Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties against Bayern Munich: a great night for English football
Didier Drogba hit the winning penalty in an enthralling penalty shoot-out as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in their own backyard and whilst doing so, became the Champions of Europe.
After dominating from start to finish, Munich took the lead late on through Thomas Muller when he headed a Toni Kroos cross past Petr Cech, but Chelsea weren’t going to give in after working so hard.
Drogba sent the Chelsea fans into hysterics when he powered a bullet header into the roof of the net and whilst doing so, sent the final into extra time.
After a missed penalty from Arjen Robben, the extra-time period was quiet in terms of goalmouth action and the tie was settled on penalties.
Chelsea came through the shoot-out victorious, and all the heartache of Moscow was put to bed as they became triumphant in Munich.
Both teams were forced into changes but the big team news came from the Chelsea dressing room as youngster Ryan Bertrand was called in to make his Champions League debut, a huge night for the 22-year-old.
Ashley Cole set the tone as he fouled Toni Kroos early on; the Bayern players made it clear to the referee that they were not going to put up with rough tactics from the Blues.
Moments later Bastian Schweinsteiger was booked for deliberate handball despite further protests.
The first sighting of goal came after four minutes when Muller played the ball to Schweinsteiger who rifled the ball towards goal, but Cahill was on hand to block.
Bayern had stated the better out of the two teams, and Chelsea were coming under increasing pressure down the flanks.
The two Munich wide men linked up again when Frank Ribery lobbed the ball over to Arjen Robben, but the former Chelsea trickster could only blaze wide after cutting inside.
Drogba was looking isolated up the other end and was urging his supporting mid-fielders to get a foothold on the game.
Despite the pleas from Didier, there was only one team in it at this stage and Gomez had a good opportunity to open the scoring.
The 41-goal hit man picked up a quick throw right in front of goal, but his touch failed him on this occasion and Chelsea scrambled the ball clear.
Cech then saved brilliantly from Robben, after the Dutchman danced through the Chelsea defense before shooting low towards the big keepers right-hand corner. Cech got a foot to the ball and it rebounded off the bar.
Chelsea had their first opportunity after half an hour from a free kick, but Juan Mata lofted the ball over the cross bar, wasted opportunity from the talented Spaniard.
Drogba then found himself through on goal when Lampard lobbed over the Bayern back-line, the big Ivorian tried to take the ball in his stride but it wouldn’t fall for him.
Chelsea were building momentum and Kalou tested Manuel Neuer at his near post after good work once again by the stand in captain, Frank Lampard.
Bayern were still throwing men forward and Gomez had another opportunity when Ribery’s effort travelled in the area before the big centre forward opted to take a poor touch as opposed to poking the ball towards goal.
Just moments later, and Gomez had his best chance of the evening and should have put the German side one up. He latched onto a good flick from Muller and brilliantly turned Cahill but his subsequent shot sailed high over the bar when he had just the keeper to beat.
The players came out for a second half, which was a lot tenser, and both sides created fewer chances.
Ashley Cole was called into last-ditch action twice to save his side, the first when Robben beat Luiz before shooting at Cole, and the second was a goal-bound Kroos’ effort which was once again inspirationally intercepted by the England international.
The atmosphere was on a knife-edge and a big finish was in store for both sets of supporters.
With just seven minutes remaining, Bayern had looked to have won the final when Thomas Muller put the Germans in front. Kroos whipped in a great ball and Muller evaded Cole before heading into the ground and past a helpless Cech.
With Munich in the ascendancy and so little time remaining, what happened next was simply fate.
Mata swung a corner in from the left and Chelsea’s main man Drogba powered home a header to send the tie into extra time.
Chelsea started extra time well and Fernando Torres had a penalty appeal turned down, when the replay showed it was a clumsy challenge from Boateng; just seconds later though, Bayern had a penalty of their own.
Ribery turned into the box and as Drogba got too tight to the Frenchman, he clipped his heels and the award was given.
Former Chelsea winger Robben stepped up and Cech brilliantly saved and held the ball, the crazy final was still up for grabs.
The game calmed down for the rest of the half and Munich were doing a good job of retaining possession without hurting the Chelsea back line.
The start of the second half of extra time was all Munich’s, and they had a great opportunity when Lahm chipped the ball into the substitute Olic but the front man directed the ball across goal and no one could get the decisive touch.
The nerves began to creep into the Chelsea contingent and Lahm got down the right once again, but Gomez couldn’t convert from ten yards.
Neither team could snatch a winner during open play and the mesmerizing marathon ended 1-1 after 120 minutes, the European Champions would be crowned after the lottery of a penalty shoot out.
Lahm was first up for Munich and he nicely slotted away whilst Mata followed up with a miss for Chelsea. Gomez then finished well, as did Luiz for the London-based club.
Neuer amazingly took the next penalty for Bayern and he netted it as if he was a centre forward, before Blues’ captain Lampard smashed the ball into the back of the net.
The nerves set in for Munich and Olic finished his career with the club by missing from 12 yards and Cole levelled things up with a great finish.
Schweinsteiger then gave Chelsea the opportunity to lift the cup when he shot too close to Cech and Dider Drogba made Blue dreams come true as he struck the winning penalty.
Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties: a great night for English football.