The rules were simple: 5 bloggers, 4 rounds, snake draft. David picked first, then Yatco, Graham, André, and Rohaan. 20 goals in total.
All goals eligible except Didier Drogba’s equalizer in the 2012 Champions League final. Too obvious.
In reverse order, these are our favorite, greatest, bestest (however each of us interpreted the rules) Chelsea goals. You will probably disagree, but you’re probably wrong.
Didier Drogba vs. Liverpool, 2006
Didier Drogba was truly phenomenal.
The Man for the Big Occasion may not have been the most consistently prolific or the most technical striker, but his impact was unquestionable. Today’s increasingly analytics-heavy football world might struggle to understand how, but sometimes numbers are just numbers and don’t mean much beyond that. Drogba was a man outside the bounds of normal football statistical norms.
Perhaps this is the reason why there are two of his goals in succession in this series — both from the same season; both against Merseyside clubs — even after we made his biggest goal ineligible for the Draft.
It was September 26, 2006.
Chelsea were heading into the fifth game of the 2006-07 season after winning the two previous Premier League titles. The initial skepticism of the club’s rise thanks to the riches of Roman Abramovich and the brashness of a certain José Mourinho had been all but removed. The landscape of English football had shifted permanently.
The Blues won three of the first four matches of the season, but fierce rivals Liverpool were coming to Stamford Bridge. Those clashes of Blues versus Reds in the latter part of the first decade of the new millennium were legendary. This one was another cagey classic, decided by one moment of brilliance.
Neither side were going to give away anything easy. But no earthly human could stop Didier. And certainly not Jamie Carragher.
In the 42nd minute, Frank Lampard pinged a long ball towards Drogba in hopes that the striker could make something happen, but also partly because everyone was eyeing the clock and ready for half time. Drogba was ready for something else entirely.
Didier controlled the ball on his chest immaculately, took a step away from his marker to create space, pivoted on his right foot and blasted the ball into the back of the net with his left on a perfectly timed half-volley — all done in one fluid motion worthy of song, poem, praise.
Carragher: flabbergasted. Pepe Reina: helpless. The only thing that made the goal even better was Drogba’s celebration, as he ran towards the corner flag in his trademark style, a trail of ecstatic teammates behind him.
It turned out to be the only goal in the game. But we didn’t need more. It was the perfect encapsulation of Chelsea’s character, infused with a masterclass moment of absolute genius.
Chelsea would eventually finish the season in second place behind Manchester United but collect both domestic Cup trophies, the League Cup and the FA Cup. Drogba scored all three goals in those two finals. Of course he did.
WAGNH’s Best and Most Beautifulest Chelsea Goals Draft 2020:
No.6: Didier Drogba vs. Liverpool, 2006
No.7: Didier Drogba vs. Everton, 2006
No.8: Ramires vs. Barcelona, 2012
No.9: Fernando Torres vs. Barcelona, 2012
No.10: Damien Duff vs. Barcelona, 2005
No.11: Wayne Bridge vs. Arsenal, 2004
No.12: Raul Meireles vs. Benfica, 2012
No.13: Gianfranco Zola vs. Wimbledon, 1997
No.14: Arjen Robben vs. Norwich City, 2004
No.15: Claude Makélélé vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 2006
No.16: Oscar vs. Juventus, 2012
No.17: Bethany England vs. Birmingham City, 2019
No.18: Demba Ba vs. Manchester United, 2013
No.19: André Schürrle vs. Burnley, 2014
No.20: Alex vs. Liverpool, 2009