By Gary Watton
March 4 2014
By my reckoning, west London's finest have been involved in European football on no fewer than 23 seasons [and counting]. This is not a bad return at all for a club, whom silly Scousers once foolishly denounced had "no history"! Here below is a look back at the glory and the pain of yesteryear during our European travels and occasional conquest.
the 1958-1959 Inter-Cities' Fairs Cup: defeated in Round Two by Red Star Belgrade [4-2 on aggregate]
Peter Brabrook scored in each leg against Red Star Belgrade, but the Yugoslavs won the second leg by four goals to one to end our first European adventure.
the 1965-1966 Inter-Cities' Fairs Cup: defeated in the semi-finals by Barcelona in a third match 5-0 [after a two-legged aggregate of 2-2]
Terry Venables scored a hat-trick against AS Roma and Chelsea defeated AC Milan on the toss of a coin, but this eventful campaign was ended by Barcelona.
the 1968-1969 Inter-Cities' Fairs Cup: defeated in Round Two by DWS Amsterdam on the toss of a coin [after a 0-0 aggregate]
Chelsea had defeated Morton 9-3 on aggregate but depressingly failed to score in the next round. Tambling missed a crucial penalty at home in the first leg.
the 1970-1971 European Cup Winners' Cup: CHELSEA defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in the final replay [after a 1-1 draw]
Chelsea squeezed past the current cup-holders Manchester City 2-0 in the semi-finals, before Osgood scored in each match of the final to bring the club glory.
the 1971-1972 European Cup Winners' Cup: defeated in Round Two by Atvidabergs on the away goals rule [after a 1-1 aggregate]
The cup-holders smashed 21 goals past Jeunesse Hautcharage before coming unstuck in the next round. John Hollins missed a penalty in the second leg.
the 1994-1995 European Cup Winners' Cup: defeated in the semi-finals by Real Zaragoza [4-3 on aggregate]
Chelsea narrowly defeated Bruges 2-1 in the quarter-finals, but their hopes were ruined by a 3-0 loss in Spain. The team did make amends in the second leg.
the 1997-1998 European Cup Winners' Cup: CHELSEA defeated VFB Stuttgart 1-0 in the final
The Blues beat Vicenza 3-1 in an epic semi-final second leg, having lost 1-0 in Italy. Then Gianfranco Zola emerged from the bench to score in the final.
the 1998 European Super Cup final: CHELSEA defeated Real Madrid 1-0
the 1998-1999 European Cup Winners' Cup: defeated in the semi-finals by Real Mallorca [2-1 on aggregate]
Brian Laudrup scored his only Chelsea goal in his last match, at Copenhagen, to ensure progress. However, goal-shy Chelsea limped out of the last four.
the 1999-2000 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the quarter-finals by Barcelona after extra-time [6-4 on aggregate]
Chelsea's impressive campaign included two draws against AC Milan, a 5-0 trouncing of Galatasaray in Turkey, and a 3-1 first-leg humbling of Barcelona.
the 2000-2001 UEFA Cup: defeated in Round One by St Gallen [2-1 on aggregate]
Christian Panucci scored his only Chelsea goal in the first leg, but the away match was a disaster. Di Matteo suffered a career-ending injury amidst the loss.
the 2001-2002 UEFA Cup: defeated in Round Two by Hapoel Tel Aviv [3-1 on aggregate]
Half of Chelsea's squad refused to travel to Israel for the first leg, and a weakened team lost two-nil. A Zola goal in the second leg was merely a consolation.
the 2002-2003 UEFA Cup: defeated in Round One by Viking FK [5-4 on aggregate]
For the third year running, the Blues shot themselves in the foot against a mediocre team, losing the second leg 4-2, despite goals from Lampard and Terry.
the 2004-2005 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the semi-finals by Liverpool [1-0 on aggregate]
After famously evicting Barcelona and enjoying two memorable matches against Bayern Munich, the Blues were ousted by the infamous 'ghost goal' at Anfield.
the 2005-2006 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the last sixteen by Barcelona [3-2 on aggregate]
Reduced to ten men, Chelsea's hopes of overcoming Barcelona were undermined. Lampard scored a last-minute penalty at the Nou Camp, but it was too late.
the 2006-2007 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the semi-finals by Liverpool on penalties [after a 1-1 aggregate]
Joe Cole inspired a 1-0 home win against Liverpool, but an Agger free kick restored parity. A failure to score in 120 minutes at Anfield proved very costly.
the 2007-2008 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the final by Manchester United on sudden-death penalties [after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes]
Chelsea swept past Liverpool this time, but they could not capitalise in the final, after Lampard's equaliser, even though they dominated the second half.
the 2008-2009 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the semi-finals by Barcelona on the away goals rule [after a 1-1 aggregate]
Chelsea stormed past Liverpool again. Then Essien thumped Chelsea into an early lead, but a last-minute strike from Iniesta was a semi-final heartbreaker.
the 2009-2010 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the last sixteen by Inter Milan [3-1 on aggregate]
The Blues played well at the San Siro and were unlucky to lose 2-1. However, they were clueless in the return leg, as Mourinho completely outwitted Ancelotti.
the 2010-2011 UEFA Champions' League: defeated in the quarter-finals by Manchester United [3-1 on aggregate]
A Drogba goal in the second half of the second leg threatened to turn the tie around but Ramires was sent off, so the Red Devils then cruised into the last four.
the 2011-2012 UEFA Champions' League: CHELSEA defeated Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties [after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes]
Against the odds, Chelsea fought back against Napoli and then drew 2-2 in the Nou Camp with 10 men. Finally, Drogba famously rescued Chelsea in the final.
the 2012 European Super Cup final: CHELSEA were defeated by Atletico Madrid 4-1
the 2012-2013 UEFA Champions' League: exited the group stage, finishing third out of four
Ironically, Chelsea scored more goals in the group stage than any other team. They were eliminated by Shakhtar Donetsk by virtue of the away goals rule.
the 2012-2013 UEFA Europa League: CHELSEA defeated Benfica 2-1 in the final
The goals flowed from Torres in this competition, including a fine effort in the final. Ivanovic then emulated Drogba with a towering header from a Mata corner.
the 2013 European Super Cup final: CHELSEA were defeated by Bayern Munich on penalties [2-2 after extra time]