Aiding our cause

A Crystal Palace own goal was crucial for Chelsea as we got back to winning ways in the Premier League last weekend.

The Eagles defended valiantly at Stamford Bridge but their efforts came to nought thanks to a fortuitous double deflection for our second goal in the 32nd minute. Martin Kelly cleared Davide Zappacosta’s shot off his goal-line but the ball ricocheted off goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey before striking Kelly again on its way into the net.

With Patrick van Aanholt pulling one back for the visitors late on in our 2-1 win, the own goal ultimately proved to be pretty important for the Chelsea cause, just like these other efforts from our recent past.

John Arne Riise

Liverpool, April 2008, Champions League

John Arne Riise scored against Chelsea in the 2005 League Cup final and the FA Cup semi-finals the following year but Blues fans fondly remember the Norwegian for his crucial intervention in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final at Anfield. Liverpool were 1-0 up in stoppage time when Salomon Kalou eluded a couple of defenders in the left corner and sent a hopeful ball into the box. Riise tried to cut off the cross before it could reach Nicolas Anelka but his firm header flew past Pepe Reina to level the score as Chelsea went on to win the tie and reached the Champions League final for the first time.

Chris Smalling

Fulham, December 2009, Premier League 

Chelsea had only one win in five games when we welcomed our west London neighbours Fulham to Stamford Bridge just after Christmas in 2009. The Cottagers had not won at the Bridge since 1979 but they took the lead after four minutes and held on to their advantage until Didier Drogba headed us level in the 73rd minute. Two minutes later, a firm shot from a tight angle by Daniel Sturridge was palmed away by Mark Schwarzer but struck defender Chris Smalling on the knee and ricocheted back into the Fulham net for the winning goal.

Neil Taylor

Swansea, January 2012, Premier League

Chelsea’s first-ever visit to the Liberty Stadium had appeared destined to end in defeat as we trailed to a goal by former Blue, Scott Sinclair, and were a man down following the dismissal of Ashley Cole as the game entered stoppage time. However, the 10 men managed to rescue a point at the death when Jose Bosingwa dribbled in from the right flank and drilled in a hard, low shot which might have been going wide before it struck Neil Taylor and flew past goalkeeper Michael Vorm into the Swans net.

Jonathan Walters

Stoke City, January 2013, Premier League

Jonathan Walters has never played for Chelsea but the Ireland forward is remembered for his brace in our 4-0 win at Stoke in the 2012/13 season. Walters broke the deadlock just before half-time when his attempt to stop Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross from reaching Juan Mata saw him head firmly past Asmir Begovic in the Stoke goal. He then got his head to the ball ahead of Frank Lampard on a Mata corner in the 61st minute but again nodded the ball into his net to make it 2-0. Walters had a chance to make some amends with a late penalty for his side but compounded his woes by firing over the crossbar.

Jermaine Grandison

Shrewsbury Town, October 2014, League Cup

Shrewsbury Town gave Chelsea a stern test in our League Cup fourth round tie at the New Meadow in 2014/15 with Andrew Mangan scoring for the League Two side in the 77th minute to cancel out Didier Drogba’s opener for the visitors. However, the Blues went back in front four minutes later when Willian sent in a teasing cross from the left for Drogba which Jermaine Grandison turned into his own net with his head under pressure from the Ivorian. Chelsea won 2-1 and went on to lift the trophy after beating Tottenham Hotspur in the final.

Ivan Marcano

Porto, December 2015, Champions League

Chelsea needed a point against Porto at the Bridge to reach the last 16 of the Champions League and our nerves were eased thanks to a fortuitous early goal against the Portuguese side. Sent clear by Eden Hazard, Diego Costa rode a challenge by Ivan Marcano to go one-on-one with Iker Casillas but saw his attempt stopped by the Spanish goalkeeper. However, the ball struck the retreating Marcano and went over the line just before it could be cleared by a Porto defender as the Blues took the lead in a 2-0 win which sealed our spot at the top of Group H.