Chelsea lifted their first Champions League title in dramatic fashion edging past hosts Bayern Munich 4-3 via penalties, with both teams locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes of play. And it was deservedly Didier Drogba who slotted home the winning spot- kick sending Munich custodian Manuel Neuer the wrong way.
It was Bayern Munich who had the better of Chelsea for a major part of the game, and judging by the first half play alone, a fifth title seemed destined for the hosts. Having won seven of their home matches in the competition this season, the hosts came out firing on all cylinders and Gomez got the first real opportunity of the match in the 18th minute from a Thomas Mueller flick but shot wide of the goal. A little later, Dutch winger Arjen Robben’s shot was parried by Petr Cech for a Munich corner, one out of their total 20 corners of the game.
In the second half The Blues put on am improved display ,although Bayern continued to piled on the pressure on Chelsea’s reshuffled backline. Finally after a galore of near misses and chances, Toni Kroos lifted one over the Chelsea defenders and this time Mueller rose high to head in a firm header, which bounced once before going in over Cech’s outstretched hands, in the 83rd minute. That was enough to send the 63000 capacity Allianz Arena into a frenzy and with just a little over 7 minutes of time remaining, it all looked over for the Blues. Roberto Di Matteo sought out Fernando Torres for salvation and brought on the Spanish striker for Solomon Kalou in the next minute .It was a change which worked wonders, as Bayern conceded a corner off Torres, which was taken by fellow Spaniard Juan Mata ,in the 88th minute. Drogba raced past the Munich defenders and rose high to head in an unstoppable belter, which Neuer could only palmed into the back of the net.
The two teams headed into extra time with Chelsea having a moral advantage with the late goal. Drogba though seemed to have lost it for Chelsea when he clipped Frank Ribery in the box in the 93rd minute and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.At at that point it seemed all of Drogba’s hard work had been undone.But Cech made the most crucial save of the match to deny Robben and Munich of the lead ,and quite possibly the Title. When the match could not be decided in extra time, it meant that this year’s Champions would be decided by penalties. In the ensuing shoot-out Philip Lahm, Mario Gomez and goalkeeper Neuer scored for Bayern while Luiz, Lampard and Cole netted for Chelsea. Mata missed for Chelsea while Olic also missed for the hosts and when Shweinsteiger hit the post ,it was up to Drogba to win it for Chelsea, with the last kick of the night; and he did it in riveting fashion, calmly deceiving Neuer to etched his and Chelsea’s name into the record books.