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Premier League: Throw Back at 5 Previous Chelsea’s Encounters with Defending Champs

As the London Blues prepare to host Premier League title holders Leicester City this weekend, Chelsea FC, via their website, gave a look back at five previous occasions when they have hosted the defending champions at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool, 1990/91
Liverpool were in the hunt for an 11th league title in 16 seasons when they visited the Bridge in May 1991, trailing leaders Arsenal by three points with three games left in the season. Chelsea had not managed a win in their previous 10 league games against the Reds but an early header by Kerry Dixon and a Dennis Wise penalty gave the blues a 2-0 lead before Liverpool hit back after the break and leveled through former Chelsea favourite David Speedie and Ronnie Rosenthal. The visitors surged forward in search of a winner but it was the Blues who regained the lead when Dixon headed in Wise’s corner before Gordon Durie turned in Kevin Wilson’s cross three minutes from time to seal a 4-2 win. Liverpool effectively relinquished their league title with the defeat and they have yet to win it again.
Manchester United, 1999/2000
Manchester United arrived at the Bridge in early October 1999 on a 29-match unbeaten run which had secured them the Treble the previous season but they saw their long streak ended by a rampant Chelsea side. Gustavo Poyet opened the scoring after only 27 seconds following a mix-up between Dennis Irwin and goalkeeper Massimo Taibi and Chris Sutton headed in a rare goal for the Blues before Nicky Butt was sent off for petulantly kicking Dennis Wise. Chelsea piled the misery on the 10 men after the break with Poyet netting his second of the game and Henning Berg turning the ball into his own net before substitute Jody Morris completed a 5-0 rout by firing between the legs of Taibi, whose United career came to an unceremonious end after just four games.
Arsenal, 2004/05
Chelsea were on the cusp of a first league title in 50 years when we hosted the reigning champions Arsenal in April 2005. The Gunners needed a victory to keep their hopes of retaining the title alive and they went close early on with Robert Pires hitting the crossbar and then firing wide with the goal at his mercy. Chelsea were on the back foot for much of the opening half but looked the more likely to win the game after the break with Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard shooting narrowly wide before Drogba’s late free-kick flew just over the crossbar. The 0-0 draw extended our unbeaten run in the league to 24 games and maintained our 11-point lead over Arsenal with five games left in the season as we finally ended our long title drought.
Manchester United, 2009/10
Manchester United were seeking to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive league title in the 2009/10 season and they trailed leaders Chelsea by two points when they travelled to the Bridge in November 2009. The top-of-the-table clash lived up to its billing with both sides pressing in search of goals with Petr Cech making a fine save to deny Wayne Rooney and United keeper Edwin van der Sar turning aside a Nicolas Anelka attempt. The breakthrough finally arrived with 14 minutes left as Frank Lampard’s free-kick from the left flank was met by John Terry who glanced the ball past Van der Sar to give us a 1-0 win which ultimately proved crucial as we pipped the Red Devils to the title by a single point at the end of the season.
Manchester United, 2013/14
The visit of Manchester United in January 2014 saw Samuel Eto’o enjoy his most memorable match as a Chelsea player as he notched a hat-trick in a 3-1 demolition of the reigning Premier League champions. The Cameroonian displayed all the attributes of a top-class striker in completing his treble, opening the scoring with a shot from the edge of the box after 16 minutes, turning in a low cross by Gary Cahill from six yards out just before half-time and adding his third with a poacher’s finish from close range after David De Gea had parried a Cahill header early in the second half. Javier Hernandez pulled one back for the visitors who ended a bad afternoon with 10 men after Nemanja Vidic was dismissed for an awful sliding challenge on Eden Hazard.

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