Didier Drogba was the hero on the night after heading in an equaliser on 88 minutes and later scoring the decisive penalty. Roman Abramovich, watched from the stands, as caretaker manager Di Matteo achieved what his illustrious predecessors had failed to do. The match itself was as one-sided as they come and the stats tell the story; Bayern had 35 shots at goal to Chelsea’s 9.
Dominating possession throughout, Bayern broke the stalemate on 83 minutes when Thomas Muller headed the ball past Cech. But five minutes later, Didier Drogba was in the thick of the action, leaping high to deliver his own header past Neuer in the Bayern goal.
This was a fairytale ending for Chelsea who presented the surreal sight of an English side prevailing over a German one in a penalty shoot out in a German stadium before a German home crowd. This was 34-year-old Drogba’s last game for Chelsea with his contract due to expire in June but Chelsea’s Russian owner, Abramovich, could well be tempted to keep the team’s talisman at Stamford Bridge with a renewed contract.
Drogba scored the decisive penalty and found the corner of the net even as Manuel Neuer dived in the other direction. Schweinsteiger set the match up for Chelsea when he hit the goalpost to miss the previous shot. Petr Cech was the other hero of the night and kept out Arjen Robben’s penalty in extra time to push the game into the shoot out. Ironically, Robben’s spot kick transpired after a Drogba foul.
Chelsea lost in their only other Champions League final four years ago to Manchester United in similar circumstances. After that game ended 1-1, John Terry missed what could have been a decisive penalty and broke down in tears. Incidentally, Terry missed out on the Bayern game, having had to serve a suspension following a dubious red card awarded during the semi-final with Barcelona.
Caretaker coach Roberto Di Matteo might well have earned permanent status after giving team owner Roman Abramovich the Champions League title he has yearned for since buying the club nine years ago. The win also earned Chelsea a place in next season’s league after failing to win qualification by finishing among the top four in the Premier League.
Bayern won the toss and took the shootout at the south end of the Allianz Arena. Bayern skipper Lahm scored off the first shot and when the next shot, by Juan Mata, was saved by Neuer, the writing was on the wall for Chelsea. But Cech came to his side’s rescue by saving Bayern’s fourth penalty taken by Ivica Olic. And when Schweinsteiger hit the post with the Bayern’s last shot, it was left to Drogba to rise to the occasion.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Lahm, Tymoshchuk, Boateng, Contento, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Robben, Mueller (van Buyten, 87), Ribery (Olic, 97), Gomez.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou (Torres, 84), Mata, Bertrand (Malouda, 73), Drogba.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.