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1971 MATCH REPORT: CHELSEA 2 REAL MADRID 1


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From the official site:

CHELSEA 2 REAL MADRID 1

On the 40th anniversary of Chelsea winning a European trophy for the first time, the Official Chelsea Website reports on the match as if we were there at the time…

Chelsea have lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup after a 2-1 replay victory against Real Madrid in Athens.

On an historic night, John Dempsey opened the scoring after half an hour with an unstoppably fierce volley before Peter Osgood doubled our lead seven minutes before half-time as we outplayed and outfought our more illustrious opponents.

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Substitute Sebastian Fleitas pulled a goal back for Real 15 minutes from time to set up a nervy finish, but goalkeeper Peter Bonetti and his trusty backline held firm as we claimed a second trophy in successive seasons, and our first ever in European football.

We had to do so without injured midfielder John Hollins, who was replaced in Dave Sexton's starting line-up by Tommy Baldwin who came into the attack.

The change to a 4-2-4 shape from 4-3-3 meant less running for the Blues players upfront on a humid night, but it did mean Charlie Cooke and Alan Hudson in midfield would have to hold their own against the Spaniards' three in the centre of the park. They rose to the task magnificently.

Madrid included their captain Pirri, who it was reported had broken his wrist in the first final two days ago.

With Baldwin in the side, goalscorer from Wednesday Osgood was asked to play slightly deeper in a supporting role.

The disappointment of that first game, when Ignacio Zoco equalised Osgood's well-taken volley in the 90th minute, needed to be quickly forgotten at the Karaiskakis Stadium, and Chelsea started well, and quickly had the illustrious Spaniards, veterans of eight European finals on the back foot.

A Peter Houseman free-kick was headed wide by David Webb in the opening couple of minutes, Ron Harris drove a free-kick wide and Keith Weller missed the target as we started ferociously, Peter Bonetti a spectator in the Chelsea goal.

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Weller saw another effort blocked and Alan Hudson burst into the box but couldn't finish, these either side of an important Harris challenge on a Real Madrid forward inside the Chelsea area during a rare attack for our opponents.

Fleitas drove narrowly wide on the half-hour mark as Real just began to compete, but it would be just three minutes before Chelsea took the lead.

David Webb, scorer of the winning goal in last season's FA Cup Final replay, forced a corner with a lofted effort, and when Charlie Cooke's cross eventually fell to Dempsey, the centre-back unleashed a searing volley into the roof of the net from 12 yards, no more than our first-half performance had deserved. It was also a moment of joyous redemption for Dempsey whose miskick two days ago led to Real's late equaliser.

The night got even better on 38 minutes when Osgood doubled the lead. Receiving the ball from Baldwin on the edge of the area, the number 9 skipped past a challenge and fired low into the bottom corner beyond Jose Luis Borja's helpless dive.

Cooke reacted badly to a challenge just before the break, causing a small brawl to break out but play was soon underway once more, and Chelsea were still dictating as the first half drew to a close.

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As expected, Real came out stronger in the second period, Pirri and substitute Jose Antonio Grande coming close before Bonetti saved comfortably from Ramon Grosso, who had volleyed at goal from distance.

This though left them more open at the back, and Chelsea, Osgood in particular, threatened to snatch a killer third.

Madrid earned a lifeline with 15 minutes remaining, when Fleitas, a Paraguayan, pulled a goal back. He was fortunate to bundle his way past one challenge before cutting inside another and beat Bonetti with a low drive, similar to Osgood's in the first half.

Sexton immediately substituted Osgood, replacing him with South African Derek Smethurst.

It was game on now and Chelsea would be forced once again to hang on, this time more successfully than they did on Wednesday.

Bonetti made a low save from Ignacio Zoco inside the final 10 minutes, but Smethurst had a golden opportunity to seal it when Madrid gifted him possession from a goal kick, his chipped shot saved by Borja before Madrid went up the other end and nearly snatched an equaliser, Zoco's impressive header plucked out of the air by a full-stretch Bonetti.

Next, forward Amancio Amaro went through and forced Chelsea's goalkeeper into first parrying the ball back into play, and then turning the rebound behind.

With two minutes left Real threw everyone forward for the corner but Bonetti claimed the cross from Francisco Gento and Chelsea were safe.

Supporters of the Blues that had stayed in Greece streamed onto the pitch at the final whistle as we claimed a first European trophy.It was worth the extra two days wait.

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Chelsea Peter Bonetti; John Boyle, John Dempsey, David Webb, Ron Harris ©; Charlie Cooke, Alan Hudson; Keith Weller, Tommy Baldwin, Peter Osgood (Derek Smethurst 75), Peter Houseman.

Unused sub Paddy Mulligan.

Also on the official site is an interview with Johnny Boyle

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My favourite two lines are:

goalkeeper Peter Bonetti and his trusty backline held firm as we claimed a second trophy in successive seasons

and

Charlie Cooke and Alan Hudson in midfield ...rose to the task magnificently.

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  • 4 weeks later...


I'm always looking at it on Ebay, usually goes for well over £250, I keep telling myself, one day......

Somewhere I have the Greek programme, the small Chelsea English version and a ticket stub. God knows where they are though.

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