Starting with a bang – opening-day debut scorers

From the official Chelsea FC website:

If he wanted to make a good first impression on Chelsea fans, Axel Disasi found the right way to do it on Sunday when he marked his Premier League debut with a goal against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

The France defender may have arrived too late from Monaco to be involved in our pre-season tour of the USA but he made up for lost time by settling quickly into the Blues backline and also making his mark at the other end of the pitch by netting the equaliser in our 1-1 draw against the Reds.

The delight of the 25-year-old was clear to see as he basked in the adulation of the home fans after becoming the latest Chelsea debutant to get on the scoresheet in a Premier League season opener.

The first of those debut strikes came all the way back in our inaugural Premier League match 31 years ago on 15 August 1992 when Mick Harford fired home a stunner in our curtain raiser against Oldham Athletic.

Signed from Luton Town at the age of 33, the veteran centre-forward showed his class by lashing a right-footed effort from 25 metres into the top corner to give us an 84th minute lead. Unfortunately, his exquisite effort didn’t prove decisive as the Latics equalised late on to salvage a 1-1 draw.

There were debut scorers in our first three Premier League opening games with Harford’s feat emulated in 1993 by Gavin Peacock when he got our only goal in a 2-1 home loss to Blackburn Rovers and by Paul Furlong a year later as his cool finish sealed a 2-0 victory over Norwich City.

Tore Andre Flo marked his arrival in English football in 1997 by heading in the first of his 50 goals for Chelsea just three minutes after he had been introduced as a substitute against Coventry City at Highfield Road. However, the Norwegian’s effort was overshadowed by a hat-trick by Dion Dublin which gave the Sky Blues a 3-2 victory.

The derby opener against West Ham in August 2000 saw two Chelsea newcomers get on the scoresheet in a 4-2 win at the Bridge. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink opened his league account for the Blues from the penalty spot but the day belonged to Mario Stanic whose two goals including an outrageous strike in which he controlled the ball with a series of flicks before despatching it past Shaka Hislop with an unerring volley from 35 metres.

Boudewijn Zenden was on target in 2001 in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at the Bridge and Juan Sebastian Veron got his only Chelsea goal in 2003 when he opened the scoring in a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield

The 2007/08 season opener saw two new signings make their mark as Claudio Pizarro and Florent Malouda both struck for the Blues in a 3-2 home win over Birmingham City while a long-range stunner by Deco lit up a 4-0 trouncing of Portsmouth in 2008.

Newly signed Spain internationals were on target in our curtain-raisers against Burnley in 2014 and 2017. In the earlier game, Diego Costa took just 17 minute to slam home his first goal for the Blues in a 3-1 win at Turf Moor but Alvaro Morata’s header at the Bridge three years later was not enough to spark a comeback as we suffered a surprise 3-2 loss to the Clarets.

Jorginho converted the first of his 27 successful penalties for the Blues when we won 3-0 at Huddersfield Town in 2018 and who could forget Trevoh Chalobah’s brilliant long-range strike in the 3-0 thumping of Crytal Palace two years ago.





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One thought on “Starting with a bang – opening-day debut scorers

  • Chris Golab

    Wow , what great content in the debut goals article. And i was at many of those games. Mick Harfords goal was amazing, and i was behind the shed end goal, and could see the now Matthew Harding end crossbar shaking from there.It was Just a shame a glaring goalkeeper error soon silenced the cheers. But thanks for the memories. Kind regards from Chris

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