Video of the Day: Watford v Chelsea, January 1987
The decline of Chelsea this season – even if it has been rather arrested by the arrival of Guus Hiddink over the course of the last few weeks – has caused considerable head scratching on the part of those who are supposed to know about these things. Chelsea’s financial largesse is supposed to insulate the club from the mediocrity of mid-table football, but this season hasn’t gone according to any plans that anybody would reasonably have been expected to foresee. Life wasn’t always like this for Chelsea Football Club, though. The money of Roman Abramovich has – perhaps forever – changed the fortunes of this club.
The 1980s were not particularly kind to Chelsea, but at least in 1987 they were a First Division club, albeit one that could only finish that season in fourteenth place in the table and would go on to be relegated the following season. The FA Cup was, in view of this, something of a respite from the drudgery of the league and this morning’s chosen match sees Chelsea make the short trip north to Vicarage Road to play Watford in the Fourth Round of the competition. Watford had completed their rapid ascent to the First Division of the Football League in 1987 and had acquitted themselves well, although they would be joining Chelsea in getting relegated the following season.
The 1987 FA Cup saw the club follow their Fourth Round match against Chelsea by requiring two replays to beat Walsall and winning a controversial match at Highbury against Arsenal before losing in semi-finals to Tottenham Hotspur in a match probably best remembered for the Hornets’ need to sign an emergency goalkeeper just a few days before it was played. Commentary for this match comes from Brian Moore.
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