Chelsea Champions League Final post-mortem
All the dreams of the original football billionaire were realised in one stunning night in Munich.
The Allianz Arena was bathed in neon and fans cooperated in intricate displays of cards and confetti before kick off at Bayern Munich’s home ground. The message was clear; our city, our stadium; our cup. It didn’t turn out that way.
In what can only be described as a cagey, tactical, affair the match never really came to life until the 83rd minute when Thomas Muller headed the ball goalward. Then and there it looked done and dusted. 1-0.
Didier Drogba had other plans. In what very likely could be his last game for the club - though nothing is confirmed -he grabbed a game by the scruff that was quickly getting away from Chelsea. In the 88th minute Drogba responded with a header of his own. The head of history.He took his team into extra-time.
An period of extra time balanced on a knife edge.
Drogba - who else - looked to be writing his name in the headlines once again when he carelessly brought down Franck Ribery from behind. Penalty.
Another member of the fabled Chelsea old-guard stepped up and made himself a hero in the eyes of the Chelsea faithful. Petr Cech saved the penalty, which in the end was a rather poor effort from Arjen Robben against his former team.
Chelsea memories flashed back to Moscow when the extra allotted time drained away. Surely not another penalty loss in a Champions League final. But against a German side they didn’t stand achance.
Especially when Juan Mata missed the first penalty for Chelsea. And semi-final penalty hero goalkeeper Manuel Neuersaved one and took one of his own.
But as it turns out it was the only Chelsea miss. Luiz, Lampard, Ashley Cole in a deft strike and finally, but of course, Didier Drogba in his last kick (perhaps) after Olic and Schweinstieger’s miss for a chance to win the cup for Chelsea.
For a chance to fulfill the dreams of Roman Abramovich. The man who bought the team for this moment.
And Chelsea were Champions.
It was less than dignified to see captain John Terry reveling in the success of his team after a suspension (and upcoming court case). But the celebrations of the rest of the team were heart-felt and justified.
There are many issues for Chelsea to resolve this summer. Not least replacing some of their aging heroes. The last vestige of Mourinho’s team.
And appointing a permanent manager. Though at this point if Roberto Di Matteo doesn’t get the job Abramovich has a screw loose.
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