Can Chelsea banish the Wembley blues with Spurs clash?



Olivier Giroud celebrates with the FA Cup trophy after Arsenal’s ‘irritating’ win over Chelsea at Wembley in 2017. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

This weekend’s clash was meant to have been at the new-look Three Point Lane, as seasoned Blues fans loved calling it.

But Spurs v Chelsea is staged at Tottenham’s default temporary ground, Wembley; a happy hunting ground for Chelsea, with twin towers or arch.

There have been blips. The irritating 2-1 FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal in 2017, and Fredrik Ljungberg’s clinching goal for the Gunners in 2002.

But Wembley has also witnessed glory, with few games as memorable as the one in which Robbie Di Matteo scored after 42 seconds against Boro in 1997.

I watched from a press overspill area, alongside a very excitable young Italian woman.

She turned out to be Di Matteo’s sister, Concetta, who is blind. I sat to her right, while her dad sat on her left, shouting into her ear with a running commentary in Italian on events on the pitch.

He was still trying to set the scene when the place went bonkers after what was, at the time, the fastest cup final goal.

Roberto Di Mateo, his achievement celebrated by shoals of Blues fans wearing the number 42 on their replica shirts, went on to be manager, winning the Champions League.

His inevitable sacking (no one lasts at Chelsea) came when he was... 42. The number that defined him and, of course, the answer to everything.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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