Chelsea Special: Top 10 European Nights At Stamford Bridge

Blues can take strength from memories of past success at home...
On Tuesday night Stamford Bridge will play host to arguably the most eagerly anticipated match of the season so far, as Chelsea look to overcome a 2-1 round-of-16 first leg Champions League deficit against former manager Jose Mourinho's current side Inter Milan.

Win or lose, the game should prove to be a classic. But will it possibly be able to rival these 10 memorable European encounters in west London?

10. Chelsea 3-1 Barcelona, Champions League 2000

The Champions League was still a new experience for Chelsea when they were drawn against the Catalan giants in the knockout stages of the competition at the start of the millennium. But in front of a adoring home crowd, Gianfranco Zola and Tore Andre Flo (twice) combined to lead the Blues to a memorable 3-1 win in the first leg of the quarter-final.

Chelsea were brought down a peg or two in the return fixture at the Nou Camp as Rivaldo, Luis Figo and a late Dani header combined to cancel out the deficit and send the game to extra-time – where the Catalans would go on to win.

But that first leg performance convinced everyone that pre-Roman Abramovich Chelsea could compete at Europe's top table.

9. Chelsea 13-0 Jeunesse Hautcharage, Cup Winners' Cup 1972

8-0 up after the first leg, this was never a game the Blues looked like losing against the minnows from Luxembourg.

The final aggregate score was 21-0 (a club record that looks unlikely ever to be broken), but the game was equally memorable for seeing all the fans from the Shed End running into the North Stand at half-time to be behind the goal Chelsea were attacking.

8. Chelsea 7-1 Tromso, Cup Winners' Cup 1997

When right-back Dan Petrescu gets his name on the scoresheet not once but twice, you are never likely to lose. But Norwegian side Tromso were a tough proposition and in the first leg of this tie, Gianluca Vialli performed heroics to ensure they came back to Stamford Bridge with only a 3-2 deficit. The Blues put on a majestic performance back at home as Petrescu, Frank Lebouef, Vialli (thrice) and Gianfranco Zola filled their boots in the 90 minutes to run up a memorable scoreline.

Battle royale | Gallas and Belletti tussle at the Bridge

7. Chelsea 2-0 Barcelona, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1966

Chelsea and Barcelona have a storied recent rivalry (games between the two sides feature four times on this list) but the clubs actually have a history that goes back over 40 years.

The very first encounter between the two sides, in May 1966, was in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, in what would become a memorable semi-final.

Chelsea had lost the first leg, but two own goals in a surprise onslaught at the Bridge helped the home side to level the tie and force a replay (which the Spanish side would win, possibly because the replay was curiously being held in Barcelona).

6. Chelsea 4 Bruges 2 (aet), Cup Winners' Cup 1971

On a European cup run that would eventually finish in triumph, this was a vintage performance. 2-0 down from the first leg after a tough time in Belgium, club legend Peter Osgood returned from a long suspension to will his team to a 2-0 lead in normal time and a 4-0 victory by the end of 120 minutes.

Osgood grabbed two of the goals, with Tommy Baldwin and Peter Houseman contributing to another memorable quarter-final success, one that would be saluted later in the season after a historic victory in the final (after a replay) against European heavyweights Real Madrid.

Best of times | Lampard and Mourinho celebrate

5. Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, Champions League 2009

Not the only tie on this list that Chelsea would go on to lose, but certainly the most heartbreaking. Guus Hiddink's tactical masterplan had overseen a hard-fought 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp against a Barcelona side that had been rampant all season, then at Stamford Bridge the Blues dominated the early exchanges and took the lead thanks to a wonder-strike from Michael Essien.

Then the questionable refereeing of Tom Henning Ovrebo (who turned down four reasonable penalty shouts from the home side, but did send off Barca's Eric Abidal) and a lack of clinical edge from Hiddink's side intervened. As a result, Andres Iniesta grabbed a last-gasp goal for 10-men Barca that sent them through to the final and left the Stamford Bridge faithful fuming for months.

3. Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona, Champions League 2005

One of the great European nights in English football, Jose Mourinho cemented his credentials as the 'Special One' as his Chelsea raced out of the blocks and into an emphatic lead thanks to goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff.

Then Barcelona staged their comeback, inspired by Ronaldinho — who was closing in on that stage in his career where he was all-but unplayable against — who scored from the penalty spot and the with a 20-yard, outside of the boot curler that contained no obvious backlift.

As the game wore on Petr Cech made a string of incredible saves — most notably from future team-mate Juliano Belletti, Iniesta and Carles Puyol — before captain John Terry lept inside the box to plant a header beyond the goalkeeper and decisively win a rollercoaster of a game.

3. Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool, Champions League 2009

Playing each other in European competition for the fifth season in a row, few observers expected a classic after the four previous games had been tense, protracted affairs.

If that was the case, no doubt even fewer expected a memorable second leg after a Branislav Ivanovic-inspired Chelsea had grabbed a 3-1 advantage at Anfield.

But that is exactly what Chelsea fans got, where Petr Cech floundered but Didier Drogba was at his lethal best in a game where the next goal never seemed far away. Alex and Fabio Aurelio balanced each other out with fantastic free-kicks, and at one point it looked like Liverpool might pull off the upset of the year.

But Fernando Torres' injury, and a late intervention from Frank Lampard ensured Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals in one of the most entertaining and open games in recent memory.

In the red | Drogba celebrates beating Liverpool

2. Chelsea 3-1 Vicenza, Cup Winners' Cup 1998

If history teaches us anything, it is that Chelsea like to do things the hard way, and after a first leg defeat in Italy, Mark Hughes completed an amazing night in sensational fashion to send Gianluca Vialli's Blues through to the Cup Winners' Cup final.

'Sparky' had hardly played for the Blues all season, but came off the bench with 20 minutes to go to make the difference as Chelsea came back from conceding 32 minutes into the tie.

Club heroes Gustavo Poyet and Gianfranco Zola had earlier claimed the goals that set the stage for Hughes' dramatic intervention, helping Vialli (who was player-manager) lead his side to a Stockholm final against Stuttgart that Zola would famously help them win.

1. Chelsea 3- 2 Liverpool (aet), Champions League 2008

A massive result for the Blues, both psychologically and figuratively. Rafa Benitez's Liverpool had become an undoubted problem team for Chelsea, having knocked them out in recent seasons in the cruellest of circumstances (a disputed Luis Garcia goal springs to mind), and a 1-1 draw at Anfield led many to believe the Blues would once again fall apart in the second leg of the all-English semi-final.

Didier Drogba gave his side a first-half lead, before Fernando Torres sent the game into extra-time with a 64th minute strike. But to everyone's surprise it was Chelsea who rose to the occasion, with Frank Lampard scoring a 98th penalty and Drogba giving his side a cushion seven minutes later.

Ryan Babel's 117th minute effort meant Liverpool were only a goal away from snatching yet another narrow victory over their London rivals, but the Blues held on to book their ticket to Moscow and a first ever Champions League final.

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