and here is a reminder of how the Blues reached this stage of the completion with two group games to spare.
On 14 February 2009, Nicolas Anelka completed his second hat-trick for Chelsea against Watford in 16 second-half minutes of round five of the FA Cup, a match with the relationship-testing kick-off time of 5.30pm on Valentine’s Day.
Malmo coach Uwe Rosler was in charge of Brentford when the 2012/13 FA Cup threw up a west London derby in round four. His hard-working League One side pushed Chelsea all the way at Griffin Park, and the Blues twice had to come from behind to salvage a replay at 2-2.
Rafael Benitez fielded a much stronger side for the game at the Bridge and the result was a more prosaic 4-0 victory.
Malmo’s biggest home win in Europe
03/10/73 - Malmo 11-0 Pezoporikos Cup Winners’ Cup - 1st rd 2nd leg
Chelsea’s biggest away win in Europe
15/09/71 - Jeunesse Hautcharage 0-8 Chelsea Cup Winners’ Cup - 1st rd 1st leg