Cue a Chelsea corner. Cue Didier Drogba – possibly playing in his last match for Chelsea. Drogba rose high from ten yards and fired an unstoppable header into the Bayern net. This time it was Chelsea’s fans who went wild. You could hear the roar across south-west London.
Extra time was relatively undramatic except for one moment of defending madness from Drogba on Frank Ribery, the Bayern talisman. A penalty resulted which the choking Dutchman Robben managed to steer into the body of insuperable Cech. A miss from Olic in the dying minutes had Bayern fans wondering if it was going to be their night.
Back in London the blue tide dared to dream. It was fifty-fifty now with the 2012 Champions League now down to the lottery of penalties. But the Germans never miss penalties right?
In North London Tottenham fans prayed for a German win. If Chelsea lost then Tottenham would play in next season’s Champions League instead of Chelsea after finishing fourth in the Premier League.
True to German form the first 3 Bayern penalties hit the back of the net – the third an impressive strike from the German keeper Neuer. Meanwhile Chelsea managed just 2 out of 3. Spaniard Juan Mata’s first penalty was saved by Neuer.
Then for the miracle: the Croatian Olic missed. His penalty was saved by Petr Cech. Chelsea were level if the next penalty went in. Ashley Cole knocked his penalty in. Then Schweinsteiger (a German international) stepped up. A German? Surely he’d put his penalty away? No. His shot hit the post and back towards him – away from the goal.
Didier Drogba stepped up and took his turn. To win the cup Drogba needed to put the ball in the back of the net. He began his run. Chelsea and Bayern fans covered their eyes. Neuer dived to the right. Drogba cooly passed the ball into the net on the left and then signed a massive thanks to Jesus.
Tottenham hearts sank. Bayern fans began cursing a shocking home defeat which would have been just as painful as the Manchester United win 13 years ago.
Meanwhile Chelsea became the fifth English club to win the European Cup. Their victory was the result of masses of investment over a decade from the Blues owner Roman Abramovich, a succession of coaches who took the players almost there; but more importantly this was the merited result of years of hard work from Chelsea stalwarts Cech, Cole, Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Kalou, Essien and their interim manager Roberto di Matteo himself.
Now surely Abramovich must give Di Matteo the Chelsea job full time?
This was a splendid victory for Chelsea Football Club and hats off to their excellent team, coach, owner and supporters. It's been a long time coming but - even as a Liverpool supporter myself - I salute you and admit this was well-deserved and should have come three years ago.
Dominic Wightman is Editor of the Westminster Journal