Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen. Today we will be taking a trip down memory lane. A day which will be remembered by all the Chelsea fans throughout the world. The 19th of May 2012. But before I would like to give out some honourable mentions to our two FA Cup triumphs on this day as well, as we managed to beat the Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Cup final in 2007 and in 2018. Drogba was the hero in 2007 as he clinched the FA Cup for us by scoring a dramatic goal in Extra time. In 2018 Chelsea managed to beat Manchester United again, in the FA Cup final as Eden Hazard scored a penalty in order to help chelsea on to another FA Cup trophy.
Since that’s out of the way, 8 years ago today Chelsea became the first London club to be crowned champions of Europe by beating Bayern Munich in their own backyard in order to win the Champions League. So I thought I would like to share my experience of the 2012 final as a 13 year old kid. After beating Barcelona in the semi finals, we were just one step away from the trophy that we have craved for years. Heading into the final, JT was missing out after getting sent of against Barcelona in the second leg. More important players such as Ivanovic, Raul Meireles, Ramires we’re missing the final due to suspensions by collecting yellow cards in the semi final. After waiting for a couple of weeks the day was finally here. Coming home from school and anxiously waiting for the team news and the game to start. After remembering the loss we suffered in Moscow in 2008, it was a do or die match for us. Losing was not an option. The teams news was finally announced and Di Matteo picked the best possible lineup considering the injuries we had. Although the only concerning thing about that lineup was that Ryan Bertrand was playing on the wing.
It was time for kick off, and hearing the Champions League theme song just made me more nervous for the game. The game kicked off and we were finally under way at the Allianz Arena. Chelsea were the underdogs but we all know that Chelsea love to shock the world especially in Champions League nights. There was constant pressure from Bayern Munich from the first whistle and it was expected to be considering they were the home team. I kept walking from one corner of the room to another as Bayern’a constant pressure and caused me a great amount of stress. But we managed to hold on and Petr Cech managed to pull of some brilliant saves to keep us in the game. We had only once chance in the first half as kalou’s strike was aimed straight at Manuel Neuer. The halftime whistle blew and it was 0-0. It finally gave me a chance to take a seat and relax for a-bit before the second half started.
The second half was underway and this 45 minutes would change the entire history of our football club. Bayern Munich continued to dominate and nothing was working for them. The back line managed to keep their shape and dealt with everything that was coming towards them. But in the 82nd minute, Thomas Muller arrived at the back post and headed the ball past Cech to give the hosts the lead. My heart sank, I fell to my knees and thought that’s it. My eyes were filled with tears as a I saw the Bayern celebrate and the Chelsea players with their heads down. A part of me died as that goal went in. But we still had 8 more minutes to get back into the game and give us some hope.
Di Matteo switched up his tactics as he subbed Fernando Torres on to change game. As soon as Torres came on he changed the game and won us a corner. This was surely our last chance. Mata stepped up for the corner, and all eyes were on Didier Drogba who barely had any service throughout the game. Mata whipped the ball in and Drogba headed the ball past Neuer to give Chelsea hope in the Champions League. He pulled the rabbit out of the hat again. As I was sat sulking on the sofa, Drogba had stepped up for yet again and I absolutely went crazy. With Martin Tyler’s commentary in the background as he said “Chelsea will just not let go of the Champions League”. It felt like the game over was over, but do not count us out in Champions League games. The Full time whistle blew and we were heading towards extra time. It was simply unbelievable.
The first half of extra time had started and I felt like nothing could stop us now, and surely we were going to walk away with the trophy. That thought was quickly erased from my head as Drogba managed to trip Ribery in the penalty box and Bayern were awarded a penalty. Former Chelsea player Arjen Robben stepped. The footballing gods were clearly wearing blue that night as cech managed to dive the right way and save the penalty and Chelsea kept defying all odds. A moment of pure relief as Chelsea were somehow still alive in this final. Extra time came to an end and just like it was in Moscow in 2008 it was in Munich as the game would be decided by a Penalty shootout.
Bayern Munich were up first and Captain Phillip Lahm scored his penalty as he found the top right corner. Cech was finger tips away from saving the penalty. Mata stepped up for Chelsea and his penalty was saved by Manuel Neuer. But there was no time to sulk as I still believed that we won’t lose again on penalties.
Gomez was next up for Munich and he scored and made it 2-0. David Luiz stepped up for Chelsea and had to score in order to give Chelsea a chance. Luiz rifled his penalty in the top right corner and gave the keeper no chance. It was game on as it 2-1. Manuel Neuer stepped up for Bayern and just managed to score past Cech who could not save it after diving the right way. Captain Super Frankie Lampard stepped up for the blues and made it 3-2 as he scored a captains penalty. Olic was up against Cech and this time Cech managed to save the penalty and yet again he kept Chelsea alive in the Champions League final. Ashley Cole stepped up a scored fantastic penalty to bring Chelsea level. It was 3-3. Bastian Schweinsteiger stepped up. And would you believe it, the penalty was missed as he managed to hit the post. Chelsea were one penalty away but that’s what they were in Moscow. Didier Drogba who could not take the penalty in Moscow as he was sent off and that’s why John Terry stepped up.
Drogba stepped up and he sent Neuer the wrong way and became a Chelsea legend as he scored the final penalty and helped the club to win its first ever Champions League Trophy. I ran around the whole house and at the end fell to the ground and burst out in tears as we finally managed to win this trophy. After suffering year after year in this competition we finally did it, against all odds we were crowned Champions of Europe. The whole team did not give up till the end, but hats of to Drogba who stepped up at the right place at the right time and fulfilled every Chelsea fans dream. The Big man for the big occasion. The greatest night in history of the Chelsea Football Club as we managed to beat Bayern Munich in their own backyard and were Crowned Champions of Europe. A night which will never be forgotten by any fan or player.
UP THE CHELS!