May 19th, 2012
Chelsea fulfill Abramovich’s Champions League dream
RT- It took nine years and over $1 billion of investments for Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, to see Chelsea lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy.
The Blues took on Bayern Munich in the final, grabbing the win in a shootout after the game ended with a 1-1 score.
Bayern were considered favorites playing the final before the home fans at the Allianz Arena in Munich, with Chelsea going through a poor season and missing captain John Terry.
And the Germans proved they deserved their status in the opening half, which Chelsea spent locked into their own side of the pitch.
Arjen Robben’s came closest to breaking the deadlock, but Chelsea keeper Petr Cech redirected his low shot into the post to see the teams go to the break at 0-0.
The course of the game didn’t change after the restart, with Bayern managing to capitalize on their huge advantage on 83rd minute.
Thomas Muller was first on the end of a cross by Toni Kroos, with the ball hitting the ground before finding the net, 1-0.
The Germans only needed to maintain a clean sheet for seven more minutes, but they couldn’t do it, despite fielding an extra defender, Daniel Van Buyten.
All of the 18 corners Bayern delivered in regular time were fruitless, while one was enough for Chelsea to grab the goal.
On the 88th minute, Didier Drogba beat Jerome Boateng in the air and headed past German keeper, Manuel Neuer, 1-1.
The game went to overtime, which started with Bayern missing the best possible chance to regain the lead.
Franck Ribery was brought down in the English box by Drogba, but Robben’s weak penalty shot was stopped by Cech.
Bayern kept attacking till the end of the additional 30 minutes, but a shootout was inevitable.
It was German captain, Bastian Schweinsteiger, who missed the deciding shot, hitting the post, while Drogba became the man to seal the historic win for the Blues.
It wasn’t the best of the Londoners’ games, but it sure went according to plan of caretaker coach, Roberto Di Matteo, who was well aware of his team’s condition.
“We have great spirit,” Drogba told UEFA’s official website. “I have been here eight years, and as a Chelsea player you are taught never to give up until the end. Today is an amazing day.”
Chelsea lost their previous Champions League final on penalties to Manchester United back in 2008, but this time luck was on their side as they bag their first ever Champions League trophy.
Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Munich reacts after missing a penalty against Chelsea during their Champions League final soccer match at the Allianz Arena in Munich, May 19, 2012 (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)