POST-SEASON BRIEFING 2011/12
Posted on: Sat 02 Jun 2012
In their traditional review of the last nine months, club historian Rick Glanvill has the chance to discuss history made and club statistician Paul Dutton adds some highly-significant numbers to the records books…
It was, as others have observed, 'one small step for a man, one giant leap for Chelsea.' Some probably argued Didier Drogba's step was too short for the run-up to such an important kick. The proof was in the scoring.
Just like the 1969 moon landings, every Chelsea fan will remember where they were when the execution of that penalty won Chelsea the Champions League the first time; many have gone one better and committed the moment to YouTube.
The Blues became just the fifth English club to win that prestigious trophy, the others being Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa (whose fans will have to find a new song when they play us).
Chelsea became the first club in London to enjoy that honour. The last time the Blues could say that was in 1965 with the League Cup.
The game was a massive draw. It was estimated 45,000 Chelsea fans made their way to Bavaria, with or without a ticket. Back home, live coverage of the Munich final on ITV averaged 8.2 million viewers and a 33.5% share over three hours. Sky Sports averaged 1.488 million and a 6.7%.
That was more than tuned in to last year's final, Barcelona versus Manchester United at Wembley, which averaged 7.9 million and a 33.2% share on ITV, with 1.34 million watching Sky Sports' coverage.
Channel 4 competed by showing the film 'Titanic', the irony of which was surely not lost on Spurs fans.
Globally, through TV, internet and social media, Uefa suggests 300 million people followed the match live in 200 countries or territories. Watching the celebration videos uploaded everywhere from Fulham Broadway and Munich to New York and Saigon it is easy to see why.
How proud John Battersby would have been of Chelsea's success in a competition he helped create in 1955. Our former club secretary, who died in 2010, attended all the meetings that established the European Cup and was hugely disappointed when xenophobes at the Football League blocked champions Chelsea's entry to the inaugural 1955/56 tournament. So here's a toast to 'JB.'
Several Chelsea players have now won ten major honours in eight years - that is more than any other player in the history of any of the capital's other clubs.
Edging Bayern in the Champions League final from the spot means the Blues have won three of the last five penalty shoot-outs faced, two of them this season (the other being against Fulham in the League Cup).
The win not only removed rivals Tottenham from next season's competition, with its associated revenues, but ensured that Chelsea have a chance to become the first club in the Champions League era to defend the title successfully, at Wembley on 25 May 2013.
Contesting the final also meant that no club has played more Champions League matches than the Blues since 2003. With the departure of Pep Guardiola from our semi-final opponents Barcelona, Chelsea will be recorded as the only undefeated opponent of the 55 that faced his exceptional Catalunyans.
How different everything looked in the moments after defeat at West Bromwich Albion on 3 March - the Blues' first defeat at the Hawthorns in 43 years. It was just as ominous a sign as the ill-fated loss at QPR in October - the Blues' first defeat to a newly-promoted side since 2001.
In spring progress in every remaining campaign was imminently threatened, with a tricky midweek trip to Birmingham for an FA Cup replay and the daunting prospect of overcoming a 1-3 deficit to Napoli a week later.
The decision to promote Roberto Di Matteo to interim first team coach was an inspired one. He was assisted by Steve Holland and Eddie Newton, the dressing room immediately united with them and performances reflected that.
Although the key objective - a top-four place - was missed, Di Matteo ensured the proud record of finishing in the top six every year since 1997 was extended.
The FA Cup, which had given Di Matteo and Newton their finest hour that same year in May, salvaged the club's pride brilliantly. The 5-1 semi-final win over Spurs equalled our best ever at that stage of the cup (Watford in 1970, coincidentally at White Hart Lane).
By beating Liverpool 2-1 in the final on 5 May, Chelsea drew level with Reds' tally of seven wins in the competition. The 5.15pm kick-off time was the latest in the competition's 140-year history, and it drew the biggest TV audience share since the Blues beat Manchester United in the first final played at the new Wembley in 2007, covered by the BBC, and the biggest since ITV took over.
ITV's viewing figures peaked at 11.21 million, three million more than last year's clash between Manchester City and Stoke City. A further two per cent of TV viewers watch the match on ESPN.
Chelsea have now enjoyed five multiple-major trophy-winning seasons:
1997/98 - Uefa Cup-Winners' Cup and League Cup
2004/05 - Premier League and League Cup
2006/07 - FA Cup and League Cup
2009/10 - Premier League and FA Cup
2011/12 - Uefa Champions League and FA Cup
Season summary (all competitions)
Played 61, won 32, drawn 16, lost 13, goals 112, goals against 66, clean sheets 19, failed to score 10.
Uefa Champions League winners
FA Cup winners
FA Youth Cup winners
FA Ladies Youth Cup winners
FA Ladies Cup finalists
Here's what winning the Champions League added to next season's itinerary:
• Uefa Champions League group stage, starting 18 Sep 2012.
• Uefa Super Cup - versus Atlético Madrid, Stade Louis II, Monaco, 31 Aug 2012.
• Fifa Club World Cup - in Japan, 6-16 Dec 2012.
By winning the FA Cup, Chelsea will also contest the FA Community Shield against Manchester City, to be played at Villa Park on Sunday 12 August 2012.
P W D L W%
Andre Villas-Boas 40 19 11 10 48%
Roberto Di Matteo 21 13 5 3 61%
(The two penalty shoot-out wins are shown as draws)
Major trophies won in the first nine years of the Abramovich era
1 Uefa Champions League
3 Premier Leagues
4 FA Cups
2 League Cups
2 FA Community Shields
Milestones of season
Chelsea became the first London club to win the European Cup/Champions League.
The Blues won the FA Cup for the fourth time in six seasons - a feat not achieved since the 1890s.
Frank Lampard became the first Premier League player ever to notch double figures in nine successive Premier League seasons.
Didier Drogba scored nine cup final goals in nine games in his career with Chelsea.
Didier Drogba maintained his record of scoring in all of his semi-final and final appearances at Wembley (eight games in total).
Petr Cech set a new high for the number of saves in a Champions League campaign: 58. In the Premier League he has averaged a goal conceded every 128 minutes, the best since it began in 1992/93.
Six players scored ten goals or more in a season for the first time in our history: Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres, Ramires and Daniel Sturridge.
At Wembley against Liverpool, John Terry became the first captain to lift the FA Cup four times, Ashley Cole became the first player to be awarded a seventh winner's medal, and Didier Drogba scored in a final for the fourth time, another record.
Chelsea played 61 games this season in all competitions - a total reached on only three previous occasions.
The Blues set a new highest home win scoreline in the Champions League - 5-0 v KRC Genk. This equalled our home or away record win set at Galatasaray in 1999.
Two players made it to 50 Chelsea FA Cup appearances: Frank Lampard and John Terry.
One achieved 50 Chelsea Champions League appearances: Ashley Cole.
Frank Lampard captained Chelsea for the 50th time during this campaign.
John Terry has now skippered the Blues more than 400 times.
José Bosingwa reached 100 Chelsea appearances.
Salomon Kalou made it to 100 Chelsea substitute appearances (a club record).
Didier Drogba's hit his 100th Premier League goal - the first African to achieve that. He also passed the 150-goals mark for the Blues.
Frank Lampard has now made 100 career appearances in Europe. He passed the 150 career Premier League goals milestone too.
Florent Malouda made it past 200 Chelsea appearances.
Frank Lampard has managed over 500 career Premier League appearances and 550 Chelsea in all competitions for the Blues.
Against Bolton at home Chelsea achieved our 2,000th win since 1905 in all competitions.
Our 6000th league goal was Frank Lampard's against Arsenal at the Bridge.
Player of the Year: Juan Mata.
Players' Player of the Year: Ramires.
Young Player of the Year: Lucas Piazon.
Goal of the Season: Ramires against Barcelona in Camp Nou.
Special Recognition award: Bobby Tambling.
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