NEWS
Saturday May 19 2012
Di Matteo wins Champions League

The Champions League Final was decided in a dramatic penalty shoot-out by Didier Drogba, as Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea shocked Bayern Munich on their home turf.

Playing in their home stadium, the Allianz Arena, it was natural Bayern dominated possession and held the initiative throughout. Caretaker manager Di Matteo’s men took a very defensive approach and missed suspended captain John Terry.

Arjen Robben had a great chance when his shot was deflected off Petr Cech’s leg to loop up and clip the outside of the post.

Thomas Muller’s volley whistled just wide, while Salomon Kalou finally forced Manuel Neuer into his first save after 37 minutes.

Mario Gomez really should’ve scored, but ballooned over before half-time from 12 yards.

Franck Ribery did put the ball in the net on 53 minutes when Ashley Cole deflected a wayward shot into his path, but the Frenchman was flagged offside.

Cole charged down another Robben strike and David Luiz did the same on Toni Kroos, as in the second half Chelsea retreated entirely into their own half.

Contento had to clear Drogba’s cross before it could reach Kalou after a defender slipped over, but it was still mainly Bayern and Cole deflected a Ribery cross-shot that Cech fingertipped out from under the bar.

Muller horribly slashed his shot wide under pressure from Cole and a glancing header was smothered by Cech.

The deadlock was finally broken seven minutes from time when Muller got to the back post for a header into the ground from six yards that bounced back up over Cech and in off the underside of the bar. It was Bayern’s 33rd shot on goal of the match.

However, Chelsea equalised with one of their only attempts, as Didier Drogba got a powerful header to a corner from the outside edge of the six-yard box, going in despite Neuer getting a fist to it at the near post.

Di Matteo’s side took more of the initiative in extra time, but Drogba went from hero to villain when clipping Ribery’s heels in the box to give away a penalty. Former Chelsea player Robben stepped up, but it was saved by Cech.

Substitute Ivica Olic’s cushioned volley flashed across the face of goal and shaved a coat of paint off the far post, as it fell between being an assist for Daniel van Buyten and a shot.

Philip Lahm burst into the box and pulled back for Gomez, but Gary Cahill dived in to put him off as he pulled the trigger. Nothing more could prise the teams apart, so the Champions League Final went to penalties in Munich.

It was Drogba who took the decisive kick after Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the upright and made no mistake to give Chelsea the trophy on Bayern’s home turf.

Penalties: Lahm (B goal), Mata (C saved), Gomez (B goal), David Luiz (C goal), Neuer (B goal), Lampard (C goal), Olic (B saved), Cole (C goal), Schweinsteiger (B post), Drogba (C goal)

Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (aet 3-4 on pens)

Scorers: Muller 83 (B), Drogba 88 (C)

Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Tymoshchuk, Contento; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, Muller (van Buyten 86), Ribery (Olic 96); Gomez

Chelsea: Cech; Bosingwa, David Luiz, Cahill, A Cole; Kalou (Torres 84), Mikel, Lampard, Bertrand (Malouda 73); Juan Mata; Drogba

Ref: Proenca (Por)

Saved penalty: Robben 95 (B)

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES