Strength in adversity: check out how Chelsea have defeated top teams with 10men

Strength in adversity – Chelsea’s top performances with 10 men

Having a player sent off before half-time is never a good thing for a football team but as we discovered in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday, Chelsea should never be counted out even with a man disadvantage.

In tribute to the players whose valiant display secured a deserved point against the Reds after Reece James’ harsh dismissal had reduced us to 10, here is a look at some other fine performances by the Blues when we have gone a player down with more than half the game still to be played.

West Ham – April 2006

The fans at Stamford Bridge may have feared the worse when Maniche was dismissed for a late lunging tackle after 17 minutes, with Chelsea already trailing to a James Collins goal, but the Blues showed the stuff of champions to turn things around against the numerically-superior Hammers.

Goals in a three-minute spell by Didier Drogba and Hernan Crespo gave us the lead before second-half strikes by John Terry and William Gallas sealed a memorable 4-1 victory as we closed in on a second consecutive Premier League crown.


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Arsenal – May 2007

Chelsea were denied a hat-trick of league titles in 2006/07 although there was much to be proud of when we relinquished our crown following our first-ever visit to the Emirates Stadium.

The Blues could have thrown in the towel when Khalid Boulahrouz was sent off after 43 minutes while conceding a penalty that was converted by Gilberto Silva. But we dug deep instead to push Arsenal all the way in the second half with Michael Essien netting a deserved equaliser before Frank Lampard and Salomon Kalou forced late saves from Jens Lehmann in a frantic conclusion.

While the result on the day was disappointing, the Blues carried the spirit forward as we beat Manchester United in the FA Cup a few weeks later to secure a domestic cup double.

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Swansea City – September 2011

Fernando Torres endured an up-and-down afternoon when we hosted the Swans in the Premier League in 2011/12, opening the scoring but then getting sent off in the 38th minute after he went in too enthusiastically for a challenge on Mark Gower.

Chelsea were leading 2-0 but although there was plenty of time for the Welsh side to mount a comeback, we remained in control after the interval as Ramires extended our advantage with his second goal of the game before Drogba’s shot on the turn sealed a 4-1 victory.

Barcelona – April 2012

With Gary Cahill taken off injured early on, John Terry sent off after 37 minutes and Andres Iniesta giving Barcelona the lead late in the first half, most football fans would have written off any lingering hope of Chelsea reaching the 2012 Champions League final.

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However, Roberto Di Matteo’s side produced one of our greatest performances in European competition, taking the lead on away goals through Ramires’ audacious chip and absorbing wave upon wave of attack from the home side before Torres put the match out of reach with a killer goal deep into stoppage time.

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