Last night Chelsea enjoyed the biggest night in the history of the club, as the Blues defeated Bayern Munich on penalties to claim the Champions League trophy.
The game was 1-1 after normal and extra time, which meant a penalty shootout was needed to separate the two teams.
The Premier League side came out on top courtesy of a Didier Drogba penalty.
For much of the game the home side pressed forward and had Chelsea pinned back in their own half but they didn’t exactly lay siege to the Chelsea goal. The Bavarians did miss some glaring opportunities to win the game in normal time though.
Time after time the likes of Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez missed the target when well placed. Muller did finally find the net in the 83rd minute and it looked as though the one goal would be enough to win the trophy.
However, always the man for the big occasion Didier Drogba popped up in the 88th minute to head Chelsea level and take the game into extra-time. There was still time for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to save a Arjen Robben penalty in extra-time, before the drama of the penalty shootout.
With possibly the last kick of his Chelsea career Didier Drogba buried his penalty to win the trophy for the Blues, against all odds. The first 80 minutes of the game might not have been the most exhilarating watch but the rest of the game produced drama of the highest calibre.
In the last few months of the season Chelsea have really rode their luck in the Champions League, especially against Barca in the semi’s. There was a feeling that their name was on the trophy, after surviving the Barca and Bayern onslaughts.
After the game at the Nou Camp I also just had the feeling that no matter what happened that Chelsea would win the Champions League this season. As Ruud Gullit put it there is a little blue angel out there, somewhere looking after Chelsea in the Champions League this season.
It was really apt that Didier Drogba scored the winning penalty. With his contract expiring this summer and a move to China being talked about the winning penalty could be his last act as a Chelsea player. It really was a fitting moment for Drogba.
Drogba has always been a player that shows up on the big occasions and he proved so again at the Allianz Arena. First heading home the late equaliser and then scoring the winning penalty. Drogba has served Chelsea well for the last eight years and he deserved the glory for his service to the club.
It’s incredible that despite guiding Chelsea to the holy grail of the Champions League trophy interim boss Roberto Di Matteo’s future is still in doubt. The Italian has done a superb job galvanising the players since the departure of Andre Villas-Boas.
He has re-invigorated the team and has managed to win a trophy that no Chelsea boss has ever won. This trophy was Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s dream. It was the trophy he had always wanted to win.
The Russian Oligarch now has a manager in place who has won the trophy but it seems that he could still be replaced. The fact that former-England boss Fabio Capello was at the final has fuelled rumours that he could take charge of the Blues this summer.
However, surely after winning the FA Cup and Champions League Roberto Di Matteo must be given the chance to continue his good work next season.
The Italian may not have as much managerial experience as the likes of Capello, but he has something Capello hasn’t got, that’s a good relationship with the Chelsea players. Di Matteo also has a strong bond with the Chelsea fans from his playing days. This should be enough to earn him the job on a permanent basis.
For several of the Chelsea players last night could be the last time they play for the club. It isn’t only Drogba who has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. Winger Salomon Kalou’s contract with the Blues expires this summer and full-back Jose Bosingwa is also expected to exit the club. And of course Di Matteo and Drogba could also leave the club.
Whether some of the older players will move on this summer also remains to be seen. However for now it’s time for everybody at Chelsea to celebrate a remarkable achievement. This trophy was achieved against all the odds and nobody would have expected it when Di Matteo took charge.
Congratulations to Roberto Di Matteo. You deserve the trophy and the glory for how the players have played in the last few months, and I really hope that Roman Abramovich sees sense and gives Robbie the position on a full time basis.
Just how did Chelsea win the Champions League?