Stamford Chidge, Jonathan Kydd and Mark Meehan take a look back at the 2005-06 Chelsea season.
Chelsea entered their centenery season as Premier League Champions with a new kit and a new badge to celebrate it. Hopes were high that more trophies would be won this season with the ‘Special One’ at the helm, but could we be become back-to-back Champions?
Chelsea secured their first trophy of the season in a 2-1 win against nemesis Arsenal in the Community Shield; notable mainly for Drogba scoring against Arsenal, in a final and bullying their defence in the process. Our defence of the title could not have started better with 7 wins, no goals conceded and 13 scored. By the end of September Chelsea were already 10 points clear of their nearest rivals, Man Utd, at the top of the table.
The Champions League was proving a little more troublesome, with Chelsea in the same group as Liverpool, the current holders. While points were dropped at Anfield in a 0-0 draw, Chelsea turned up at Anfield a couple of days later in the league to inflict a 4-1 defeat on them. Liverpool’s biggest home defeat since 1969 and Chelsea’s biggest win at Anfield.
The only blip in the first half of the season were away defeats to Real Betis in the Champions’ League, a 1-0 away defeat to Man Utd and Charlton knocking us out of the Carling Cup on penalties. Typically, Jose claimed that our impregnable home form remained in tact as losing on penalties didn’t count!
December was negotiated expertly, including the first ‘Double’ over Arsenal for the first time in 36 years in a 2-0 win, the last time we would play at Highbury. Chelsea finished the year top of the league 11 points clear with 55 points, above Utd on 44 and equalling last season’s points tally and record at this stage of the season, with one draw and one defeat. Chelsea had played 38 games in 2005 and won 101 points a remarkable feat not told enough.