Club 50: Chelsea’s seven Premier League half-centurions | News | Official site
Diego Costa’s return did – but do you know which other Blues have reached half a century of Premier League goals?
Graham Potter’s side are back in the top flight today against a Wolves side who have a new striker in their ranks, someone we know very well here at Stamford Bridge.
During his three years at the club, Diego Costa won two Premier League titles and his goals played a big part in both triumphs as he ended his time with the club after joining an elite group of players to pass the 50-goal mark in the competition.
Diego belonged to a very specific category of striker, namely that of the “defender’s worst nightmare”. Not only did he harass and harass them every time the ball was played from the back, but he actively embraced all of the so-called dark arts of football to dissuade them from their game in any way possible.
But don’t let that distract from what he was an expert finisher, as he scored 52 Premier League goals in just 89 appearances in the competition. In each of his three seasons with the club, he finished as our top scorer, and two of those ended in him getting his hands on the Premier League trophy, so he must have done something right.
Just above Diego Costa with 54 goals is a footballer who was quite the opposite in terms of personality. If the Brazilian-born striker was all fire and brimstone, Eidur Gudjohnsen was icy – and it ended up working perfectly in a striking partnership with a player who was not far behind Diego in terms of feistiness.
Everything Gudjohnsen did on a football pitch seemed perfectly measured, whether it was the countless goals he scored for his teammates or the icy finishes behind numerous victories in six successful years in Blue between 2000 and 2006.
The pick of his 54 goals was undoubtedly the bicycle kick against Leeds United in 2003, which should be talked about more when it comes to the best strikes seen at Bridge, and his best season was in 2001/02 when he scored 14 times.
Then we have Gianfranco Zola, who scored five more than Eidur to end his Chelsea career with 59 Premier League appearances in 229 appearances. It might not seem like the most prolific strike rate but, let’s be honest, if you measure the little Italian’s impact at the club by goals, football might not be the sport for you.
We had never seen a player like him when he joined the club in 1996 and over the next seven years he brought so much joy – and scored many spectacular goals, many from free-kicks. Zola was loved by fans across the Premier League, always playing the game with a smile on his face, and the fact that he had his best season in 2002/03 with 14 goals at the age of 37 makes us love even more.
It seems the early 2000s were a good time for goalscorers as we have another one on the list from there with an impressive 69 goals in 136 appearances. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is that man, and he will always be remembered by Chelsea fans of a certain vintage who have been clamoring for a prolific goalscorer since the days of Kerry Dixon.
Jimmy certainly did the trick, scoring goals like it was nobody’s business – he scored 23 goals in each of his first two Premier League seasons with us, winning the Golden Boot in the first of these campaigns. The fact that he kept scoring against Tottenham again and again certainly contributed to his status as a fan favourite.
It’s also worth noting, on a weekend we play Wolves, he once came off the bench to score a 13-minute hat-trick against them. It was a way to celebrate his 32nd birthday.
Much like Zola, Eden Hazard was known for his versatile talent and creativity as much as his goalscoring prowess, but he netted 85 times in the Premier League for Chelsea, including two seasons where he netted 16 goals.
Hazard actually finished with 31 more goals than assists during his Premier League career and many of those were dazzling efforts, including the Goal of the Season winning efforts against Arsenal (solo special) and Tottenham Hotspur (accuracy personified).
The latter was the goal that confirmed Leicester City as Premier League champions and, rather uniquely, ensured that Hazard had settled the title race in two consecutive seasons, as his goal against Crystal Palace the year before was decisive.
We’re down to the last two now and it’s fair to say that the real Blues could probably stop reading here, because you should already know a) who they are and b) what they’ve achieved here. Again, we never tire of writing about these two legends, so read on…
Didier Drogba’s greatest moments for Chelsea tended to come in cup competitions, when the spotlight was at its peak, but 104 goals in 254 Premier League appearances is nothing to sneeze at. And they were all kinds of goals: ball headers, poacher finishes from inside the box, world-class finishes from outside the box. You name it, Didier could score it.
He has won the Premier League Golden Boot twice, the second of which helped us win the title in 2009/10 as part of our Premier League and FA Cup ‘Double’ and he was the first player African to score a century of goals in the competition.
At the top of the list, far ahead with 147 goals, is Frank Lampard. He finished with 211 in all competitions for the Blues to become our all-time top scorer (although his tally of 147 isn’t the highest in league games – that record belongs to Bobby Tambling) and he can claim to be Chelsea’s greatest ever player.
How can a midfielder score 22 goals in a season, which Lamps did in 2009/10? How does a midfielder rank among the top six Premier League goalscorers of all time? The rulebook, quite simply, has been torn apart by Lampard over the course of a quite remarkable career.
As well as consistent excellence, our legendary No.8 also has his iconic Premier League moment, having scored a brace at Bolton to secure our first top-flight championship in 50 years.
It only remains to see if anyone else has come close to 50 Premier League goals for the Blues. Well, the next top scorer on the list is a centre-back, a certain captain, leader, legend. John Terry has scored an incredible 41 goals which is a record for a defender – and none of them was a penalty.
After JT, there are a few more conventional names to complete our top 10 scorers in the English top flight. Nicolas Anelka hit 38, Willian hit 37, then the trio of Salomon Kalou, John Spencer and Gustavo Poyet all hit 36.