Didier Drogba was always somewhat of a loser when it came to the big finals. Africa, Champions League. No more, not for him and not for Chelsea, putting the Moscow demons behind them and beating Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout after a dramatic 1-1 draw following the 120 minutes.
If Arjen Robben wasn’t called a loser until know for his losses in Champions League finals and the World Cup, not to mention his recent missed penalty against Dortmund, here it came again. A terrible game from Bayern’s most important players, adding another missed penalty to the catalog in the 95th minute.
This was the weakest Chelsea side since Roman Abramovich took over in 2003. Winning the Champions League through displaying of defense, tenacity and luck. But this happens once every few years. Just like Greece in the 2004 Euro, Chelsea had no business of beating Barcelona or Bayern. But incredible defense and heart pulled them through. Belief, as Drogba spoke about after the match. Belief, Petr Cech, and some shaky Bayern legs.
Chelsea, like in most matches under Di Matteo, came to ruin the party and try and sting through a counter attack. Pretty soon they realized that even those chances won’t be happening. Bayern were in complete control for 90 minutes, but bad decisions in the box by Ribery, Gomez and Robben let Chelsea off the hook. Brave legs of Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole and David Luiz just gave Bayern corner after corner (20-1 !!!!) but no goals.
Bayern had an incredible 43 attempts at goal, but only 7 shots that Cech actually had to stop. One of them, a perfect cross to Thomas Muller, found its way between the crossbar and Cech’s head. Bayern couldn’t drop this game with 7 minutes left, right? Heynckes signaled to everyone he’s afraid of losing this one, sending in Van Buyten for Muller, maybe losing the match with that decision.
Chelsea had only 3 shots on goal in the entire match. One of them, a curling Juan Mata corner kick, found the head of Didier Drogba, scoring in what will be Chelsea’s greatest goal in the club’s history, equalizing in the 88th minute, sending us into overtime while the Bayern players looked stunned, even beaten.
Nothing much happened in the next 30 minutes except for Robben messing up in crunch time again. Didier Drogba clipped Ribery in the box, but Robben and people who decide on penalty kick for Bayern Munich never learn. Cech chose correctly, Robben shot poorly. Penalties were upon us.
The most unfair way of deciding a winner happened for the first time since the 2008 final. Chelsea were the losers that time, with John Terry sending the ball into the rainy Moscow sky. No Terry this time, and even going down 3-1 after Juan Mata missed the first shot from the spot didn’t matter. Ivica Olic was a likely guess for the first to miss for Bayern, and it was an unstoppable snow ball from there. Instead of Manuel Neuer silencing all of his critics after stopping a shot and scoring one, Didier Drogba scored the final Chelsea penalty, in what might be an end of an era for the club.
Roberto Di Matteo never changed anything in terms of innovation of tactics. He just brought a gutted dressing room together, by giving the real leaders of this club the reign. John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech. There was nothing pretty about their road to the final except for the 4-1 win over Napoli. The rest was blood, sweat and tears of joy. Roman Abramovich finally owns a European champion. From tomorrow, he’ll need to build himself a new one.