Chelsea are the fourth most successful side in English football and they have had a lot of success on the continent, particularly in the last twenty years. So exactly how successful have Chelsea been in Europe?
How many European trophies has Chelsea won? Chelsea have won eight European trophies, winning four different trophies twice. Chelsea have won the Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the Uefa Super Cup, winning all four twice.
Chelsea have had massive success in European football, particularly over the last decade. Their crowning achievements are the two Champions League trophies, both coming in the last decade. They have also won the Europa League twice in the last decade.
This however is only half of their European trophies. Chelsea have also won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, a European competition which was abolished in 1999. They have also won the UEFA Super Cup twice, which is their most recent European trophy.
Chelsea’s Champions League winning seasons
Chelsea had never been a particularly successful club in the 20th century, but with the investments made by Roman Abramovich, the club were in a position to compete on the European level. They made their first Champions League final in 2008 but lost on Penalties to Manchester United.
They came into the 2011-12 season in good but not great form, only getting through to the knockout stages of the Champions League after a final game victory over Valencia, having been pegged back by draws to Valencia and Genk as well as a 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen.
They were once again behind in the Round of 16. Juan Mata gave Chelsea the lead in Naples, but they returned to London 3-1 down. But Chelsea took a 2-0 lead just after halftime before Napoli scored to leave Chelsea in trouble. Frank Lampard scored a crucial goal to take it to extra time in the 75th minute before a 106th-minute Branislav Ivanovic winner secured Chelsea’s place in the Quarter-finals.
The Quarter-final was a lot more comfortable, with two easy victories over Benfica. The 2012 semi-final is one of the best games in Chelsea’s history. Barcelona took a 2-1 aggregate lead, with John Terry being sent off in between Barca’s goals. In a messy and ill-tempered game, Fernando Torres scored the securing goal in the 92nd minute.
It produced an incredible moment of commentary with Gary Neville struggling to contain himself as Chelsea booked themselves into the Champions League final. The final was a close game throughout, with neither side being able to find a goal until Thomas Mueller scored in the 83rd minute.
But Didier Drogba equalised with minutes to go, with the Ivorian eventually scoring the winning penalty as Chelsea won their first Champions League title.
After a summer of big spending, Chelsea went into the 2020-21 season with some expectations of good performances, but they certainly outplayed expectations.
Having gone unbeaten in the group stage, Chelsea kept two clean sheets against Atletico Madrid to cruise through to the Quarter-finals. A 2-0 win in the first leg was just enough for the blues as they lost the second leg 1-0.
They were held by Real Madrid in the first leg of the semi-final, with Madrid not having any fans in attendance for the first leg. Once again in front of an empty stadium, Chelsea produced a solid display, with goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount sending them to the final after a tie filled with yellow cards and missed opportunities.
The final would be an all-English affair, with Chelsea facing Manchester City, who they had beaten twice in the month leading up to the final. But City were the Premier League champions and would be a very difficult tie.
The final was an incredibly close affair, with neither team able to create a lot of opportunities. City had also cruised to the final of the competition, scoring twice in every knockout game.
But Chelsea’s defence held strong and City had limited opportunities. Chelsea’s five-at-the-back formation meant City were held to little chances. Chelsea were able to find the lead when Mason Mount’s ball found Kai Havertz who pounced when the ball deflected off Ederson, to pass the ball into an empty net.
Chelsea held on despite some City chances and won their second Champions League trophy.
When did Chelsea last win a European trophy?
Many people will probably think of Chelsea’s 2021 Champions League victory as the last European trophy that the London club won. But this is not the case. Chelsea winning the Champions League meant they got to play for the UEFA Super Cup at the start of the 2021-22 season against Europa League winners Villarreal.
Hakeem Ziyech scored in the 27th minute, but Chelsea could not stop Gerard Moreno from scoring an equaliser. Neither team could find the winner and the game would head to penalties. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel made a huge move before the end of extra time, with keeper Edouard Mendy being brought off for Kepa Arrizabalaga who had a better penalty record.
It turned out to be the right move, despite Kai Havertz missing the first penalty. Kepa would save two penalties, the first being Aissa Mandi’s strike, before saving Raul Albiol’s penalty for Chelsea to claim the win.
When did Chelsea win their first European trophy?
While there is a lot made of Chelsea only really becoming successful in the last twenty years, they won their first European trophy back in 1971, long before the days of Russian investments.
They beat Bulgarian team CSKA September Flag 2-0 in the second round before going down 2-0 to Club Brugge in the quarter-final. But they produced an incredible result, winning 4-0 in the second leg.
Chelsea faced Manchester City in the semi-final and made it to the final where they faced Real Madrid. A 90th-minute Zoco equaliser meant it finished 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes, but the game went to a replay instead of extra time. Two days after the final the replay was played, with Chelsea winning their first European trophy after a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid.