Gianfranco Zola scored the only goal of the 1998 UEFA European Cup Winners Cup Final as Chelsea beat Joachim Löw's VfB Stuttgart team 1-0 in Stockholm. Zola, running on to a clever, slick Dennis Wise pass, settled the match with a thumping half volley in the 71st minute, just seconds after coming on as substitute to replace Tore André Flo.
Chelsea's second UEFA European Cup Winners Cup win, having won it previously in 1971, was their second trophy of the season. The League Cup already having been won at Wembley Stadium with a 2-0 win versus Middlesbrough in March. Frank Sinclair and Roberto Di Matteo scoring.
Chelsea's route to the UEFA European Cup Winners Cup Final in Stockholm began at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 win versus ŠK Slovan Bratislava, and The Blues won the 1st Round 2nd-Leg by the same score line. Tromsø IL were both 2-0 and 3-1 up in the 2nd Round 1st-Leg played in a snow blizzard in the Arctic Circle. Gianluca Vialli's two, late priceless goals in the Alfheim Stadium keeping Chelsea in touch in a 3-2 defeat. A Vialli hat-trick in the return match helped Chelsea to a 7-1 victory, to progress 9-4 on aggregate. Real Betis were overcome with away and then home victories in the Quarter-Final. Then, Chelsea produced a fabulous performance in the Semi-final 2nd-Leg, on a famous, pulsating night at Stamford Bridge, to overcome Vicenza, who were a goal up from winning the First-Leg 1-0, and a goal up on the night in the 2nd-Leg at Stamford Bridge too, meaning Chelsea needed to score 3 to progress. Gus Poyet, Gianfranco Zola and Mark Hughes delivered.
Ed De Goey, Frank Leboeuf and captain Dennis Wise played in all nine European games. Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo, and Gianluca Vialli played in eight.
Chelsea Chairman Ken Bates had unexpectedly replaced Player-Manager Ruud Gullit with Gianluca Vialli in February. Vialli completed the season as Chelsea's leading goalscorer with 19 in all competitions, delivering two trophies, and an FA Premier League 3rd place finish too, as Chelsea's new Player-Manager.
SCORE DRAW Official Retro Shirt Match:
Chelsea 1 v 0 VfB Stuttgart.
Wednesday 13 May 1998.
UEFA European Cup Winners Cup Final.
Chelsea Team: Ed De Goey. Steve Clarke. Danny Granville. Frank Leboeuf. Michael Duberry. Dan Petrescu. Dennis Wise. Roberto Di Matteo. Eddie Newton. Gianluca Vialli. Tore André Flo (Gianfranco Zola).