CHELSEA COUNTDOWN: The day Peterborough United won Gianfranco Zola's respect
16 years ago Peterborough United were drawn away to Chelsea in the third round of the FA Cup.
Current Posh director of football Barry Fry was the manager at the time. Current goalkeeping coach Mark Tyler and management team member David Farrell also played as Chelsea won 5-0 with goals from Gianfranco Zola (2), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Gus Poyet.
Fry said: “You’d expect a £15 million striker to score against us and you’d expectd two World Cup winning centre-backs to keep a clean sheet against us.
“Just competing strongly against them for 90 minutes was a great effort by us. The final scoreline certainly flattered them.
“I have nothing, but admiration for the way such a young side played and stuck to their task.
“They were down after the game, but I told them they could hold their heads up high. The ovation we received from our own fans, who were magnificent throughout, told its own story.”
Tyler, who was 23 at the time, added: “It wasn’t as daunting as playing at Wembley, but it was still a great experience. I was pleased with how I played, but should probably have done better with the last goal.”
Posh actually held their own for 35 minutes before Zola opened the scoring. A second goal on the stroke of half-time from Hasselbaink killed the game as a contest, but Chelsea had to wait until the final 20 minutes before claiming their final three goals.
Zola was impressed with Posh’s spirit and ability. He went into the Posh dressing room to find Adam Drury, who played centre-back for Posh in the game, and give him his match shirt.
Zola said: “Of course if Chelsea play to their best they will always beat a team like Peterborough. But we had to be very professional to overcome a side with so much spirit and heart.
“Peterborough won our respect and we salute them for the good game they played.”
Posh: Tyler, Gill, Jelleyman, Edwards, Drury, Forysth, Farrell, Oldfield, Clarke, McKenzie, Green. Substitutes used: Shields, Forinton, Hooper.
Chelsea: Cuducini, Ferrar, Babayaro, Desailly, Terry, Jokanovic, Wise, Poyet, Harley, Hasselbaink, Zola. Substitutes used: LeBoeuf, Le Saux, Gudjohnsen.
Goals: Chelsea – Zola (36 & 85), Hasselbaink (45), Gudjohnsen (72), Poyet (74).