Benfica v Chelsea, Europa League Final: Mine's a triple – Victory over Benfica will see Chelsea join a most exclusive European elite

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Glenn Moore recalls the boozy beginnings of the Blues' victorious escapades in Continental cups

Chelsea can join an elite club should they win in Amsterdam, completing an odyssey which began with a nine-hour drinking session by an Athens hotel pool 42 years ago. The London club will become only the fourth team to win all three Uefa trophies: the European Cup/Champions League, the European Cup-Winners' Cup, and the Uefa Cup/Europa League. Only Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich, three of the Continent's most garlanded clubs, have previously achieved the feat and such stellar teams as Real Madrid, Internazionale and Liverpool never will.

That is because one of the trophies, the Cup-Winners' Cup, was discontinued in 1999. Like Liverpool, who lost to Borussia Dortmund in 1966, Real have reached the final, but lost to Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen in 1983 and to Chelsea in 1971.

In a golden era for English football in Europe, it was victory over the holders Manchester City in the semi-finals which took Chelsea back to Greece, where their campaign had begun against Aris Salonika. They faced a tougher proposition in the Athenian port of Piraeus. Opponents Real boasted six members of the 1966 European Cup-winning side, including legendary winger Gento and midfield maestro Pirri, but Chelsea should have won outright in 90 minutes. However, having led through Peter Osgood's 56th-minute strike, they conceded in injury time following a miscued clearance by John Dempsey. Real were the better side in extra time but Chelsea hung on.

 

Follow all the latest news on the match and keep up-to-date with developments in Amsterdam by clicking here

 

In those days a drawn match meant a replay, not a penalty shoot-out. This was arranged for the same ground 48 hours later, a Friday night. Chelsea had been billeted out of town as manager Dave Sexton did not want his team, which had already acquired a reputation for living life to the full, succumbing to temptation. But after the final Sexton told them they could spend the "rest day" doing whatever they liked, explaining "they had performed terrifically for me over a long, hard season". Osgood, Charlie Cooke and Tommy Baldwin headed for the Athens Hilton, where the club's directors were staying. Beers were ordered, and cocktails, then more beers, and more cocktails.

"We were a bit pissed when we got back to the hotel," admitted Baldwin to author Clive Batty in Kings of the King's Road (Vision Sports Publishing). Baldwin insisted he only drank beer but Osgood said: "Me and Charlie were definitely on the cocktails. I had quite a few. I remember Alan Hudson coming past and saying, 'Come on, lads', and I said, 'Look, son, don't worry about us, we're on the top of our form, just worry about your own game'." Hudson himself recalled to Batty: "Ossie [Osgood] said to me, 'You go home and have an early night because you've got to do my running for me tomorrow'. They were already pretty pissed."

After eight hours' drinking they headed back to the hotel, arriving too late for the 7pm dinner. Sexton told Baldwin, who had been a late substitute in the first match, he was fined – and he was playing. If he had known, said Baldwin, who was nicknamed The Sponge for his capacity to soak up alcohol, "I'd probably have gone out anyway".

The following night, with Baldwin in for the injured John Hollins, Osgood playing only after his second cortisone injection in three days (which would be frowned upon today), and Hudson carrying a dead leg, Chelsea went two up by half-time. Dempsey volleyed in from a Cooke corner, Osgood added an equally well-hit second following Baldwin's pass. Real, themselves hindered by an injury to Pirri, pulled a goal back with 15 minutes left but were this time unable to force extra time. The Chelsea players celebrated in style, that night, on the plane home and then on an open-top bus which collected them at Heathrow on the Saturday morning and took them to Stamford Bridge.

That team broke up under the weight of its own indiscipline and it was another 27 years before Chelsea beat VfB Stuttgart, managed by current Germany manager Joachim Löw, in the same competition. Gianluca Vialli was Chelsea's player-manager, having unexpectedly taken over from Ruud Gullit three months earlier. A groin injury confined Gianfranco Zola to the bench but he came on to score with virtually his first touch. Though Dan Petrescu was dismissed with five minutes remaining, Chelsea held on.

Since then the quest has been to win the Champions League, an aim finally achieved, famously and improbably, in Bavaria last May. Chelsea hoped to be defending that trophy this month, but victory in the junior competition will give them a very rare treble.

 

Follow all the latest news on the match and keep up-to-date with developments in Amsterdam by clicking here

 

Up for the Cups: European multiple winners

Juventus

The first club to win the triple crown, lifting all three in a heady eight-year period under current Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni. A 1977 Uefa Cup triumph was followed by the Cup-Winners' Cup in 1984 and the European Cup against Liverpool a year later in a final marred by the Heysel tragedy.

Ajax

Inspired by Johan Cruyff to a trio of European Cups in the early 1970s, Ajax added the Cup-Winners' Cup in 1987 before the 1992 Uefa Cup completed the set.

Bayern Munich

Bayern won the Cup-Winners' Cup in 1967, defeating Rangers in Nuremberg, and added a trio of European Cups in the 1970s. It was not until 1996 they achieved the treble with the Uefa Cup.

Mighty managers

Two managers, Trapattoni and Udo Lattek (Bayern, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Barcelona), have won them all. Arsène Wenger has lost the finals of all of them (with Monaco and Arsenal).

Nine players have lifted all three trophies, including Arnold Muhren, with Ajax and Ipswich, and Gianluca Vialli, who had already done the treble with Juventus and Sampdoria when he won the Cup-Winners' Cup again with Chelsea in 1998.

Close but no cigar

Barcelona won the Inter-Cities' Fairs Cup, the forerunner of the Uefa Cup, as well as the Champions League and Cup-Winners' Cups. However, Uefa does not recognise the Fairs' Cup, primarily as the organisation did not run it but also as it had odd qualification criteria (in Barca's first final they beat a London XI).

Chelsea finals

European Cup-Winners' Cup 1971

Chelsea 1 (Osgood 56), Real Madrid 1 (Zoco 90) aet

Replay: Chelsea 2 (Osgood 33, Dempsey 39), Real Madrid 1 (Fleitas 75)

European Cup-Winners' Cup 1998

Chelsea 1 (Zola 71), Stuttgart 0

Champions League 2012

Chelsea 1 (Drogba 88), Bayern Munich 1 (Müller 83) Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Furyon London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam