Chelsea 3-3 Dynamo Moscow (1945 Friendly)
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|Chelsea vs Dynamo Moscow|
|Scoreline||Chelsea 3-3 Dynamo Moscow|
|Date||13 November 1945|
Chelsea vs Dynamo Moscow was a friendly match which took place at Stamford Bridge on 13th November 1945.
The Second World War had just come to an end and Britain was beginning a slow return to normality. Competitive football had been suspended since 1939, so as a morale booster and to celebrate the return of the peacetime game, the football authorities announced that the Soviet Union's leading club side, Dynamo Moscow, would tour Britain. It was the first time a team from Russia had visited the country, and Dynamo boasted an impressive side; they had recently won their national championship by winning 19 of their 22 matches and losing just one. Their first opponents were Chelsea.
Years without regular football and general curiosity about the visitors from Britain's mysterious ally led to huge interest in the match, and a large crowd descended on Stamford Bridge on 13th November. The gates were closed with an official crowd of 74,496 in attendance, but thousands continued to enter the ground regardless. Spectators crammed into any available space, including around the edges of pitch and on the roofs of the stands. Others watched from nearby buildings. The actual match attendance is usually estimated to be in the region of 100,000 to 120,000.
To add further spice to the occasion, Chelsea would be fielding Tommy Lawton, the iconic England centre forward signed from Everton for a club record £11,500 just a week earlier; the Soviets charged that Lawton had been signed specifically to play against them. Chelsea's line-up also included Joe Bacuzzi and Jim Taylor, both of whom guested from Fulham. For their part, Dynamo were reinforced with one of the USSR's most celebrated players, Vsevolod Bobrov, who guested from CSKA Moscow.
As a goodwill gesture the Dynamo players presented each Chelsea player with a bouquet of flowers before the match. Dynamo's slick passing and movement saw them dominate the early stages, but it was Chelsea, wearing a red strip due to a colour clash, who took a 2-0 half-time lead. Lawton won the ball from Khomich to set up Len Goulden for the opener and Reg Williams added a second when a mis-kicked Dynamo clearance rebounded in off him. Dynamo missed a penalty and also had a goal disallowed because it had gone in off a spectator.
The scoreline remained unchanged until some 20 minutes from full-time, when Kartsev drove the ball into the net from outside the area. Seven minutes later Kartsev set up Archangelski for the equaliser. Lawton appeared to have won the match for Chelsea when he latched onto a high ball and scored with a powerful header, but just minutes later Bobrov grabbed a deserved equaliser for Dynamo - to the delight of the crowd, who by now were cheering on the tenacious visitors - which was allowed to stand by the referee despite being five yards offside. The referee later told Lawton that he had made the decision for "diplomatic reasons".
After the match both sides were praised for what was described as one of the best football matches ever seen on English soil. Dynamo continued with their tour, winning 10-1 against Cardiff, 4-3 against Arsenal and drawing 2-2 with Rangers, thus returning home unbeaten and to a hero's welcome.
| 13 November 1945|
|Chelsea||3 - 3||Dynamo Moscow|| Venue: Stamford Bridge|
Referee: G Clark
| Williams |
| Archangelski |
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Official attendance, although a gate was broken and thousands continued to enter the ground unchecked. The actual attendance is estimated to be in the region of 100,000-120,000.
- ↑ Some sources report the fee was as high as £14,000.
- Downing, David (2000). Passovotchka: Moscow Dynamo in Britain 1945. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 0-7475-4813-7.
- Glanvill, Rick (2006). Chelsea FC: The Official Biography – The Definitive Story of the First 100 Years. Headline Book Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7553-1466-2.