Saturday nights 3-1 victory over Leeds will be a game I’ll never forget. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend many Chelsea matches in my 19 years as a season ticket holder, but this was one like no other.
Being one of the lucky 2,000 was an honour and something I was absolutely buzzing for. I still had doubts at the back of my mind, especially as my Dad failed to get a ticket in the ballot but being back for the first time since March was so exciting.
I arrived at 7pm, an hour before kick off and in all honesty an hour before I normally get through the turnstiles.
To get in, you had to produce your match ticket, covid declaration form and ID on 3 separate occasions to get past security and onto the area surrounding the stadium.
The club had set up a number of concession stalls outside to aid social distancing and keeping as many people outside as possible.
You could see those in suits, obviously very important of the running of this event outside on their walkie talkies making sure things were going fine.
I brought a programme, my first, finals aside, for a good 5 years. Headed to my seat, West Stand Lower, Block 1, Row 20, Seat 23, to read through it.
All the stewards were extremely helpful and happy to see us, which is a welcome change. They seemed just as happy as us to be back at Stamford Bridge.
The programme by the way, was jam packed of really interesting features, exclusive interviews and mirrors the increased level of amazing content we’ve seen produced by the club recently.
Supporters quickly started filling up the areas that had been dedicated to them, the West and Shed End lower tiers.
Seeing the players run out for their warm up, run towards the West Stand and receive adulation from the supporters was a wonderful sight.
Team news read out, biggest cheers for Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva and Mason Mount, and good cheers for the rest of the team.
The liquidator, how I’ve missed you, even the ‘we hate Tottenham’ edition was welcomed because it’s been so long since we’ve been able to do the ‘dun dun dun dun CHELSEA!’
Earlier in the day, supporters from everyone’s favourite team Millwall caused controversy by loudly booing when the team took the knee to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Where I was sat, I did hear one or two attempt to boo, this was quickly sounded out by applause from the other 1,998 supporters in the crowd.
Chelsea started really quickly but gifted Patrick Bamford an opportunity better than any he received in his 5 years at the club.
Almost instantly, chants of “your support is fucking shit” and “1-0 and you still don’t sing” we’re started, football humour in my opinion is undefeated.
Add to that the 1/2 hour long commitment to taking the piss out of the Leeds centre half who let out a high pitched scream when complaining he’d been fouled.
Football fans are funny, really funny.
It was great to see our new players in the flesh. All six new signings were on the pitch and all showed moments to get us excited.
And the game was exciting, an exhilarating end to end battle especially the first half which meant that you hardly noticed that the stadium was empty because we were making so much noise and you were so absorbed by the game.
There were moments when the game lulled, such as Hakim Ziyech’s injury when you could hear the players and the coaching staff, and at halftime you heard the bell signifying players had to get back out for the second half.
But during the game which was a high tempo end to end match you hardly noticed there was only 2,000 supporters there.
Perhaps we were lucky that the game was against Leeds, perhaps it will be different at tomorrow nights dead rubber against Krasnador.
The experience has whetted the appitite for the day when we can all go to the game again, because in reality going to the football is about everything but the football.
Meet your mates, have a drink, have a moan and start to think.
It’s good to be home, home sweet home.