The Blues take on Everton tonight in a rare Thursday fixture in the English top flight. Here’s a look back on our Premier League matches played on that day…
Mark it on the calendar: Chelsea are playing on a Thursday in the Premier League for only the 12th time in the 30 years since the English top flight was rebranded.
It’s not the least common day of the week for Chelsea to play on in the Premier League, though, as we’ve only had eight Friday matches in the same period of time. There’s a conversation starter if ever we’ve seen one…
Now that we’ve got the stats out of the way, let’s look back at our previous Thursday matches, which feature plenty of Tottenham Hotspur.
Aston Villa – 1996/97
Our first Thursday game in the Premier League era was on Boxing Day during our famous FA Cup-winning campaign. This was a Gianfranco Zola masterclass, one of many that we’d see in his debut season at the Bridge, when he was named FWA Footballer of the Year. Two brilliant goals saw off the Villans on their own patch.
Southampton – 2002/03
Funnily enough, Zola was enjoying an Indian summer to his Chelsea career when we next played on a Thursday, as he turned back the years to inspire us to Champions League qualification. He also came close to scoring in this rather drab 0-0 draw at the Bridge.
Everton – 2007/08
The Blues were in the hunt for the Premier League title and Champions League when we travelled to Goodison Park in April 2008. Michael Essien neatly lifted the ball over Tim Howard to score the only goal of the game to keep the pressure on the league leaders but, alas, we ended the campaign empty-handed.
Tottenham Hotspur – 2011/12
A pulsating London derby played out at White Hart Lane before Christmas, ending all square after Daniel Sturridge cancelled out Emmanuel Adebayor's opener – although Andre Villas-Boas’ men certainly had the better chances to win it, with Didier Drogba hitting the woodwork.
Swansea City – 2013/14
Eden Hazard was Chelsea’s hero on Boxing Day 2013, as his first-half goal proved to be enough to see off the Swans. Gerhard Tremmel played a blinder for the visitors, but there was no denying Hazard, who was edging towards his electrifying best for the Blues at this time.
Tottenham Hotspur – 2014/15
Spurs at White Hart Lane once again, although this was a game to forget to open the new year. We haven’t suffered many 5-3 defeats in our history, but Harry Kane and Dele Alli helped inspire the home side to a shock victory. It mattered not in the long run, however, as we were crowned champions a few months later.
Burnley – 2017/18
This trip to Turf Moor was an odd one, featuring an own goal and a complete fluke for Ashley Barnes to bring the Clarets level. Our slim top-four hopes were, however, salvaged by Victor Moses, who finished smartly after being picked out by his opposite wing-back, Emerson.
Southampton – 2019/20
We suffered only our second Thursday Premier League defeat two years ago on Boxing Day, when Southampton pulled off a classic smash-and-grab job to come away from the Bridge with three points. Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond scored their goals in a 2-0 win.
Manchester City – 2019/20
History was made against Manchester City two summers ago, as for the first-time ever we played at Stamford Bridge behind closed doors. What a pity no fans were present to see an absolute thriller, as Christian Pulisic and Willian scored in either half to give us a win that officially ended City’s title defence.
Tottenham Hotspur – 2020/21
Spurs again – and this time normal service resumed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It was the early weeks of the Thomas Tuchel era and our new-found defensive solidity was on display as we barely gave them a sniff, while Jorginho slotted home the game’s only goal from the penalty spot.
Liverpool – 2020/21
A month later we travelled to Anfield for our most recent Thursday fixture, a sign of the times as Premier League games were being shifted around for broadcasters while fans were unable to attend in person. It was another 1-0 win for Tuchel’s men, courtesy of a superb goal by the ever-influential Mason Mount.