Chelsea have enjoyed a huge amount of success in the FA Cup. Their tally of eight triumphs is good enough for third on the list of all-time winners, and there have been some truly breathtaking moments for the Blues.
Chelsea have also reached 13 finals, cementing their place as one of the best-performing sides in the competition in recent memory.
Here are six of the best moments in Chelsea’s storied FA Cup history.
Peter Osgood’s diving header vs Leeds United (1970)
Where better to start than Chelsea‘s first FA Cup triumph. The Blues made it all the way to the cup final, where they faced a star-studded Leeds United side. The final finished 2-2, and the two teams met again to replay the final around two weeks later.
With Chelsea trailing in the latter stages of the match, tricky midfielder Charlie Cooke sent an inviting cross into the box. Up stepped legendary striker Peter Osgood, who executed a sublime diving header to bring the scores level.
The Blues would go on to win 2-1 in extra time, in a match which was watched by over 28 million people in the United Kingdom, a record which is second only to the 1966 World Cup final.
Gianfranco Zola’s stunning flick vs Norwich (2002)
Chelsea’s current assistant manager will be hoping to lead the Blues to glory in the dugout, but one of his finest moments in a Chelsea shirt came during a third-round meeting with Norwich City in 2002.
Already 2-0 up, Chelsea earned a corner shortly after the hour mark. Graeme Le Saux sent the ball towards the front post, and Zola connected with an elegant flick which nestled in the top corner.
The goal is widely regarded as one of the cup’s finest ever moments, and many players still attempt to replicate it to this day.
Chelsea 5-1 Tottenham Hotspur (2012)
Winning a semi-final? Check. Winning at Wembley? Check. Humiliating Tottenham? Check. It truly was the perfect day for Chelsea.
Goals from Didier Drogba, Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda, alongside a controversial strike from Juan Mata which did not actually cross the line, sent the Blues bouncing into the 2012 FA Cup final at Tottenham’s expense.
Spurs fans were pouring out of the exits long before Malouda’s 94th-minute strike, which was the icing on the cake for the loyal Chelsea supporters.
Roberto Di Matteo’s long-range beauty vs Middlesbrough (1997)
The 1997 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Middlesbrough got off to the perfect start for Blues fans, with iconic forward Roberto Di Matteo opening the scoring after just 42 seconds.
Picking the ball up in the midfield, the Italian dribbled towards goal before unleashing a ferocious strike which looped over Ben Roberts and into the back of the Middlesbrough net, with a deflection off the crossbar which only sweetened the look of the goal.
Chelsea went on to win 2-0, and Di Matteo’s record for the fastest ever FA Cup final goal stood for 12 years, before Louis Zaha’s strike in 2009 after just 25 seconds.
Didier Drogba’s extra-time winner vs Manchester United (2007)
With the new Wembley Stadium now open, the 2007 FA Cup final was set to be a historic occasion, and it was Chelsea and Manchester United who faced off for the chance of glory.
The match itself was largely uneventful, and the two sides needed extra time to decide a winner. In recent history, few strikers have performed at Wembley to the same level of Didier Drogba, and it was the Ivorian who made the crucial contribution.
With just four minutes remaining, Drogba raced through on goal to connect with a pass from Lampard, and he bravely lifted the ball over the onrushing Edwin van der Sar and into the back of the net to bring the trophy to Stamford Bridge.
Didier Drogba’s superb free kick vs Portsmouth (2010)
Having won the 2009 final, Chelsea looked to retain their trophy when they faced Portsmouth in the final in 2010. With the score still 0-0, Portsmouth were awarded a penalty and it seemed as though Chelsea’s dreams of retaining the trophy were coming to an end. Fortunately for the Blues, Kevin-Prince Boateng’s effort was saved by Petr Cech.
Just four minutes later, Chelsea were given a free kick, and up stepped the man for the big occasion. Drogba unleashed a stunning effort which nestled perfectly into the bottom corner of the Wembley net.
It was the only goal of the game, and it brought Chelsea their first league-and-cup double, having lifted the Premier League trophy just weeks before.