Gutting it out – hard-earned 1-0 wins

Thomas Tuchel’s side had to dig deep at the Brentford Community Stadium to preserve the lead given to us by Ben Chilwell just before half-time with Edouard Mendy producing a string of fine saves late on to ensure we won the west London derby.

However, grinding out three points against determined opponents in a tricky away fixture highlights the doggedness of the Blues to get a result in difficult circumstances and has often laid the foundation for success in our league-winning campaigns.

Blackburn Rovers – February 2005

Arjen Robben put Chelsea on course for an eighth straight league win and an 11-point lead in the table when fired us ahead after only five minutes at Ewood Park but when the Dutch winger was taken off injured after a poor challenge soon after, the game devolved into a tempestuous scrap.

Blackburn tried to rile the Blues with high-tempo pressing and feisty challenges which resulted in heated exchanges between both sets of players as the match threatened to boil over. However, Petr Cech superbly stopped a penalty by Rovers’ instigator-in-chief Paul Dickov as we repelled everything the home side could throw at us to claim a crucial 1-0 win.

The sight of several Blues walking off the pitch bare-chested in chilly conditions after throwing their shirts to fans in the away end following the final whistle epitomised the team’s battling spirit as we went on to keep 10 clear sheets in a row and claimed our first league title for 50 years.

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