Inside Blue Fri 19 Jan 2018
Chelsea scored every penalty to defeat Norwich in a shoot-out, but the Blues have a history of being nerveless from 12 yards.
A shoot-out is often described as a lottery, but when you show that kind of composure and determination under extreme pressure, then the result is hardly in doubt.
It was the sixth time in our history that the Blues have found the net with every single effort in a penalty shoot-out, so who were that quintet's predecessors with nerves of steel...
West Bromwich Albion,13 November 1985
Admittedly, the Full Members Cup wasn't the most glamorous of competitions, but the short-lived tournament did provide Chelsea with a rare trip to Wembley, and a trophy, in the otherwise testing Eighties. However, if it weren't for this shoot-out victory at West Brom in the southern area semi-final we would have missed on that silverware, a much-deserved moment of joy for the loyal but suffering fans. Having come back from going two goals down in the first 20 minutes the momentum was in our favour as the players prepared for penalties and, just like against Norwich, our defenders did their fair share, with Colin Pates, Dale Wood and substitute Dale Jasper all scoring, along with Nigel Spackman and Colin Lee, meaning the tie was decided thanks to Garth Crooks hitting the post with the very first shot of the shoot-out.
Newcastle United, 7 January 1996
When Les Ferdinand's injury-time equaliser cancelled out Mark Hughes's goal at Stamford Bridge, our FA Cup third-round tie against Newcastle needed a replay to be decided. Ten days later we were the ones creating the late drama. Having twice gone behind, Dennis Wise equalising from the penalty spot the first time around, Ruud Gullit levelled things again in the 89th minute. The Magpies failed to hold their nerve, as first Peter Beardsley, who had scored a penalty in normal time, hit the bar and Kevin Hitchcock saved Steve Watson's attempt, leaving Wise to net from 12 yards for the second time, combined with David Lee, Gavin Peacock and Eddie Newton's successful efforts to win the match. We went on the make it all the way to the semi-finals, before being knocked out by Manchester United.
Blackburn Rovers, 15 October 1997
We famously defeated Middlesbrough at Wembley to win the 1997/98 League Cup, but we had gone within a penalty shoot-out of being eliminated at the very first hurdle. Blackburn were the visitors to Stamford Bridge in the third round. One of the heroes of the final at Wembley, Roberto Di Matteo, had already had a big impact on the competition by scoring our equaliser, before Gianluca Vialli was sent off in extra-time. However, Hitchcock again proved to be a shoot-out hero, saving from future Chelsea striker Chris Sutton before Lars Bohinen fired over the bar. There were no such problems for the Blues, as Frank Leboeuf, Frank Sinclair, Steve Clarke – those defenders pitching in again – and Mark Nicholls all beat Tim Flowers to get us started down the road to Wembley.
Ipswich Town, 7 January 1998
Just two rounds after our shoot-out victory over Blackburn we were facing another nail-biting finale in our ultimately glorious League Cup run, this time after going two goals ahead at Portman Road, through Tore Andre Flo and Graeme Le Saux, before being clawed back by a stubborn Ipswich side. This time it was Ed de Goey in goal for the Blues, but the result was the same as he saved from James Scowcroft and Maurico Taricco. Leboeuf was the only player from the Blackburn shoot-out to take a spot-kick again, netting our first before Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo and Mark Hughes proved themselves equally capable from 12 yards out.
Manchester United, 9 August 2009
Only once have Chelsea been completely nerveless in a shoot-out at Wembley, and it got our fantastic 2009/10 season off to a great start as we claimed the Community Shield, before adding the FA Cup and Premier League title later on. We again got over the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser, having gone behind to Nani's goal and turning things around to take the lead through Ricardo Carvalho and Frank Lampard, before Wayne Rooney sent the match to penalties in injury time. Lampard, Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou were all unerring from the spot, whole Manchester United scored just once, through Michael Carrick, as Petr Cech denied both Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra to give us our first competitive shoot-out win in over a decade.