In my 14-and-a-half years of going to watch Chelsea live, one of my favourite memories is the 2007 League Cup Final triumph over Arsenal.
I had only been to watch The Blues a few times prior to that day and all those matches had been at Stamford Bridge, barring one trip to St Mary’s to witness a 1-0 victory over Southampton, thanks to cult hero Mario Melchiot’s second half goal.
My dad had been fortunate enough to get us two tickets for the cup final and I remember being so excited, especially as I was only nine years old at the time.
As Wembley Stadium was still being re-constructed, the match took place at the Millennium Stadium (now Principality Stadium) in Cardiff. A packed house of over 70,000 people witnessed the spectacle and what a game it was.
Chelsea went behind after 12 minutes, when a 17-year-old Theo Walcott opened the scoring with his first ever goal for the club. However, not to be deterred, Jose Mourinho’s men fought back and eight minutes later, Didier Drogba levelled the match after firing his shot past the on-rushing Manuel Almunia.
The match became an incident-fuelled affair after the interval, which included Chelsea skipper John Terry being knocked out by Abou Diaby’s attempted clearance; which is still one of the most harrowing experiences I have witnessed in my lifetime.
Drogba, the man who loved to score in both cup finals and against Arsenal was at it again six minutes from time, scoring what proved to be the trophy-winning goal.
The match ended in an altercation involving both sets of players, which resulted in both John Obi Mikel and Kolo Toure receiving red cards.
The eventful tie made it such an incredible and unforgettable experience which will stay with me forever.
On Wednesday night, the two sides face each other again in the semi-final of the same competition, where hopefully the two sides will recreate a match of equal excitement.
After playing out a 2-2 draw last week, the two teams will be eager to lock horns at Stamford Bridge once again, knowing that one of them are possibly just 180 minutes away from another League Cup Final.
Score Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal
By Jonty Colman