In July 1990 Chelsea recruited their first million pound players, and two future captain's too. Dennis Wise joined from Wimbledon for £1.6M and Andy Townsend arrived from Norwich City for £1.2M as The Blues looked to build upon their 5th place First Division finish and Full Members Cup Final success of 1989-90.
However in a disappointing 1990-91 season Chelsea finished 11th in a 20 team First Division but, were the only team to beat Arsenal in the league with a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge in February courtesy of goals by Graham Stuart and Kerry Dixon.
Chelsea salvaged something from the season with a run all the way to the League Cup Semi-Final. Fourth Division Walsall were beaten 0-5 away and then 4-1 at Stamford Bridge over the two-legs of the 2nd Round. Chelsea were then held to a goalless draw at The Bridge by Second Division Portsmouth in the 3rd Round. Wearing the 1990 away shirt, Chelsea won a remarkable 3rd Round Replay at Fratton Park, recovering from trailing 2-0 with 9 minutes left, with goals in the 81st, 86th and 90th minutes from David Lee, a Dennis Wise penalty, and finally Kevin Wilson seeing Chelsea through. Second Division Oxford United were beaten 1-2 in the 4th Round at The Manor Ground with Gordon Durie scoring both, to set up a 5th Round tie versus Tottenham Hotspur. Over 34,000 fans were in attendance at Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea and Spurs play out a 0-0 draw but, a week later in the replay at White Hart Lane Andy Townsend, Kerry Dixon and Dennis Wise with a penalty saw Chelsea progress to the Semi-Final. Inexplicably The Blues lost the two-leg Semi-Final 5-1 on aggregate to Second Division Sheffield Wednesday, losing 0-2 at Stamford Bridge and 3-1 at Hillsborough.
SCORE DRAW Official Retro Shirt Match:
Portsmouth 2 v 3 Chelsea.
Wednesday 6 November 1990.
League Cup 3rd Round Replay.
Chelsea Team: 1.Kevin Hitchcock. 2.Gareth Hall. 3.Tony Dorigo. 4.Andy Townsend. 5.Jason Cundy. 6.David Lee. 7.Dennis Wise. 8.John Bumstead. 9.Kevin Wilson. 10.Gordon Durie. 11.Graeme Le Saux. 12.Kevin McAllister. 14.Kerry Dixon.