The Blues’ draw at West Brom was the first time we’ve salvaged anything from a Premier League fixture after going 3-0 down, but how does Saturday’s thriller at the Hawthorns compare with some of the other famous fightbacks in our history?
It’s pretty rare that three-goal deficits are overturned by anyone. This, after all, was the first time a team had come from three down at half-time in the English top flight since 2011.
Of course, Chelsea fans will remember fondly the thrilling game against Ajax in last season’s Champions League group stage, when we recovered from going 4-1 down shortly after the interval to earn a 4-4 draw. Had Cesar Azpilicueta not had a goal overturned by the VAR, we may even have won it.
But that’s nothing compared to what happened against Sheffield Wednesday in a League Cup quarter-final replay up at Hillsborough in 1985.
We were 3-0 down at the break and heading out of the competition until the half-time introduction of Paul Canoville, who had been on the pitch for only 15 seconds when he reduced the deficit – and when he was on target again later in the half, it was to put us 4-3 ahead.
Just as it looked like one of the great comebacks was complete, against a side who had become a fierce rival, big Doug Rougvie – an uncompromising Scottish defender – conceded a penalty that allowed Wednesday to draw level in the last minute.
That meant there would be another replay to see which side went through. Thankfully, big Doug’s blushes were spared by a Mickey Thomas winner.
Remarkably, that was the second comeback from three goals down by John Neal’s beloved Blues side in the space of 12 months.
During our march to the Division Two title the previous season, we were facing a heavy defeat at Cardiff City with only six minutes to go. Even the most optimistic supporter would have been hard pressed to see any light at the end of the tunnel at that moment.
Goals from Kerry Dixon and Colin Lee gave us hope and then there were mere seconds remaining when a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Nigel Spackman, showing nerves of steel to secure the unlikeliest of points.
Following Chelsea in the 1970s was a rollercoaster to say the very least, as we went from cup kings at the start of the decade to also rans by the end of it.
However, in an otherwise miserable 1978/79 season for the Blues, there was one game that stood out as a highlight, thanks to an incredible cameo by Clive Walker.
Trailing Bolton Wanderers 3-0 after 40 minutes, Chelsea looked dead and buried until Walker was called upon from the bench in the 71st minute. A quarter of an hour later the scores were level, with the winger himself scoring the equaliser, and he had a hand in the game’s decisive moment when he crossed and Sam Allardyce popped up to score the winner for the wrong team.
'It was at the Shed End and that always gave everyone a bit of a lift because of the feeling of the fans behind that goal,' Walker added, which makes our comeback against West Brom at the weekend seem all the more impressive, considering the lack of supporters.
We’d already pulled off another spectacular comeback earlier in the decade, back in the days when Peter Osgood and the Kings of the King’s Road were still ruling Stamford Bridge.
A few months after we’d won the FA Cup for the first time, Dave Sexton’s men were trailing 3-0 at Blackpool after only 42 minutes and the score remained that way until the final quarter of the game.
A pair of goals from Keith Weller helped draw us level and then the winger forced an own goal from Dave Hatton in the final minute to complete a stunning recovery.
That game was goalkeeper John Phillips’ debut for the Blues, and the final comeback we’re looking back at was another unforgettable occasion for a pair of Chelsea players starting out with the club.
Our current development squad coach Andy Myers, who came off the bench, and future cult hero Frank Sinclair were both handed their maiden run-out for the club in April 1991 when we hosted Luton Town.
‘I went through a lot of emotions on my debut,’ was Sinclair’s rather understated way of putting his first taste of Division One football.
We were 3-0 down inside 23 minutes and though Graeme Le Saux would pull one back soon after, the fiery wideman later saw red for an elbow. That proved to be no obstacle for Bobby Campbell’s Blues, however, as Graham Stuart and Dennis Wise – at the second attempt after his penalty was saved – salvaged a point.