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Chelsea end Champions League agony in Munich

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Phil McNulty | 23:53 UK time, Saturday, 19 May 2012

As Chelsea walked out into the Allianz Arena a giant red mosaic was revealed at one end that covered the entire expanse of the massed ranks of Bayern Munich's support.

The message - with a Champions League trophy as its centrepiece - read: "Unser Stadt. Unser Stadion. Unser Pokal." Our City. Our Stadium. Our Cup.

Hours later, at a cost of around one billion pounds, Munich was Chelsea and owner Roman Abramovich's city. The Allianz Arena was their stadium and - most significantly of all - the Champions League was their cup at long last.

And for the thousands of Chelsea fans who lived the dream and saw redemption for the misery of Moscow and defeat by Manchester United on penalties in 2008, who despaired of winning the trophy that seemed out of reach of even Abramovich's chequebook, there were emotions and memories money simply cannot buy.

Abramovich's accountants will tell you the cost of this victory. For the fans who have endured the often painful journey to eventual triumph, this experience was beyond price.

When Roberto di Matteo walked into his post-match briefing at 1.16am boasting the greatest record any interim manager will ever have, the pain consistently inflicted on Chelsea by the Champions League had been erased by football's most potent medicine: victory.

Chelsea exorcised the demons of 2008 by defeating Bayern on their home turf. Photo: Getty

When Didier Drogba, inevitably, calmly rolled the winning spot-kick past Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer to confirm a 4-3 win on penalties, the years of frustration gushed out of Chelsea's players, staff and supporters in torrents.

Drogba swirled his shirt around his head in triumph after racing the length of the field, Fernando Torres and David Luiz rode the crossbar with all the joy of Grand National winners and Abramovich himself even clapped and took part in a self-conscious singalong that almost qualified as an emotional outpouring from this most secretive, yet ruthlessly interventionist, oligarch.

If that penalty was Drogba's final touch for Chelsea, if the late header in normal time that equalised Thomas Mueller's strike for Bayern was his final goal, then it will be the most decisive and most celebrated sign-off in Stamford Bridge history.

Drogba was as difficult to pin down off the pitch as he was on it as he skirted around the subject of his future after receiving his man-of-the-match award. He will soon be out of contract and no new deal is in sight but it was, as Di Matteo said when asked about his future, a matter for another day.

Di Matteo even declined to reveal what Abramovich said as the pair embraced at the top of a flight of steps moments before Chelsea received the giant trophy for the first time in their history.

On an atmospheric night in a wonderful stadium nicknamed "The Inflatable Boat" because of its futuristic design, Chelsea occasionally threatened to go under but eventually arrived safely at Abramovich's chosen destination.

And those who have been in pretty much from the start all made defining contributions to the greatest night Chelsea have ever had. The club that is incorrectly mocked for not having history - remember they won a European trophy before even Liverpool when they beat Real Madrid to claim the Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 - had written a thrilling new chapter in their story.

Drogba, the leader and talisman, wrote his name in folklore with his deeds. Goalkeeper Petr Cech has suffered all the highs and lows of Chelsea's Champions League quest and in Munich he was immense, saving Arjen Robben's penalty at the start of extra time and from Ivica Olic in the shoot-out.

And for Frank Lampard, the exemplary professional who has epitomised all that is good about a team that can struggle to win friends, this was the ultimate night. Mature, composed and an inspirational captain in John Terry's absence, Lampard overcame the threat of Bayern's own midfield master Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Lampard has experienced the trials of traumas of European combat with Chelsea and has been a shining symbol of their success, so it was little surprise that his first reaction in the moment of victory was to race towards those jubilant masses to share the moment with them.

Rather like most of Chelsea's Champions League campaign, there was something fanciful about what unfolded on a balmy Munich night. And with it came evidence that, despite the questions some were quick to pose, they were truly worthy winners of this competition.

Chelsea were in the departure lounge after losing 3-1 away to Napoli in the last 16, but the sacking of manager Andre Villas-Boas and the appointment of Di Matteo was the catalyst for a truly remarkable chain of events that also brought the FA Cup.
They not only overturned that disadvantage against Napoli, they disposed of Benfica in the last eight, beat favourites Barcelona over two legs in the semi-final despite spending much of it without the ball then prevailed in a final played in Bayern's own backyard.

It was done with Terry, Ramires, Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic all suspended and by coming back from losing a goal only seven minutes from time.

The defensive discipline, organisation and sheer nerve that saw them through in the Nou Camp was the template here. In David Luiz and Gary Cahill, back from injury, they had heroes. In the magnificent Ashley Cole they had a world-class player once again showing how he rises to the biggest occasion.

And in Di Matteo they had a manager who tapped into the special psyche contained behind the locked doors of Chelsea's complex dressing room to lay the foundations for these landmark months.

No doubt some purists will sniff at the stifling methods used in Barcelona and Munich but Di Matteo's response can be to ask anyone tempted to detract from their achievement to check the honours board for 2012. Chelsea are the champions of Europe.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was, like their fans, remarkably generous and graceful in defeat while Di Matteo, normally sphinx-like in his press briefings, allowed himself to break into a beaming smile.

The fact that Chelsea finally won the Champions League when the odds were stacked so high against them appeared to make it even sweeter. And there was the added twist of the knife that victory meant London rivals Tottenham now have to drop down into the Europa League and are denied the riches the Champions League affords.

This was a night made special by Chelsea winning in such reduced circumstances, against obstacles placed in their way by suspensions and the psychological barrier of playing on their opponents' home ground.

It was a triumph of unbreakable spirit, and yes some good fortune, as Chelsea at last got their hands on the piece of silverware that at times seemed destined to elude both them and their owner's vast wealth forever.

As Chelsea's players started to savour their achievement ahead of a triumphant return to London on Sunday and fans celebrated way into the early hours, Munich was their city and the Champions League was their cup. The agony was over.


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  • Comment number 1.

    What a wonderful night!! Not exactly a dominating performance by Chelsea, but a great defensive one and helped by some woeful/nervy Bayern finishing. Well done Chelsea, you deserve to be Champions no matter what people say about entertainment and style. Won through pure grit and determination. Now let's see if you can win it again within the next few years.

  • Comment number 2.

    If Chelsea are going to be successful with this style of football, we shall soon be heading back to the Italian style of the 1960s. That was a thoroughly dull and frustrating match, almost entirely devoid of skill.

  • Comment number 3.

    It wasn't the greatest match, and most of the game was played in Chelsea's half, but after overcoming both Barcelona and Bayern it's hard not to say they deserved it. Well done Chelsea!

    Now they've achieved Abramovich's goal of winning the Champions' League, I wonder if the investment will start to dry up?

  • Comment number 4.

    Wonderful night for English football. I hope this is not the last time a side wins the cup on merit before Man City start spending millions to buy the trophy.

  • Comment number 5.

    .At 08:40 20th May 2012, John Guthrie wrote:
    If Chelsea are going to be successful with this style of football, we shall soon be heading back to the Italian style of the 1960s. That was a thoroughly dull and frustrating match, almost entirely devoid of skill.

    But they won. thats all that matters.

  • Comment number 6.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 7.

    Congrats to Chelsea! Wasn't the prettiest of finals, but does it really matter?

    Also @ no 4, frankiecrisp,
    I don't think that Chelsea have been without foreign investment into their team...

  • Comment number 8.

    @4 lmao

  • Comment number 9.

    The real loser in this game was not Bayern, but football. As in the semi-final they beat a team that was technically far superior simply be defending in depth and being lucky enough to meet opponents who on the night forgot to bring their shooting boots. I'm English, but find this result thoroughly depressing.

  • Comment number 10.

    @ At 08:44 20th May 2012, frankiecrisp wrote:

    Wonderful night for English football. I hope this is not the last time a side wins the cup on merit before Man City start spending millions to buy the trophy.
    What a joke! City are just the new Chelsea. As for a 'wonderful night for English football'? I thought Chelsea were woeful and the match and stats support that. Incredibly lucky to win with a squad that is on its last legs.

  • Comment number 11.

    Well done Chelsea - rode your luck big time, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Congrats to Chelsea and their fans for winning the CL finally...The OLD GUARD certainly deserved to win after so many near misses...And Bayern certainly deserved to lose after wasting so many chances, were rightly paid for it...

  • Comment number 14.

    Hate Chelski, but have to admire what RDM has done.

  • Comment number 15.

    I do wonder what RA will do now. He's finally won the CL, so does that mean he's achieved his goal and will become bored of owning Chelsea. Or will he pump more money into the squad, as it certainly needs new players (I don't know about the other talent in their squad).

  • Comment number 16.

    It's amazing that this Chelsea side in their prime threatened to win the CL on merit but that it has actually been won by a team on its last legs that, in football terms, were an embarassment to the game.

  • Comment number 17.

    Congratulations to Chelsea first of all.... But have to say this style of football is not the answer going forward for Chelsea. It might work against more skillful and attacking teams, but as long as Premier League is concern most teams are not as good as Chelsea, so to win the league they should develop a more attacking style. What just happend last night was purely down to the words "Destiny, Luck and Determination". Win got not much to do with footballing ability.

    In terms of DiMattio, Drogba, Lampard and Terry; Combination worked out pretty well and one would say they deserves another contract, but if Abromovich looks at the long term picture, non of those guys would fit in the bill next season. If Chelsea wants to develop, they should start with a fresh approach, and Dimattio, Drogba, Lampard and Terry not the answer I'm afraid...!

  • Comment number 18.

    Well done Chelsea. They shouldn't have even been in the game if Mario Gomez had stuck half his chances away - I had a bet on him to score first which was probably the jinx! Gomez seems a bit like Ibrahimovic to me - you read about him scoring 30-odd goals a season but when you watch him he always seems to miss a fair few chances or puts in a poor performance.

    The Drogba situation is now more complicated too, does he feel he has achieved everything he can with Chelsea and maybe head off to China/America for a final fat pay-day or does he want to end his career at the club he has served so well? I would want to keep him if possible, as long as he can still do the job why not?

    Also, does this mean that all four English sides avoid the qualification rounds or do Chelsea still have to qualify for the group stages?

  • Comment number 19.

    When will UEFA finally introduce an amnesty for yellow cards for the final? Why detract from the showpiece game of the season by having both teams weakened and lessenning the spectacle? It's happened time and time again and only results in poorer games which is exactly what we got last night.

  • Comment number 20.

    This last six weeks we have seen Chelsea evolve into club football's equivalent of Paraguay: defensively impenetrable, hardly winning let alone keeping the ball, and advancing by stopping the opposition from scoring.

    Good luck to them, but it is a worrying sign for football that parking the bus can work against Messi-Iniesta-Sanchez and Robben-Gomez-Ribery.

    Having said that, expectations for England at Euro'2012 are absurdly low, because under Hodgson they too are eminently capable of abandoning any efforts to retain possession and instead parking the bus and going all the way on the back of a succession of ground-out 0-0 and 1-0 results.

  • Comment number 21.

    I thought John Terry was an absolute disgrace to lift the trophy. If he had any class or dignity then he would have left it to Lampard. UEFA were just as bad for allowing it to happen. As for Di Matteo, what a job he has done considering the fact that he is apparently unsure if he will get the job even after winning the CL but can he really achieve much more anyway?

  • Comment number 22.

    Thank you, Phil. You just said it all!

  • Comment number 23.

    At 09:00 20th May 2012, Zebra_MCFC wrote

    No Arsenal now go into the Champions League qualifying round...Chelsea straight into the group stages..

  • Comment number 24.

    A fitting crown for a heroics, discipline, hard work and determination. Chelsea's never give up die-hard attitude stunned Barca and now Bayern. They simply couldn't believe it at times when Chelsea looked dead and buried, Chelsea was coming right back at them. After each seemingly killer blow, this team was picking and dusting off itself and going back into battle.

    They've been wrote off by everyone, but themselves. In group stages, then after losing to Napoli 1:3, then against Benfica. When they've won that game, people said 'well, that's it, the fairy tale has come to end'. The only question people had was "is it going to be 5:0 or 20:0 to Barca?". The odds on Barca were ridiculous, even after humbling at Stamford Bridge. One moment defined Chelsea: two nil down, reduced to 10 men with an hour to go at hostile stadium against worlds best ever team. But they've believed into themselves. The only thing that stood on Barca's way was Chelsea's self-belief. If that reminds you script for "300 Spartians", you're the only one.

    As for Roberto Di Matteo... He was a coach of League One team a goal down in playoffs 3 years ago, a coach of a Premiership club 2 years ago, sacked and jobless from West Brom 1 year ago. And now, he's a Champion and a Conqueror of Europe. A true Cinderella story!!!

    P.S.: Today is my birthday. I said to my wife before the game, Chelsea winning Champions League would be the best present for my birthday ever in my life. THANK YOU, CHELSEA!!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    Kings of London

    That should keep HAHACaradeyouare quiet for awhile

  • Comment number 26.

    spelling mistake there


  • Comment number 27.

    To: WordsofWisdom

    Why is it an embarrassment to the game? Chelsea played football, did nothing against the rules or against the spirit of the game. They were the underdogs, and just as underdogs sometimes do, they won. They won by converting the same number of goals as Bayern, and then scoring more penalties. That's football and there's not one ounce of embarrassment in that at all. I'm not a Chelsea fan, but I'm British and wanted a British team to win and was happy that they did.

  • Comment number 28.

    "For the fans who have endured the often painful journey to eventual triumph"

    Yes it must be really tough and painful to support a succesful trophy winning Premier League team.

  • Comment number 29.

    I guess it shows yet again that the CL is just another cup competition, often won by a team who are nowhere near the best in Europe. Luck and negative tactics can get you through a cup campaign but never in the league, which is why the league competitions will always be the benchmark.

    Seeing teams like this Chelsea team, playing this way, win the competition just lowers it's status in my eyes.

  • Comment number 30.


    Champions of Europe

    What has your team achieved in Europe?

  • Comment number 31.

    Coo. What a lot of sourpusses.
    Bayern did not deserve to win. They blew numerous easy chances and could not come up with the goods when it counted. Chelsea could and did.
    Ageism is a pathetic and sad basis of criticism.
    Chelsea!!! Champs.
    Get over it.

  • Comment number 32.

    When you win, you deserve it. Chelsea surprised everyone, including themselves. Nevertheless Chelsea is the worst champion since long.

  • Comment number 33.

    All the people moaning about the match should get over it all that matters is winning, nothing else, Barcalona are the best football side in the world by a huge distance but were they in Munich last night? all that counts is who is taking the trophy home and that is Chelsea.

  • Comment number 34.

    Perhaps now at least one other set of fans can now associate with what Liverpool went through in May, 2005:
    1. Not best team on paper, but pulled off some memorable victories to get to the final.
    2. Hadn't qualified for next season's Champion's League by virtue of their league position.
    3. Conceded the first goal (and the 2nd and 3rd in LFC's case!)
    4. Pulled it back to force extra time.
    5. Keeper pulls off a brilliant save in extra time (Cezk penalty save vs Dudek point blank save).
    6. Win it on penalties.

    Lots of similarities here. Well done Chelsea.

  • Comment number 35.

    Some things are just meant to be..Fine,they haven't played the greatest of football to win the european cup but you simply cannot take this away from them.the likes of Drogba,Lampard and Cech have put so much into their games en route the final and it would have been cruel if they had lost it at the last moment.
    Kudos to Di Mateo.from being sacked by WBA to a being a champion of europe.I wonder if the same fate awaits Hodgson *eyes rolling*

  • Comment number 36.

    it wasn't pretty, but it was dramatic.

  • Comment number 37.

    @9 Obviously not a Chelsea fan then

    Even i'll admit it wasn't pretty, but we've been waiting for another European triumph since '71 and i'll take what happened last night with both hands. Based on our performances through this years campaign, we deserved this through strength of character, grit and determination. Pep Guardiola said recently that football is not about possession but about getting the ball in the back of the net, and he was right. We the fans deserved this, and so did everyone working at Chelsea. Our cup for at least one year. And can someone please give RDM the job now, he's done enough.

  • Comment number 38.

    People criticizing Chelsea's defensive display, forget that Chelsea scored plenty during campaign. They attacked and scored when needed. Against Napoli, they had to score 4 and they did. Against Barca, reduced to 10 men at their own backyard in front of 100'000 Barca supporters, they scored 2. And Bayern needed 80 minutes on their home to score a goal. But when Chelsea needed to attack and score a goal, they did it in just under 8 minutes.

    Please don't say Chelsea didn't attack! They scored at least a goal more than any of their opponents. It's just their offense was far more efficient than their opponents' and their defense was the meanest by far.

  • Comment number 39.

    To everyone who said Chelsea did not deserve this, would you be saying the same if it was your team? Mmmm me thinks not
    Football is about 11 players not just the attacking options, to have come through what they have after a manager did his best to ruin our team, One example what he did to Lampard is tremendous.
    Yes want to win in style, but win first. Wonder how many of you would slate England if they did the same thing, unless your from north of the boarder of course
    Proud of you lads
    Well done

  • Comment number 40.

    I am lost for words today. All I can say is that Chelsea have after all pain of years earned the eternal redemption and their 'Old guard' personified by the peerless Drogba will go into footballing folklore.

    Its an incomparable feeling and I have been hurting ever since Tottenham manager wished & hoped Chelsea do not win the CL to enable his club to make the 4th qualifying spot in the CL.

  • Comment number 41.

    @27. At 09:05 20th May 2012, Deekaying wrote:

    To: WordsofWisdom

    Why is it an embarrassment to the game? Chelsea played football, did nothing against the rules or against the spirit of the game. They were the underdogs, and just as underdogs sometimes do, they won. They won by converting the same number of goals as Bayern, and then scoring more penalties. That's football and there's not one ounce of embarrassment in that at all. I'm not a Chelsea fan, but I'm British and wanted a British team to win and was happy that they did.
    Look at the stats and look at the game again. Chelsea were poor beyond belief and were totally outplayed for the vast majority of the game. On top of that, I didn't even think Bayern were that good or that their big players turned-up.

    For me it was an embarassing advertisment for the PL with billions watching worldwide.

  • Comment number 42.

    I should expand upon my theme that England can go very far at Euro'2012 if they emulate Di Matteo's negative tactics.

    If England draw 0-0 with France and Sweden and beat Ukraine 1-0 they will win Group D.

    We know that Group C (Italy, Ireland, Spain and Croatia) will be lucky to get 4 goals across the 6 matches, so England could easily face Ireland in the Quarter-Final, and win 1-0.

    The Di Matteo model could therefore see England into the semi-final on the back of scoring 2 goals in their first 4 matches. England would have already gone as far as in any tournament since 1966, and who is to say they wouldn't go on to win the Euros?

    4-2-3-1 is an incredibly effective way of stopping the opposition from scoring, and if not England I'm sure that someone else will go all the way to Euro glory by scoring even fewer goals than Spain in South Africa.

  • Comment number 43.

    @21 'I thought John Terry was an absolute disgrace to lift the trophy.'

    I totally agree. Interesting how the other players blocked him out though. Should have been Lampard or Drogba. Bosingwa certainly wanted to get in on the show though!

    The big question now is what will RA do? Rumour has it that he is getting interested in Formula 1. . .

  • Comment number 44.

    Besides, Bayern took exactly same approach, when they got the lead. They've substituted goalscorer with a central defender and played 5 defenders at the back. Well, they still couldn't do what Chelsea 4 did. At the end, Bayern have only themselves to blame for being cautious.

  • Comment number 45.


    Agree it was dull, but there was no shortage of skill.

    The standard of football was very high and both teams clearly deserved to be in the final.

    Well done Chelski, hard luck Spurs ;o)

  • Comment number 46.

    Wow, there are a lot of bitter fans on here.

    Whilst it wasn't pretty football, ultimately Chelsea won because Bayern couldn't put away their chances. Had Mueller and Gomez been more clinical, Chelsea would have been 3 goals down come the first half.

    So to put down their win because they were defensive is only seeing one half of the story.

    Chelsea played to their strengths considering they had most of their players banned.

    Not every team has to play like Barcelona and RDM realised that. That's what makes him a good manager.

    I wonder if these same bitter people held the same view when England beat Spain 1-0 using the same tactics? Grow Up!!

  • Comment number 47.

    People coming out & slating Terry for lifting the trophy need to look at themselves...Its a once in a lifetime opportunity to win CL...let them enjoy it..

  • Comment number 48.

    If we compare this Chelsea to the previous winners of the champions league, starting with Olympic Marseille in 1993. How high in the list of 20 will they be?

  • Comment number 49.

    To words of wisdom
    Would you be saying the same if it was your team?
    Probably not
    Oh they weren't in the final, so mute point really

  • Comment number 50.

    A great game, it had what makes football when it's played right with the right attitude a beautiful game. No Diving no brinkmanship, no waving imaginary yellow cards at the ref.
    Just grit determination and the nerves of what is effectively the biggest game on the Planet now.
    I delighted in My Hearts thumping Hibs again 5 -1 but there was little real skill compared to Chelsea v Bayern last night.
    Whilst it maybe the Champions League that sits in the cabinet for me its back to the Old School that started the revolution at the Bridge. & winning the cup winners cup in '98, the goalscorer was a delighted pundit last night & the interim manager got the all important goal in the snow of Tromso en-route to the final.
    Last night in Munich may not have been a game for the purists, but if every player the world over played like that and removed the "crap stuff" from the game, it would get people like me engaged again and prepared to get back in and pay some money in a stadium instead of the comfort of my Sofa.

  • Comment number 51.


    Sod the stats

    Chelsea are champions of Europe

  • Comment number 52.

    @ 9
    Tell me Brian,which of the goals scored against Chelsea by both Barcelona and Bayern were technically superior to the ones Chelsea scored against either side?what do you understand by technical superiority,anyways?passing the ball around for countless hours or missing so many chances at goal?technical superiority is nothing more than a pathetic moral victorious phraase.

  • Comment number 53.

    What a superb season, theatre, pure drama and such rich excitement. The feats of Man City and Chelsea this year have been breath-taking. Congratulations to Chelsea, they showed that Passion, consistency and organisation can win the biggest prize in the European club game.

    Just a word for Bayern Munich. The lecture the rest of the football world about finances, morality and tactics. But they roll around, they pressure officials and they employ several players that have behaved appallingly off the field. The biggest club in Germany moaning about private investment while spending the last two decades growing fat from the cash-cow that is the Champions league is embarrassing. They called Drogba 'an actor' but several of their players must have academy awards. Its completely pathetic and hypocrisy of the very purest form.

    People will always talk about the money that Chelsea and now Man City have spent in the pursuit of glory and there is certainly an argument to be had. But it seems that they are simply trying to compete with the established giants of European football and that is not a bad thing for football. Two new winners this year has produced one of the most exciting seasons ever. How Monsieur Platini can see that as a bad think is beyond me.

    It is hard luck on Spurs and I fear they may lose some of their best players now they won't be playing in Europe's premier competition. It isn't beyond the realms to imagine Modric in Chelsea blue next season.

    Well done Chelsea. It will be bizarre if Roberto Di Matteo doesn't get the job at Stamford bridge full-time now. He has done a fabulous job in just a few months.

  • Comment number 54.

    Mighty millers
    Top comments

  • Comment number 55.

    Oh great. As a Spurs fan, i must say it's the taunting from our dear friends at the 'Anymuppets' which i'm most excited about.

  • Comment number 56.

    Would love to see Troll Patch on here now

    He will probably go into hiding like he did after the CL semifinals

  • Comment number 57.

    45.At 09:15 20th May 2012, dogeared wrote:

    I won my 300 quid so I am happy :)

  • Comment number 58.

    The victory was most definitely one of grit, determination and a superb defensive display.

    Chelsea had to play a defensive game as they were in Bayern's home stadium effectively playing an away game in the final. Had the game been at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea would have seen much more of the ball and the ratio of chances would have been much more balanced too.

    The whole team was superb and people should give players like John Terry and Ashley Cole a break. JT is still one of the best defenders around and Ashley is still quite possibly the best left back in the world.

    Chelsea need credit since they had 4 players suspended (3 to the stupid accumulation of yellow cards rule... should be an amnesty at semi-finals stage), they were away in Bayern's home stadium (again shouldn't be allowed in the laws of the game - UEFA need to review this one - should be a neutral venue) and David Luiz and Gary Cahill weren't even moving freely both nursing hamstring injuries.

  • Comment number 59.

    "There were emotions and memories money simply cannot buy."

    But they have bought them?!

  • Comment number 60.

    I am not a Chelsea supporter, but would like to say congratulations for your win. I can't help feeling sorry for Tottenham supporters, because it could lead to an exodus of players now that they won't be playing Champions League football next season. I heard a rumour last night that Arsenal might make a bid for Gareth Bale, but I am not sure how much truth there is in it...

  • Comment number 61.

    Fair play to Chelsea.
    Was watching most of the game in a Manchester pub and the crowd was 75% pro Chelsea. The stats are an eye opener,so many chances fell to Bayern that you have to wonder how they lost the game.
    Already opinion is divided on the merits of the game,with the purist's fearing for the game that the team at the receiving end of most of the shots/play,eventually win.
    No such concern when Arsenal won the FA Cup a few years back when completely outplayed by my Beloved Utd. But,that's football.
    Personally...I think it brilliant for Chelsea,who lets face it,are not everybody's cup of tea. The detractors will point to RA and his money. The fact is Chelsea,unlike man citeh, were winning cups before Abramovitch pitched his tent at Stamford Bridge.
    The downside was the sight of Terry parading the cup. As a suspended player,he should not have been allowed to share the glory. Keane in 99 was a virtual bystander in his civvies. That is the right way.
    Also feel sorry for Spurs. 4th place should gaurantee a European Cup spot,but as usual,Liverppol rewrote the laws on that subject.
    Welcome to the club Chelsea!

  • Comment number 62.

    There is no question that Roberto has done a fine job as interim manager, and I have to say, will probably get the job. But should he? To be honest the hard work is now only just beginning and whilst Roman may now relax a bit and allow a new manager to actually stay for a while, the truth is this is a club that needs rebuilding, not through revolution, true but evolution. The club showed it did not need Terry on the pitch. So new manager, new captain may well be what Chelsea needs now.

  • Comment number 63.

    To everyone slating Terry for lifting the cup
    He has done so much for this club, playing with cracked ribs as an example
    Some players go injured with a cold
    Of course he deserved to lift the trophy
    Well done JT

  • Comment number 64.

    Oil = trophies. All hail the people's game, eh?

    Ghastly 7 days for football; possibly the worst ever. I half-expected Gray and Keys to have joined the Beeb on £2 million a year, just to complete what Stephen King would call 'the grotesque, capering horrors' of it all.

    Ugh...roll on the golf, tennis, and Olympics.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    Yes, congrats to Chelsea - 'name on the trophy' and all that (a.k.a. rode their luck to a quite astonishing degree) but this is half the charm of football (and especially cup competitions), that you don't have to be the best side to win. Or even nearly the best.

    And a fabulous equaliser from DD, I must say.

    Great at the end, too, to see the unmitigated joy (!) on the faces of the Russian oligarch and the misunderstood lionheart shortly to face trial for a racially aggravated public order offence.

  • Comment number 68.

    Thank you for your comments
    Have to say I was at the game back in Moscow and flew home via Manchester, you have same great supporters and we got on really well. God few days except result of course

  • Comment number 69.

    Yesterday, it was the greatest day in Chelsea's history.
    Nobody could write this script: a Chelsea side with Terry, Ramires, Ivanovic, Meireles out of the starting XI, won the Champions League at the home of the opponent, winning on penalties and that opponent being Bayern Munich, the usual Mr Efficient in penalty shoot-outs.

    I celebrated this victory like a happy kid, putting personal club preferences aside. After the match, I had a thorough look at that "Live" page, where many bitters were expressing narrow-minded opinions.

    It may be his last day in a Chelsea shirt, it may be not. However, Didier Drogba is the real player of the season, this season. RVP never deserved it. I was always thinking that the award had to be given to Yaya Toure. Arsenal's public relations have a good network perhaps. Player of the season though can only be one, this season: Didier Drogba.

    My unreserved congratulations.
    I'm happy for the last of a great Chelsea team that has been protagonists in Premier League for a decade will not end up their careers without a Champions League medal. They fully deserved it!

  • Comment number 70.

    To: WordsofWisdom

    Why is it an embarrassment to the game? Chelsea played football, did nothing against the rules or against the spirit of the game. They were the underdogs, and just as underdogs sometimes do, they won. They won by converting the same number of goals as Bayern, and then scoring more penalties. That's football and there's not one ounce of embarrassment in that at all. I'm not a Chelsea fan, but I'm British and wanted a British team to win and was happy that they did.
    Look at the stats and look at the game again. Chelsea were poor beyond belief and were totally outplayed for the vast majority of the game. On top of that, I didn't even think Bayern were that good or that their big players turned-up.

    For me it was an embarassing advertisment for the PL with billions watching worldwide.

    It may not have been a great game to watch for some, but I still found it entertaining enough. Stats mean nothing when 1 goal is all it takes to win a game. Football isn't just about the percentages, it's about the team with the right mindset to win and to score goals at the right time. That is what Chelsea did (after Bayern scored too).

    If football were about stats, then we could forget about the number of goals scored; we could instead just concentrate on possession, number of shots, number of shots on target, number of corners, number of yellow and red cards, number of passes, etc. To take it to the extreme, should the team who achieves 51% in their stats and therefore beating there opponent, win all the time? Nope, football is and always has been about the number of goals scored. And that's just the way it should be.

    I'm sure there have been times when your team has been pounded by the other team, but still came out the winner. Just saying....

  • Comment number 71.

    9. At 08:54 20th May 2012, Brian Robins wrote:

    The real loser in this game was not Bayern, but football.

    Thankfully I'm more interested in the real winner of the game and no one will forget its Chelsea

  • Comment number 72.

    Regarding JT lifting the trophy, after his stupidity at Barca, Chelsea made the final in spite of him not because of him. He should have been embarassed to even be considered to lift the cup but just goes to show the ego of the man that he goes ahead and lifts it anyway

  • Comment number 73.

    I have to laugh at the bitterness....four key players suspended, playing in their stadium, their country, two half fit defenders in the middle, a 22 year making his debut, against all odds, do you really think we were going to caress the ball and play like Brazil...get real....fantastic result for Chelsea, old of this can moan all you like but it doesn't matter...we are the champions of Europe

  • Comment number 74.

    @ 47

    Yes it may be a once in a lifetime opportunity but I do not understand how a player who left his team mates to do the hard work against Barca and Bayern and is being charged for racism has any place to be there. John Terry is continuously hyped by the media for 'leadership' but I only saw Lampard leading the team last night. Drogba scored an equaliser and the winning penalty and Cech saved two. John Terry clearly thought this didn't matter...

  • Comment number 75.

    It should not be overlooked in all this criticism of Chelsea's play and approach to the game that, by and large, Bayern were rubbish and none of their so called 'big' players produced on the night.

    Not that that makes the analysis any rosier from Chelsea's perspective.

  • Comment number 76.

    As everyone is disregarding this Chelsea win due to no attacking football, does this mean that you would prefer Chelsea to have played Bayern at their own game (with a depleted squad) and ultimately lose the game? Say.....3-1?

    I suppose you don't mind seeing English teams losing as long as they pass the ball x number of times in/around the box?

    Bet you are all looking forward to the Euros

  • Comment number 77.

    A disgraceful performance from a team that were quite happy to lose under AVP provided they got their own way. Bunch of over aged egos got very lucky last night. I hope it's their last Cup for some time. Can't stand them.

    How on this earth did Gomez get 40+ goals in the league this year ??? Are the goals 3 times as big in the Bundesliga or something ? I thought Andy Carroll was a useless wooden plank, but this guy takes the cake !

  • Comment number 78.


    Forget it spurschuggger; there is absolutely nothing positive that can come out of this.

  • Comment number 79.

    Petr Cech should be getting massive amounts of praise - not only for his save to deny Robben in the first half and his penalty save from Robben in extra time, but the fact that he won Chelsea the penalty shoot-out with TWO saves - one from Olic, and crucially a fingertip save to divert Schweinsteiger's pen onto the post. A fact that most commentators and journalists seem to have missed. Bayern's goal was one he might have saved, but it was from point blank range and bounced awkwardly in front of him, so I don't think anyone could say he SHOULD have saved it. If I was Cech I'd be a bit p****d off I wasn't getting a bit more credit!

  • Comment number 80.


    Some of the Bayern's players refused to take a penalty notably Robben.

    That's disgraceful from so called professional sportsman

  • Comment number 81.

    Regarding Roberto, if Chelsea don't want him can we have our manager back. Roy did a great job and now he has put a few things straight I think Roberto would do an even better job at the Hawthorns. Of course he wouldn't look twice at us now what with an ECL and FA Cup to his name.

    Well done Chelsea, really tough on Spurs though. Feel for them.

  • Comment number 82.

    Well u do feel sorry for thea team that loses the shootout but I for one is not sorry for Bayern..the Germans hav won their fair share of shotouts...

  • Comment number 83.

    To many biters on here knocking Chelsea's triumph

    I am not a Chelsea fan but good luck to them and congratulations

  • Comment number 84.

    Bayern didn't take their chances, Chelsea did....end of. Was it the best of finals, no but who cares if you are a Chelsea fan??

    1878onwards - This is about Chelsea so not sure what your thin veiled dig at Liverpool is about? You will find that the FA's of the countries involved in the CL voted for that change??

    Anyway congrats Chelsea, it will interesting how this result effects the teams of Chelsea and Spurs next season.......we will see.

    PS. Hodgson I do not care if you do the same tactics and England win the Euro's....

  • Comment number 85.

    @79 Adored99:

    You beat me to that: the only commentator/pundit who seemed to notice Cech's crucial save from Schweinsteiger was Zola, and his comment was totally ignored by the rest. Muppets.

  • Comment number 86.

    4. At 08:44 20th May 2012, frankiecrisp wrote:
    Wonderful night for English football. I hope this is not the last time a side wins the cup on merit before Man City start spending millions to buy the trophy.

    Fantastic, we all know that Chelsea fans believe that football was only invented in the last 10 years, but this guy seems to only have an even shorter memory. For the record winning the Champions League cost Abrimovich the best part of a billion pounds.

    Nobody is saying Chelsea didn't deserve it. It was a brave and disciplined performance (wonder where that pride and work ethic was 6 months ago), but as a game of football it was mind-numbingly tedious. With all the money Chelsea have spent, you would think they might actually try to play a bit of football. With West Ham's hoofballers beating Blackpool in the playoffs, it was a sad day for fans of entertaining football.

    Also when will Bayern learn that changing the formation to protect a lead doesn't work. 13 years ago the decision to take off the captain in the closing minutes handed the cup to United, and again last night they made the same mistake.

  • Comment number 87.

    Congratulations Chelsea but I'm not 100% thrilled by all this.

    The champions league has yet again been won by a team who cannot count themselves even good enough to qualify for it domestically. It reinforces my long held belief that winning the champions league means very little toward your standing in European football and that it is far more difficult to put together a title challenge than it is to win Europe's 'top award'.

  • Comment number 88.

    I have to take issue with the comments regarding the alleged poor quality of the football on display. It was about normal for a big cup final. Previous Champions League Finals, World Cup Finals etc have hardly been notable for the sublime beauty of the football. It's inevitable when a big prize hinges on a single game.

  • Comment number 89.

    The only draw back to this Chelsea win is that Bayern's players who will play in the Euro's will want revenge against England.

    So fingers crossed we avoid Germany and the Netherlands. On top of everyone else :

    Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Italy etc

  • Comment number 90.

    It's a bizarre kind of redemption but, as a six year old Leeds United supporter in 1975 who watched us lose to Bayern Munich following some controversial refereeing decisions, this was sweet revenge, irrespective my club's mutual hostility with Chelsea. That said, Terry is a disgrace and should never represent his country again but credit where it's due for a rearguard action against a better footballing team....again.

  • Comment number 91.

    >"Petr Cech should be getting massive amounts of praise "

    But that would require people to discard their belief that the only praiseworthy aspect of football is playing offense.

  • Comment number 92.

    To defeat a team on their home patch and with your own team depleted, it requires great strategy & tactics and implementation of that strategy & those tactics. Discipline, determination, motivation, organisation, team-work & stamina are all key aspects to victory. As usual, those who have no idea of these virtues and who can only see what is directly in front of their faces complain of "anti-football", but those who can see the real battle appreciate what Chelsea have achieved. Congratulations to them!

  • Comment number 93.

    65.At 09:25 20th May 2012, spurschuggger wrote:
    Well done Chelsea, what an inspirational trophy..... no wait, you parked the bus and got very lucky and hoped to beat the Germans on penalties. The only postitive i could take out of this is that it might shut up patches but of course it wont. And yes, I am the bitterest of bitter spurs fan. Hoping Messi and Robben miss from 12 yards trumps a 38 game season? bucking follocks

    What is more satisfying is that you lot are in the Europa where you belong........Spuds

  • Comment number 94.

    The question is, is this the last great hurrah for Chelsea? This squad is in need of serious investment, lest we forget, they just finished 6th in the PL. With the FFP rules looming the russian can no longer throw his money around as before so what happens now.

    Indeed, as others have asked, will he now lose interest and turn his attention elsewhere?

  • Comment number 95.

    Well done to Chelsea. Nobody would argue that they were the best side in the competition, but what does that matter? All the talk of stats, parking the bus and sides playing better football is irrelevant. Yes, most of us would agree with the Brian Clough philosophy of football rather than the Sam Allardyce school of thought, but you devise your tactics and method of playing to win your games. If Chelsea had tried to play Barcelona at their own game in the semi final, they would have lost, and who would have given them plaudits for that? Anyone who complains about defensive tactics would find their time better spent trying to outwit such tactics.

    On another note, has anyone else noticed the irony of all the superstar managers, Mourinho, Scolari, Ancelotti etc, who failed to deliver the prize Abramovich values beyond rubies (or roubles) and the young manager (a Chelsea hero in his playing days), assisted by a Chelsea stalwart from the boot room, who both finally delivered the goods? You would have to be hard-hearted not to feel a bit of a glow for them. Will Di Matteo get the job? Now that's a question.............

  • Comment number 96.

    If all these vastly superior teams we've played in the knockout rounds turn out to be the most inept finishers around when we play them it's hardly our fault. What did you want us to do? Score own goals so they beat us? They all had more than enough chances to kill us off, but didn't take them. Tough.

  • Comment number 97.

    Great article Phil!

    What an amazing night! It has to be said that it wasn't the best of Football Matches for 80 minutes or so, but the fight and determination was there from both teams and even though I'm hardly a fan of Chelsea, I can't help but feel so very happy for them.

    For Chelsea, there were Warrior-like performances from so many of their players. Cahill, Lampard and Cole reminded the whole of England why Hodgson picked them in his squad. David Luiz and Mikel actually played well for a change. Cech reminded us of how good a Goalkeeper he can be still. Drogba the pivotal man in terms of the Winning Goals as ever. In fact they all just played so well and deserved the victory.

    No doubt that Bayern gave it a massive go and the fact that it was 1-1 and had to be decided on Penalties just shows you how close these two teams are in terms of quality.

    I've already heard some people say Chelsea didn't deserve to win due to the sheer amount of chances Bayern had. I disagree. First of all, Defending well is just as important as Attacking well. Chelsea's Defence and Goalkeeper were sensational. Secondly, I lost count of the amount of times Bayern had shots going into Row Z. Admittedly, if Robben and Gomez actually turned up (I've still yet to see Gomez play well in a single European game) and remembered how to hit the target, it might've been a different story, the exception being Robben's first half effort saved onto the post of course.

    What makes it all the more amazing is that Chelsea can now boast that they have been the most successful English Club this Season. Who would've thought that, especially considering their League Position? Amazing stuff.

  • Comment number 98.

    Those that have been critical of Chelsea last night are unable to see the reality of the circumstances. BAYERN WERE AT HOME a draw over a 2 leg tie would be considered an excellent result. Chelsea did better than Real Madrid did and although I hate a game of this magnitude being decided on penalties after what happened in Moscow good luck to them. I know that the venue is selected well in advance but the final should always be played at a neutral ground. A Secondary venue should be selected as well in case this situation arises. All games before the final are over 2 legs

  • Comment number 99.

    So Roy Hodgson takes England to the European Championships and Harry Redknapp will take Spurs to Europa to feel for 'Arry

  • Comment number 100.

    @ 89

    Are Argentina playing in the Euros then? That should be interesting.............


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