Roman Abramovich: Chelsea’s big moments during his 19-year tenure

Roman Abramovich’s ownership of Chelsea ends after the club announced the completion of a sale to Todd Boehly’s consortium.

Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 and under his tenure the senior men’s team has won 19 major titles.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at some key moments from Abramovich’s time at Stamford Bridge.

The special

After the departure of coach Claudio Ranieri in the summer of 2004, Chelsea brought in Jose Mourinho, who had just won the Champions League at Porto.

The hungry young Portuguese manager, who described himself as “a very special one”, soon built a side capable of fighting for honors again – delivering the League Cup in 2005, followed by a first league title for Chelsea since 1955 .

Mourinho led the Blues to another Premier League crown in 2005/06 and won the FA Cup the following year with a 1-0 win over Manchester United, their first at the new Wembley Stadium, thanks to an extra-time goal from Didier Drogba.

Champions League slip-up

After Mourinho’s departure in September 2007, Israeli Avram Grant took over as manager and that season led Chelsea to the Champions League final in Moscow, where they met United and the game ended 1-1.

A costly mistake by captain John Terry on penalties saw United lift the trophy again as Edwin van der Sar saved Nicholas Anelka’s penalty.

double joy

Under Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea won their first double in 2009/10, scoring 103 goals en route to the Premier League title and then winning the FA Cup at Wembley with a 1-0 win over Portsmouth.

Double European glory

After Roberto Di Matteo took over from Andre Villas-Boas after his ill-fated tenure, Chelsea won the 2012 Champions League with a penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in the final at the Allianz Arena.

However, Di Matteo would soon leave as Chelsea failed to make it out of the Champions League group stage the following season.

Rafael Benitez took on the interim role and led the Blues to Europa League success by beating Benfica in the 2013 final.

Trophies keep flowing

Chelsea trophies owned by Roman Abramovich

Chelsea have won every available trophy at least once since Roman Abramovich bought the club (PA graphic)

After Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge for a second time from June 2013, Chelsea clinched another Premier League title in 2015, finishing with just three defeats ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal.

Guus Hiddink, who won the 2009 FA Cup in a previous stint, eventually replaced Mourinho in December 2015.

The Dutchman set a new record for longest unbeaten streak as new Premier League manager with 12 games unbeaten.

Italians keep up the success

Maurizio Sarri celebrates Chelsea's Europa League victory

Maurizio Sarri celebrates Chelsea’s Europa League win (Adam Davy/PA)

In the 2016–17 season, Chelsea would win the title again, this time under Antonio Conte, whose side also won the 2018 FA Cup final against Manchester United.

However, with a fifth-place finish in the league, the Blues missed out on qualifying for the Champions League – and Conte was sacked, with fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri taking charge.

Under Sarri, Chelsea were beaten by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final – where goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted before penalties – but would win the Europa League with a win over Arsenal in Baku.

Lampard’s return

Frank Lampard came into play as Chelsea manager

Frank Lampard arrived as Chelsea manager (Yui Mok/PA)

Sarri joined Juventus at the end of the 2018/19 season and Abramovich turned to former midfielder Frank Lampard to guide the squad through a testing period under a FIFA transfer ban that was eventually reduced to a time slot following a court appeal Arbitration for Sports.

In January 2021, Lampard’s time was up and Germany’s Thomas Tuchel was handed an 18-month contract.

Tuchel time

Thomas Tuchel's first season as Chelsea manager brought Europe's biggest prize

Thomas Tuchel’s first season as Chelsea manager delivered Europe’s greatest prize (Adam Davy/PA)

Despite Chelsea being beaten by Leicester in the FA Cup final, the Blues would win the Champions League again after a tactical masterclass from Tuchel defeated Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in a 1-0 win in Porto.

Chelsea’s triumph at the Club World Cup in February meant the Blues won every trophy the men’s senior team took part in while Abramovich was in possession.

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