Martin Tyler

Battle of Giants

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Just because you deserve something, doesn’t mean that you always get it. Bayern knows that very feeling in every sense of the word. Bayern Munich thoroughly dominated the Champions League final game versus Chelsea but just came a few penalties away from making the trophy their own. Although Bayern were at home in this game at the Allianz Arena, the Blues fought long and hard to stifle Bayern’s attacks and then take their turn in scoring.

The scoring started in the 83rd minute when Thomas Müller headed home a spectacular cross. However, Chelsea held their resolve and Didier Drogba headed home Chelsea’s first corner with only two minutes to go. With the scores tied, the game entered extra time and another twist in the game occurred when Drogba clumsily knocked over Franck Ribery in the box. From the subsequent penalty, Arjen Robben drilled his penalty low but Petr Cech was equal to it as he gathered it from under him quite well.

Only one thing could decide the game now and so the two European giants went to penalties. It looked like Chelsea would lose the shootout as Juan Mata was denied by Manuel Neuer, but Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger missed and Drogba calmly tucked his penalty away to give Chelsea the trophy. With the victory, Chelsea qualified for the Champions League the only way they could and so denied Tottenham their birth in the UCL (even though they finished in 4th).

Although Bayern looked destinied to win with their plethora of chances, they were unable to finish them and their mistakes led to their demise. For Chelsea, with all their eggs in a basket to qualify for next year’s UCL, they showed true guts and class to overcome the onslaught and satisfy Roman Abramovich’s dream of being European champions. The only thing that indeed did disappoint was the commentators. I mean, honestly, could Gary Neville and Martin Tyler have been more biased in their commentary?

Jonathan Zinser