Chelsea 1 Bayern 1
Victory at Basel on Tuesday night would ensure Chelsea a place in this season's Champions League last 16. As they stand on the brink of the knockout rounds and what they will hope could be another campaign to remember, we take look back at the night the London club conquered Europe in 2012
By Ryan Parrish
Last Updated: 25/11/13 11:20pm
After lifting the FA Cup two weeks earlier, Chelsea's remarkable campaign concluded as they claimed their first UEFA Champions League trophy after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Bayern Munich at the German club's own Allianz Arena two seasons ago.
Both teams had reached the final in dramatic fashion, with Bayern needing penalties to see off Real Madrid, while Chelsea had defeated the holders, Barcelona, 3-2 on aggregate after coming from two goals down with 10 men to draw 2-2 at Camp Nou.
Playing at their home stadium, coupled with the absence of Chelsea captain John Terry due to suspension for his red card at Barcelona, meant Bayern came into the final as strong favourites and they dominated for long spells of the game. Arjen Robben almost opened the scoring in the first half. But his effort was denied by the legs of Petr Cech.
In the second half, Franck Ribery did have the ball in the back of the net, only for the offside flag to be raised. Chelsea also went close through Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba. But the game appeared to be destined for extra time. The deadlock was eventually broken seven minutes from the end when Thomas Muller's header escaped the reach of Cech as it found the net via the underside of the bar.
Having spent the majority of the night chasing Bayern's shadows, Chelsea appeared to be down and out. But they were back on level terms just five minutes later when Didier Drogba met Juan Mata's corner with a powerful header to take the game to extra time.
The opening minutes of the additional half hour were typically cagey. But Drogba went from hero to villain when he tripped Ribery in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Robben stepped up to take the penalty against his former team. However, Cech was equal to his weak effort as the game went to a shootout.
Ever-dependable Philipp Lahm dispatched the opening spot-kick and when Juan Mata's effort was denied by Manuel Neuer, Bayern were in the ascendancy once again. Mario Gomez and David Luiz both made no mistake with their penalties before Neuer showed nerves of steel to step up and score past his opposite number, Cech.
Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger then both saw their efforts kept out by Cech, eventually leaving Drogba with the chance to seal the win. With his final kick of a ball as a Chelsea player, the Ivory Coast striker calmly slotted into the bottom corner to clinch his side's first European Cup title in their history.
Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo had somehow managed to recover Chelsea's season with a remarkable double. But his future was still up in the air despite the Champions League win, something which he tried to deflect attention from after the win. He said: "My future is not important. Whatever the club decides, I will respect. Football is crazy and unpredictable and I do not think anybody could have predicted what has happened in the last three months. I feel great and I am pleased for everyone connected with the club."
Drogba departed to join Shanghai Shenhua that summer after his contract at Stamford Bridge had expired and he was in a jubilant mood, having made amends for his dismissal against Manchester United in the 2008 final loss. He said: "I believe a lot in destiny. I pray a lot. It was written a long time ago. God is wonderful. This team is amazing."
His club captain, Terry, who was serving suspension following a red card in the semi-final, spoke of his delight despite being forced to watch from the stands: "You look at that trophy and that is what we and the owner (Roman Abramovich) have wanted and Robbie (Di Matteo) has been superb."
Robben was understandably devastated and he bemoaned his extra-time penalty failure, as he admitted: "It was a terrible penalty kick. I wanted to shoot the ball hard and high in the goal but the ball did not go high enough." His manager, Jupp Heynckes, was supportive of the Dutchman's decision to then opt out of the shootout, as he said: "You can understand if he did not score the penalty in extra time that he may have lost some self-confidence to participate in the penalty shootout."
Chelsea's first Champions League victory proved to be typical of Di Matteo's reign, with the Blues never quite knowing when they were beaten. It gave Drogba a fitting send off in his final game, while Cech's heroics will go down in Chelsea folklore.
Where do we start with this? My biggest memory is thinking that "written in the stars" could be applied to both clubs. Bayern, being at home, thought it was their destiny to reclaim the trophy for the first time in 11 years. But I had also followed Chelsea after their 3-1 loss in Naples via Gary Neville's gurgle in the semi-final at the Camp Nou to the final in Munich. Chelsea traded on the fact Bayern seemed to think they had done it. "Our Stadium. Our City. Our Cup", read one banner. But Chelsea dug in and made sure it was their own destiny to win. Didier Drogba not only took it to extra time with his goal, but gave away a penalty which Petr Cech saved from the former Chelsea player Arjen Robben. Drogba was famously sent off in the 2008 final against Manchester United and could not take the penalty which John Terry missed. But I was 100 per cent sure his shootout effort in Munich would be his last kick for the club. That was an amazing moment, almost like schoolboy fiction you thought it could never happen in real life. But it did. My first words were, "the greatest night in Chelsea's history" and that seemed very appropriate.