Hail “God’s Chosen Champion”: Chelsea!
In a very unusual Final, Didier Drogba (the Main and Lead actor of this thriller) scored the decisive penalty that sent Chelsea’s club owner, Roman Abrahamovic and millions of Chelsea fans all over the world into the clouds!
In a champions league final matchup, that was unusual and unexpected (and I must admit, was so poorly entertaining, to say the least) Bayern Munich came out blazing and in control of the game, full of ball possession, runs ,but wasted several opportunities to win the game.
Chelsea on the other hand looked lost, over defensive and in fact short of ideas as to how and what to do! They were compact as expected (as they did in the semi-finals Vs. Barcelona) but were not aggressively synchronized in their approach to recover the ball and counter attack like we know them of late.
Fortunately for Chelsea, Munich was shooting blanks and quite honestly confirmed what we had observed and highlighted in our preview to this final (Read links below)
This was supposed to be the greatest final in Bayern Munich’s history, the European title they would conquer in their own stadium (venue of this final) but God obviously sanctioned otherwise!
Bayern took the lead in the 83rd minute, when the dangerous Thomas Muller headed them (seemingly) towards victory past the excellent Peter Cech of Chelsea. Only for the inevitable Drogba to level up 5 minutes later, in the 88th minute via a corner by a lightening header,past Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich.
Not before however, I feel, the Bayern Munich coach, Jupp Heynckes, had made the biggest blunder of the night -substituting the most potent and dangerous striker of the night, Mùller, just seconds after he had put them ahead in favor of the central defender, Daniel Van Buyten- who had not played a game due to injury since January 2012! Hence the eventual prolongation was without Munich?s goal scorer of the night!
Then came the nerve breaking and eventful extra time of 30 minutes. Didier Drogba coming deep down generously, to lend a helping hand to his defenders, tripped Frank Ribery in the penalty box and a penalty and yellow card was given in favor of Bayern Munich. Surely this was going to be the victory goal Munich fans must have thought. But destiny was written otherwise.
Frank Ribery had ‘muscular cramp’ after the tripping and had to be attended to for some extra minutes on the pitch, this further heightened the pressure on Arjen Roebben who stepped up to take the Penalty. He missed it, or better put, Peter Cech caught it!
This is a season for Roebben to quickly forget, having missed the decisive penalty that ushered in Borussia Dortmund as German champions in their local League decider just a few weeks ago!
With neither side able to score a winner, spot kicks had to decide the winner. Both teams had purely different fortunes with penalties in the past finals; Bayern’s last triumph in the champions league came in a 2001 via a shoot-out, while Chelsea lost by the same manner four years ago to Man. United.
Bayern had beaten Real Madrid CF on penalties in the semi-finals and must have felt confident going in, a feeling surely further bolstered when Manuel Neuer saved Juan Mata’s penalty kick. Philipp Lahm, Mario Gomez, Neuer scored for Bayern, and David Luiz, Frank Lampard,Ashley Cole all converted for Chelsea before Cech saved from Ivica Olic.
Then came like in a motivational movie, Petr Cech’s hour to be decisive, a well taken penalty by Bastian Schweinsteiger was touched on to the post, leaving Drogba the golden opportunity to slot in the final kick for victory.
Oh how authoritatively he did it well,side footing the German Goalkeeper to lighten up the Chelsea explosion of insurmountable joy!
This may have been Drogba’s last kick of the ball as a Chelsea player, as reports have it that he might be leaving (He was rightfully and unanimously voted man of the match) but this Goal and the eventual European champions league title it brought, more than definitely cements his name as the greatest legend to ever adorn the Chelsea colors. God has spoken, let’s be wise and appreciate it.