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Friday, 23 November 2012

Chelsea v Manchester City: Great Games No 4 - City put four past Chelsea

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Chelsea v man city

Premier League leaders and champions Manchester City travel to the Bridge this weekend to take on Chelsea and their new manager Rafa Benitez. It proves to be one of the biggest games of the weekend, but will it live up to its billing?

We are building up to Sunday's huge game by taking a look back at five of the greatest games between the two sides. Yesterday we took a look at an action-packed draw from 1990. Today we go back to 1978 and a season that saw Chelsea relegated from the top flight.


This crushing home defeat was a low point in Chelsea's relegation season. Yes, you did really read that right. The current European Champions were relegated to the Second Division in 1979.  I dread to think what Roman Abramovich would have done to the manager!
The Kings Road side had lost its swagger big time. At the start of the decade Chelsea were the glamour club. Dave Sexton's swashbucklers won the FA Cup in 1970. A year later the Blues lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup.
The mercurial talents of Charlie Cooke, Alan Hudson and Peter Osgood lit up the Bridge, but things began to turn pear shaped soon after. In 1974 Osgood and Hudson fell out with Sexton. Hudson joined Stoke City while Ossie signed for Southampton. Financial problems began to surface. The club went into debt while building the new East Stand. Chelsea were an all-sorts side. Promising youngsters Ray Wilkins and Gary Stanley were thrown in alongside veterans Peter Bonetti and Ron Harris.
Manchester City were also in transition. England striker Mick Channon was signed from Southampton, while twins Paul and Ron Futcher were prized away from Luton Town.

The game was done and dusted by half time. City opened the scoring when Channon beat the offside trap and placed his shot wide of the advancing Bonetti. City nearly made it two soon after. Neat approach play from Channon and Ron Futcher presented Asa Hartford with a shooting opportunity. The Scottish midfielder was desperately unlucky when his right foot shot hit the post.

The North West club did double their advantage through the simplest of goals. Joe Corrigan's long goal kick was flicked on by Channon. Ron Futcher latched on to the knock down and hammered the ball past Bonetti.

An excellent move made it 3-0 to Manchester City. Channon found Harford on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. Harford played a first time pass into Ron Futcher's path. The striker took one touch and beat Bonetti at his near post. 
Futcher completed his hat-trick in the second half. Peter Barnes's right wing corner was fisted away by the Chelsea goalkeeper. Hartford collected the loose ball and delivered a teasing cross. Futcher stooped to nod Hartford's centre into the back of the net.
Chelsea did pull one back through Stanley's header, but the dye was cast. The off-colour Blues went on to finish rock bottom, winning just five of their 42 league games.


We will contine our countdown to number one tomorrow with a double header.


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Colin Illingworth



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