Video of the Day: Chelsea vs Arsenal, January 1985
Chelsea may be down in fifteenth place in the Premier League at the moment, but the nature of this particular division over the course of the last couple of decades or so means that Arsenal’s trip to Stamford Bridge this afternoon is still a match of considerable status. Dynasties come, however, and dynasties go, and thirty-two years ago this weekend both of these two clubs were in the midst of what would, by their lofty standards, be considered barren periods in their respective histories. Arsenal, of course, have been a top flight club for an uninterrupted period going back to 1919, but as the club entered its ninety-ninth year of existence, it had been fourteen years since they last won the league, while the club had won a major trophy since the 1979 FA Cup.
The home side, meanwhile, were starting to emerge from a lost decade. Financially crippled by the construction of their East Stand, Chelsea had been relegated from the First Division from the Football League in 1975 and lasted just two seasons back when promoted back in 1979. Indeed, just two season prior to this Chelsea had finished in eighteenth place in the Second Division, just two points above what might easily have been relegation to the Third Division for the first time in the club’s history. Powered by the goals of Kerry Dixon, however, they won the Second Division title the following season, and acquitted themselves well in their first season back in the First Division. Going into this match, they were in ninth place in the table, just ahead of the defending champions Liverpool on goal difference, whilst Arsenal arrived at Stamford Bridge in fifth place in the table but in the midst of a sticky patch of form, having won just one of their previous six matches. Commentary at a very muddy Stamford Bridge comes from John Motson.
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