Chelsea 2014-15 v 2004-05: a comparison

Date published: Sunday 3rd May 2015 9:27

That year, the former Porto manager ended the Blues’s 50-year wait for a title, dethroning Arsenal’s Invincibles of the previous season and only losing one game in the process.

Only John Terry, Petr Cech and Didier Drogba remain from the squad of a decade ago, and here we examine how Mourinho’s class of 2014/15 compare.


Chelsea romped to the title by a 12-point margin in 2004/05, scoring 72 goals at a rate of 1.9 per game, marginally lower than this season’s figures of 69 goals scored at an average of 1.97 per game.

The 2004/05 season was Didier Drogba’s first in English football, and while he proved an effective focal point for their attack, he finished the season with only 10 goals compared to the 19 scored by Diego Costa this season. Frank Lampard top scored with 13 goals in 2004/05 – one goal fewer than Eden Hazard this year – while Eidur Gudjohnsen finished on 12.

Diego Costa has led the line for Chelsea this season

But while their overall goal tallies are similar, a deeper look at the stats shows that Mourinho’s current crop is more efficient in front of goal. In 2004/05 Chelsea averaged 13.13 shots per game compared to 11.14 this season, but their shooting accuracy was 44.1 per cent compared to 50.26, and their shot conversion rate was 14.4 per cent compared to 17.69 this year.

Mourinho’s current side may be taking fewer shots, but the stats show the likes of Costa and Hazard have made them more ruthless in and around the box.


John Terry and William Gallas were key figures in the 2004/05 campaign

Chelsea’s 2004/05 triumph was built on rock solid foundations. The back four of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho flanked by William Gallas at left-back and Paulo Ferreira at right-back conceded just 15 goals and kept a staggering 25 clean sheets – both of which remain Premier League records.

The defence was ably supported by Petr Cech in goal and staunchly protected by Claude Makelele, whose superb displays in defensive midfield saw the position dubbed the ‘Makelele role’.

Chelsea’s defence is still marshalled by Terry and remains the best in the Premier League with fewer goals conceded (27) and more clean sheets (17) than any other side. But the class of 2014/15 remains unrivalled in that regard.

Record against the top teams

Chelsea have an impressive record against their closest rivals

Mourinho’s first title-winning side’s only defeat all season came in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City, who eventually finished eighth. Their record against their nearest rivals was outstanding. They drew twice with second-placed Arsenal, but secured six wins out of six against Manchester United, Everton and Liverpool.

The top sides have found Mourinho’s men difficult to beat again this season, but the Blues have only won three of seven games against City, Arsenal, United and Liverpool, drawing the other four.

They will get the chance to maintain their unbeaten record against the top five when Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge on May 10, but the maximum points total they can achieve from the eight games is 16, compared to the 18 they accrued in the equivalent games for 2004/05.

Chelsea scored 10 goals and conceded three in those fixtures a decade ago, while this year those figures stand at eight goals scored and four conceded.

Mourinho’s verdict

While there are undoubtedly similarities between the two sides, Chelsea’s total of 83 points with three games to play means they can’t quote match the 95 points accrued in 2004/05 – which set a Premier League record at the time.

“The way we were champions was not easy,” said Mourinho in 2005. “It is the mentality, ambition and desire. We met for the first time in July and from that moment we have built something special. When we have to fight, we fight, when we have to play, we play, when we have to suffer, we suffer, and always together.”

Mourinho refused to compare this year’s title win to his first with Chelsea, but he did claim the Premier League title is now the toughest trophy to win in world football. “When I came back I knew that it was the most difficult thing to the world in football, but we did it,” he told Sky Sports.

When asked where their latest title ranks, the Portuguese added: “I don’t want to say that. Every title is a consequence of hard work and a reason to be happy and proud. I can’t evaluate and say which one was more important.

“This one is my (latest) title so it’s the most important one. For sure I will try to get another one.”

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