If Stamford Bridge is the pilgrimage for Chelsea fans, then Wembley is the ultimate destination for any football fan. The home of football and just eight miles away from the Bridge, Wembley is an iconic stadium and one of the biggest in Europe.
The walk down Wembley Way is an incredible experience as you exit Wembley Park tube station to be greeted by the sight of the colossal arch. It is where every player dreams of scoring and every fan dreams of going. For Chelsea, it is a stadium we know all too well.
Chelsea have played at Wembley countless times over the years, whether it be during the era of the Twin Towers or the arch. The Blues have created wonderful memories there, with many visits lasting long in the memory of all fans.
1997 FA Cup Final
In 1997, Chelsea reached their second FA Cup Final in four years. Ruud Gullit’s side met Middlesbrough at Wembley, and got off to the perfect start when Roberto di Matteo scored inside 42 seconds. The Italian’s goal was the quickest ever in a cup final – a record which stood for 12 years.
Eddie Newton scored late on to seal the cup, as the Blues secured only their second FA Cup. It came 27 years after the first in 1970, the historic triumph which saw Chelsea beat Leeds 2-1 in the replay. They went on to retain the cup three years later, beating Aston Villa in 2000.
2007 FA Cup Final
Ten years on and Chelsea were back at a new-look Wembley, which was ready for its first cup final since being demolished in 2000. Manchester United had pipped the Blues to the Premier League title two weeks earlier, so José Mourinho was out for revenge when they met in the final.
It proved to be a tight game, forced into extra time after ending goalless. The match was settled by Didier Drogba, who netted the winner in the 116th minute. Mr Wembley had the first of his memorable strikes under the arch, which deservedly earned him that nickname years later.
2012 FA Cup Final
The FA Cup final was the first of two huge finales in May 2012, with the Champions League Final in Munich that followed two weeks later. The focus first turned to Wembley once again, where Liverpool were the challengers in north-west London.
Goals from Ramires and Drogba did the job for Chelsea, as well as an incredible save from Petr Cech to seal the victory. The triumph was the club’s seventh FA Cup triumph, as well as securing di Matteo’s status as the 17th man to win the FA Cup as both a player and a manager.
2015 League Cup Final
The majority of Chelsea’s Wembley memories have come in the FA Cup, but it seems rude not to mention the League Cup. The 2015 final saw the Blues meet arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur, looking for their fifth triumph in the competition.
John Terry poked his shot home on the stroke of half-time, before Diego Costa found the back of the net from a tight angle. The League Cup victory was the warmup for Mourinho’s second trophy of the season, winning their fifth league title in May.
2017 FA Cup Semi-Final
Though Chelsea went on to lose the 2017 final to Arsenal, the semi-final win over Tottenham was one of their finest displays at Wembley. It marked the prime of Antonio Conte’s tenure, in a destructive display of their biggest rivals on the big stage.
A superb brace from Willian, a clever finish from Eden Hazard and an incredible thunderbolt from Nemanja Matić secured a 4-2 win, marching onto the final. Chelsea have made memories to last a lifetime at Wembley, and there’s no doubt that they’ll continue to do that for as long as the arch towers over the capital.
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Edited by: Dan