Drogba clinches European title for Chelsea

See also: Di Matteo celebrates incredible Chelsea win

Bayern Munich 1 Chelsea 1 (After extra time – Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties)

Didier Drogba netted the decisive penalty as Chelsea prevailed in a dramatic shoot-out to win the Champions League.

Bayern Munich, playing in their home city, looked to have shattered the Blues’ dream of a first European title when, with seven minutes of normal time remaining, Thomas Mueller headed home at the far post from Toni Kroos’s cross.

Drogba’s bullet header from Juan Mata’s right-wing corner – his ninth goal in nine cup finals – hauled Roberto Di Matteo’s men level five minutes later.

Then Drogba, out-of-contract this summer and perhaps making his final appearance for the club, conceded a penalty three minutes into extra time by bringing down Franck Ribery.

Cech's penalty saves were vital.

But former Chelsea man Arjen Robben’s spot-kick was saved by keeper Petr Cech, who performed more heroics in the subsequent shoot-out by saving from Ivica Olic before Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the post.

That put Drogba in the same position as captain John Terry against Manchester United four years ago – knowing that converting his kick would win the coveted trophy.

And whereas Terry missed and his team went on to suffer a painful defeat in Moscow, Drogba belted in to clinch an historic victory – and surely the manager’s job for interim boss Di Matteo.

Bayern dominated most of the game and Robben was unlucky not to score early on when he burst into the box and saw his shot deflected up onto the bar by Cech.

The Blues were given another scare nine minutes before the interval, when Diego Contento’s left-wing cross was volleyed wide by Mario Gomez.

Manuel Neuer was then finally called into action at the other end, producing a save at his near post to keep out an effort from Salomon Kalou.

But Bayern continued to threaten, and Gomez missed two more chances to put them ahead, first failing to connect properly with Ribery’s mis-hit shot and then blazing high and wide after smartly turning away from Gary Cahill.

Centre-backs Cahill and David Luiz were both passed fit and there was also a starting place for Ryan Bertrand.

The return of Cahill and Luiz following hamstring injuries was a massive boost for the Premier League side, who were without suspended defenders Terry and Branislav Ivanovic as well as Ramires and Raul Meireles.

Primarily a left-back, Bertrand was deployed in a wide midfield role, giving his team added defensive cover given Bayern’s dangerous right-sided combination of Robben and Philipp Lahm.

They needed it against a side that were full of attacking intent and continued to press after the break.

Bayern thought they had gone in front when Ribery netted after Robben’s shot hit Ashley Cole and fell to the Frenchman, whose effort was rightly disallowed for offside.

Robben’s 25-yard drive was saved by Cech, and Mueller hurriedly shot wide as Bayern piled forward in search of the opening goal.

It finally came when Mueller headed down and the bounce of the ball caught out Cech, who could only parry into the roof of the net.

But the never-say-die spirit Chelsea showed in their epic semi-final triumph against Barcelona was demonstrated again when they hit back to equalise.

Cech atoning for his earlier error by diving to his left to stop Robben’s penalty was a further body blow to Bayern, who missed another golden chance to regain the lead in the second period of extra time.

Lahm’s cross found an unmarked Olic, who was caught in two minds and instead of going for goal attempted to tee up Daniel van Buyten, only to meekly sidefoot the ball across the six-yard area.

Bayern again looked on course for victory when Mata missed Chelsea’s first kick of the shoot-out, but yet again the London side responded.

Lahm, Gomez and keeper Neuer all scored for the Bundesliga outfit, while Luiz, stand-in skipper Frank Lampard and the outstanding Cole also netted.

And after Olic was denied by Cech and Schweinsteiger by the woodwork, Drogba made no mistake.

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