Monday, March 30, 2009

Greece appeared a second time in the 1971 European cups – as a host to the Cup Winners Cup. Twice. The final between Chelsea (London) and Real (Madrid) was played on Karaiskakis Stadium in Pireaus. A revenge of a kind on Athens. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and had to be replayed. The second match Chelsea clinched 2-1 victory and won the Cup. As a fan of British football, I was happy. Moreover, it was my kind of football – the Davids fought bravely the Goliaths. Chelsea were nothing like the giant fueled by Roman Abramovitch’s money of today – they were rather middle of the row club. Good team – some think the best ever the club had – but hardly a candidate for a title. In the constellation of London clubs, they came under Arsenal, Tottenham, and West Ham. Not only that, Chelsea had no big traditional rival, and as derbies go, this special attraction for both fans and media, they were no part of it. Unlike today. Humble club, really.
Real were in decline. Still the mighty name, yet largely a name of the past. Tradition plays a big role in football of course, so the Spaniard were considered favorites, thus adding more glory to Chelsea’s victory and building a myth. But really! Real won its last European trophy in 1966 and there were some years to pass before they got new silver. As for Chelsea, this Cup was their only European success until late 1990s. Nobody was able to predict the difficult future in 1971 – Chelsea were good club with a good team. By the end of the decade the Pensioners were really true to their nickname – they were about to expire. With bankruptcy coming, nobody would had dream of Chelsea becoming a superpower and having fan clubs in Malaysia. However, we are in 1971 – a good year, suggesting solid future.

Chelsea (0) 1 Real Madrid (1) 1 aet

30' 0-1RM: Zoco55' 1-1 C: Osgood

Chelsea:Bonetti; Boyle, Dempsey, Webb, Harris; Hollins (Mulligan), Hudson, Cooke; Weller, Osgood (Baldwin), Houseman

Real Madrid: Borja; Jose Luis, Benito, Zoco, Zunzunegui; Pirri, Grosso, Velazquez; Perez (Fleitas), Amancio, Gento (Grande)

Final Replay, Karaiskaki Stadium, Peraías, 21 May 1971, att 35000 Chelsea (2) 2 Real Madrid (0)

132' 1-0 C: Dempsey38' 2-0 C: Osgood74' 2-1 RM: Fleitas

Chelsea: Bonetti; Boyle, Dempsey, Webb, Harris; Cooke, Hudson, Weller; Baldwin, Osgood (Smethurst), Houseman

Real Madrid: Borja; Jose Luis, Benito, Zoco, Zunzunegui; Pirri, Grosso, Velazquez(Gento); Fleitas, Amancio, Bueno (Grande)
Blue boys as good as they come:
Standing, left to right: Ian Hutchinson, Peter Osgood, David Webb, Peter Bonetti, Eddie McCreadie, Marvin Hinton, John Dempsey
Sitting: Tommy Baldwin, Charlie Cooke, Ron Harris, Peter Houseman, Alan Hudson, John Hollins.