Video of the Day: Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur, April 1985
Leicester City’s one-one draw at Old Trafford yesterday means that the champagne in the East Midlands will remain on ice for now, at least. A second opportunity for Leicester to win the title comes this evening at Stamford Bridge, where a failure on the part of Tottenham Hotspur to win there for the first time in twenty-six years would similarly mean the Premier League title heading to The King Power Stadium. And that may well be enough to cause some sort of celebration amongst Chelsea supporters at the end of a season from which they’ve been unable to pull a great deal of joy elsewhere.
Spurs’ record at Stamford Bridge wasn’t always as bad as it has been over this last quarter of a century, of course. The teams didn’t meet much in the early 1980s due to being in different divisions, and Spurs beat a Chelsea team that had already knocked Liverpool out of that year’s competition there in the quarter-finals of the 1982 FA Cup. When Chelsea returned to the First Division in 1984, they settled comfortably back into life in the top flight, and when Spurs travelled to Stamford Bridge on the twenty-seventh April 1985 it was with the faint chance of winning the league for the first time since 1961 slipping from their grasp, in third place in the table with Everton eleven points above them in top spot.
And against a Chelsea side in eighth place in the table, winning was no simple task, just as it will not be tonight. For all their mishaps over the course of the season, this Chelsea team is a mixture of enormous talents, and is plenty capable of ending Spurs’ withering title ambitions should it put its mind to the matter this evening. Meanwhile, back in 1985, commentary comes from John Motson, and it’s worth noting that the attendance for this match was 26,310 – a far cry from the 42,000 expected at Stamford Bridge tonight, and a reflection upon the extent to which football was at a low ebb in the middle of the 1980s.