Outstanding strikes by Chelsea centre-backs – a collection

Following Andreas Christensen’s spectacular strike at Euro 2020, we have chosen a few other favourites from down the years…

‘I started as a striker, dribbling a lot, doing all the tricks and scoring goals.’

Those were the words of Andreas Christensen in an interview we published on the eve of Denmark beginning their Euro 2020 campaign. In their third match last night, the Chelsea central defender rolled back the years and showed the world he still has his shooting boots with one of the goals of the tournament so far, in his nation’s crucial win over Russia.

While admiring Andreas’s thumping shot from outside of the area, it had us recalling some of our other favourite cleanly struck goals by Chelsea centre-backs down the years, and we list a selection of those here today…

John Dempsey vs Real Madrid 1971

By no means the longest-range goal in our choice, but certainly one of the more unexpected given this mainstay of our famous early ‘70s side only netted seven goals in the decade he was at the club. This one also deserves its place due to its importance, as it put the Blues ahead in the Cup Winners’ Cup final replay against mighty Real and we went on to lift the trophy for the first time, and for Demps it was a marvellous redemption for a mistake he made in the original game two days earlier.

Frank Leboeuf vs Leicester 1997

The most beautiful goal he had scored was how the elegant Leboeuf described his late winner against the Foxes as this Chelsea side under Ruud Gullit continued to thrill. The Frenchman’s ability to spear long passes forward with great accuracy was seen game after game and now he brought that skill to goalscoring too. The Blues had peppered the Leicester goal and been kept at bay by an outstanding performance from a stand-in goalie, but with two minutes remaining there was nothing he could do about it when Leboeuf unleashed from distance and found the top corner.

Ricardo Carvalho vs Tottenham 2007

The canny Portuguese defender was enjoying his best goalscoring season for Chelsea with three to his name already when this second-half strike won this London derby. It was the only goal of the game and it extended a proud unbeaten home run against Spurs to 20 games. Riccy had already tested England goalkeeper Paul Robinson with a header and a shot. Now he took a Mikel pass over 30 yards out and struck low and true towards the bottom corner of the Shed End net.

Alex vs Arsenal 2010

The only free-kick strike in our selection but an Alex smash is a must! We could easily have chosen the Brazilian’s bullet against Liverpool the previous season that swerved beyond the reach of Pepe Reina in the Champions League, but have gone for this one from a sunny London derby win against the Gunners. Alex was even known to suffer injury due to the power he imparted on the ball at set-pieces, and this one could not have been struck any better.

David Luiz vs Fulham 2013

Another Brazilian who knew how to hit a football, David Luiz celebrated his 100th Chelsea game in the best possible style with an outstanding strike to open the scoring in a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage, an overdue success at the home of our closest local rivals. After beating future Chelsea keeper Mark Schwarzer with a swirler from 35 yards out, David Luiz said he had the best job in the world. On this night it was job well done!

Cesar Azpilicueta vs Leicester 2016

We all know Azpi likes to take the game by the scruff of the neck, but rarely have we seen him do it so spectacularly. After we went two down at Leicester in the first half of this League Cup tie, the Spaniard, playing in central defence, launched a fine volley into the top corner at the near post, which left goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel rooted to the spot and levelled the scores five minutes after the break, as we came back to win 4-2 in extra-time.

Gary Cahill vs Tottenham 2012

Cahill scored a respectable 25 goals for Chelsea, but none of them came close to this one for sheer ‘wow’ factor. When Eden Hazard’s corner was headed towards the edge of the box, the centre-back charged in to meet the ball with a perfect volley. The technique was spot on and he put absolutely everything behind it as the ball flew into the roof of the net before anyone could react, opening the scoring in a 4-2 win at White Hart Lane.

Fikayo Tomori vs Wolves 2019

Not a bad way to score your first-ever senior goal for Chelsea! Given it was only his second start in the Premier League, and he had never attempted a shot in the competition before, when the ball rolled towards Tomori more than 30 yards out, nobody was expecting him to hit it. That is exactly what he did though, curling a first-time effort which left Rui Patricio stranded, setting us on our way to a 5-2 victory. It was voted Chelsea Goal of the Season.

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