Few people who were there or watching at home thought they were witnessing the moment.
Chelsea are the Premier League’s sixth best team, with manager Roberto Di Matteo making just one penalty kick from beating Bayern Munich to the Champions League in 2012. The same is true of the Bavarians’ own back yards.
Drogba waved his right foot, and for the first time in Blues history, engraved his name on the trophy with a large ear.
The scene at the Allianz Arena on May 19, 2012 was in stark contrast to photos four years earlier when Drogba was spotted in Moscow with Red and John Terry sobbing on the lawn of Luzhniki Stadium, when Avram Grant’s team were drawn from their first European. Cup, Manchester United.
During Mourinho’s first reign (2005 and 2006), or the joint peak of Lampard, Terry, Ashley Cole and Drogba in 2008, they couldn’t do the job, And Chelsea have been criticized throughout the game. One of the greatest ironies of modern football.
Di Matteo was in charge at Stamford Bridge for only two months, when his team played against Bayern Heynckes.
The Blues suffered a miserable domestic campaign under Andre Villas-Boas and looked to the world after receiving a comfortable Napoli 3-1 defeat at Stadio San Paolo. Their first round of 16 clauses was tied with the Serie A side.
Ten years ago today! 😍 pic.twitter.com/LpVbE5PvsQ
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 19, 2022
However, with Premier League priorities set aside, Di Matteo is focusing on defeating Chelsea in the Champions League knockout rounds to secure one of the most unlikely continental victories of recent years.
A dramatic win against Napoli 4-1 led to a final quarterfinal match with Benfica, who were eliminated 3-1 overall.
Then there’s Barcelona. To this day, one does not know how Chelsea survived Messi and his team-mates, and cannot understand when Fernando Torres broke through at Camp Nou, avoided Victor Valdes and sent Chelsea to Munich When, what happened to a voice Gary Neville.
If Chelsea overtaking Barcelona was considered an unlikely success, what happened at the Allianz Arena a few weeks later was nothing short of a miracle.
Without stopping captain John Terry, Chelsea in the final fight against Robben, Frank Ribery, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger are already at a clear disadvantage.
But to play a team with such caliber to get Real Madrid in the semi-finals, in their own backyard? When do you start Jose Bosingwa as right-back and unconfirmed Ryan Bertrand in midfield? You can almost forgive Chelsea if they walk into Bavaria waving a white flag.
So the final will play out in much the same way as the two leg tie against Barcelona. Bayern invaded, Chelsea survived. only.
Mario Gomez missed a great opening opportunity in the 18th minute before Peter Cech’s shin and an upright ball blocked Arjan Robben.
The pressure continued, becoming ever more momentary, with Muller volleying and Gomez rising to the crowd only Cech could beat. Ribery saw a goal disregarded for mismatches. Surely Chelsea’s opposition will last?
Somehow, the score stayed until the 83rd minute when Muller headed past Cech. It seems that way. Chelsea’s energy reserves had to be exhausted after trying desperately to keep the hosts away for nearly 90 minutes.
The Ivorian, in his last game for the club (until his return two years later) seemed suspended in suspended animation before being stunned by Manuel Neuer.
To their credit, when extra time expired, they resumed their normal service and quickly hit more against Chelsea, but with the same result.
Drogba then knocked Frank Ribery down in the Chelsea area just three minutes into extra time, eliminating his heroism almost instantly. Referee Pedro Proença pointed to the fact, but Petr Cech set the stage for his later heroes, who would save the Dutch penalty as Di Matteo Survived the players for the audience.
Statistics show that Heynckes’ team had 26 shots compared to Chelsea’s seven. But despite how strong the Blues defense was and how lucky they were, there was always only one result for the English team against a German team.
Only Cech and Drogba haven’t read the script.
Juan Mata misses Chelsea’s first penalty kick as Felipe Lahm, David Luiz, Mario Gomez, Frank Lampard and even Manuel Neuer all succeed in converting their penalty kick until Cech strikes Ivica Olic back.
Ashley Cole equalized for Chelsea before Bastian Schweinsteiger came on. It seems a foregone conclusion that Deutscher Fußballmeister of Bayern will clear the net with his effort.
Instead, Cech somehow kicked the future German captain for the post.
Get into Drogba again.
John Terry may have done his best to grab the headlines with his full kit and demonstration, but the night was owned by the Ivorians.
Six months later, Chelsea’s 2012/13 Champions League group stage defense of their new title is over and Roberto Di Matteo will be out of work.
Yet, we doubt whether their fans will care about what happens after their glorious Munich night.