19th May: Special Day for Chelsea as 2012’s Champion

The atmosphere of the Champions League final can anesthetize all soccer fans, creating many exciting matches with extraordinary plays. 2012’s Champions League final is truly worth remembering. The 2012 Champions League Final at the Allianz Stadium in Munich brings Bayern Munich vs Chelsea to take place on May 19, 2012, 8 years ago.

Munchen’s manager Jupp Heynckes lowered his strongest formation. Captain Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Frank Ribery, Thomas Muller, and Arjen Robben are very reliable because they are at the top of the game with high confidence. In the semifinal, the Bavarian team destroyed Real Madrid’s big ambitions with a group of expensive salaried players and coaches such as Christiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Kaka and Jose Mourinho.

Instead Chelsea appear with the very moderate team. Without their Captain John Terry, although there are still top players like Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, and of course Didier Drogba. In the semifinals, Chelsea surprisingly toppled Barcelona with the defending champion status with superstar Lionel Messi and Manager Pep Guardiola.

For the first time a club has the chance to win a European football title at home. But in fact Bayern are favored not only lucky to act as host, but also the strength of the players’ material and their journey throughout the season are more convincing than Chelsea, which actually experienced many problems that season, including the change of coach Roberto Di Matteo, who previously was an assistant of Andre Villas Boaz.

The course of the match and statistics illustrate how Munich dominated the game by creating a series of opportunities. Chelsea were forced to play with tight defense and rarely created good chances as goalkeeper Manuel Neuer threatened.

The tension was higher in the 83rd minute when Munich managed to excel. From the right side of the Chelsea defense, Toni Kroos crosses over to the far post, at first we thought he was eyeing Mario Gomez, but suddenly Thomas Muller came from behind heading the ball past Ashley Cole. Muller’s headers bounce off the grass and are very confusing for Cech. Chelsea are left behind with 7 minutes left, but there seems to be no hope when watching the Blues’ very minimal appearance create opportunities. Then Chelsea got a corner kick in the 88th minute, for the first time that night.

We can hardly believe Didier Drogba equalized the score from a very slim chance, through a lethal header. From Juan Mata’s corner, aiming for a near post, at the same time Drogba ran with full force and jumped as high as he could from Jerome Boateng’s guard.

He grabbed the ball as hard as he could from a very difficult position, which could penetrate Neuer, the ball entered in the top corner. All were stunned, only this time witnessed a header from a corner kick that was so terrible. Drogba gave Chelsea a new breath, and we entered extra-time as Hollywood fans prepared to celebrate the party.

Like the opera drama, in the 93rd minute, Drogba actually became a defendant for a minor offense against Ribery, which resulted in a penalty. But this time it was Cech’s turn to save Chelsea from destruction. He held back then caught Robben’s hard kick. This failed moment makes all the audience shaken, Chelsea is not dead yet.

Bayern continued to storm and did not want the penalty shootout to occur, instead Chelsea were eager to end it that way, although they were still traumatized by the tragic failure of the penalty shootout in the 2008 final by Manchester United in Moscow. Penalties finally really have to be implemented to determine the winner. Again, Chelsea are not favorites, the German team almost has a near-perfect record when it comes to shoot-outs like this. Chelsea and the English team, on the other hand, have a very bad record.

Only Juan Mata’s first executioner failed, and three Muenchen shooters succeeded. Chelsea are back on the edge. But everything turned around when Cech successfully blocked a fourth penalty, Ivica Olic, and a classy penalty Ashley Cole equalized 3-3, leaving the last executioner: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Drogba.

Schweinsteiger confidently wanted to repeat the story of being the decisive executioner of victory in Madrid. His penalty technique is like deceiving by stopping before firing the ball, and we can’t believe the ball hit the crossbar, perhaps before being pushed over by Cech’s fingertips which made the ball hit the pole and bounce out. Chelsea are now very close to the Champions League trophy.

Drogba who never stopped praying in the middle of the field when his colleagues looked desperate because they were in a bad position, finally got an answer for his prayer. The last two failures of the Munich kicker, leaving him as the deciding shooter, were too much to bear. But He walked toward the white spot while continuing to recite the prayer while fully focused.

Drogba is Drogba, the legend. He calmly did a really calm penalty, a low shot into the left corner when Neuer moved to the right. Thanks to that goal Chelsea won the European championship for the first time. Drogba and Chelsea’s squad squandered on the pitch in their respective ways celebrating this indescribable happiness. Terry and Di Matteo cried to remove the trauma.

The glory years of the team have actually passed since 2010. From 2004 to 2009 they have always been in six semifinals in nine years, and once the 2008 finals. They did not believe that many opportunities were unlucky, frustrated, and moved down in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. When the power was ‘weakened’, luck turned around in 2012. They won the Champions League which has become the obsession of Roman Abramovich and all club personnel.

At the same time, the devastation experienced by Bayern, as a favorite, but statistics does not mean anything. The better team doesn’t always win. Schweinsteiger could not stop lamenting a dramatic defeat despite the comfort of his colleagues.

Legend of Muenchen, Karl Heinz Rummenigge can even feel the failure of 2012 is more sadistic than the failure of 1999 by MU, because it happened at home in the cruelest way. Muenchen’s injuries in 2012 are like pouring salt into Barcelona’s 1999 wounds. Football again shows the brutal side.


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