Wrapped up against the bitter cold, former Spurs legend Garth Crooks sits alongside half of the most iconic strike partnership in Crystal Palace history, Mark Bright, enjoying the view at Stamford Bridge.
How the Eagles could do with a young Brighty these days! The Wright and Bright partnership at Selhurst Park scored 230 goals between them, while Crooks scored 48 times for Tottenham in the early 80s.
Crooks and Bright shivered in the east stand as they watched Chelsea beat Swansea 1-0 on a chilly Wednesday night.
It was an odd game; the Blues had the lion’s share of possession and territory, but without an instinctive, free-spirited finisher such as, say, Mo Salah, chances kept going a-beggin.
Toni Rudiger headed the vital goal in the 55th minute, but the game will be remembered for Tony Conte’s sending off from the dugout, two minutes before halftime.
Incensed after a goalkick was awarded to Swansea, when it was clearly a corner to the Blues, he went right up to fourth official Lee Mason and began bellowing in his face at maximum volume. Mason summoned ref Neil Swarbrick, and Conte (with a final holler at his nemesis) departed.
Conte watched the second half on a TV monitor, with a hilarious postal system being used to ferry messages to players during the final 45 minutes.
When Davide Zappacosta was subbed in the 75th minute, replaced by a back-from-injury Victor Moses, the Nigerian midfielder sprinted straight to Cesc Fabregas with a scrumpled note. Fabregas read it and tore it up.
Then Moses dashed on to Andreas Christensen to deliver a second note, which the defender dutifully scanned then screwed up. With football taking second place to letter-delivering it is, perhaps, little wonder the 41,365 crowd (including Crooksy and Brighty) only saw one goal.
Chelsea play two more home games in rapid succession, against Newcastle and Atletico.
Meanwhile Chelsea Ladies have three home games in the space of a week. Tickets via http://www.chelseafc.com/teams/chelsea-ladies/ticket-information.html
It’s the time of year to spare a thought for the harrassed programme writers and editors, who often have to generate three editions in the space of a single fraught week of late nights.