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Chelsea win Champions League on penalties

Scannews with agency report DIDIER Drogba was the hero as Chelsea shattered Bayern Munich’s Champions League dream with victory in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out at the Allianz Arena in Munich. Drogba stepped up to rifle home the winning penalty for Chelsea after earlier saving his side with an equalising goal two minutes from time to cancel out what looked like a winner from Thomas Mueller as the match finished at 1-1. It was an agonising defeat for Bayern, with midfield maestro Bastian Schweinsteiger missing their final kick to give Drogba the opportunity to score the penalty to clinch the shoot-out 4-3. Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech also saved brilliantly from Ivica Ovic to get Chelsea back into the shoot-out after Juan Mata had missed the English Premier League side’s opening effort.

Drogba’s winning spot-kick was a fairytale ending for the 34-year-old Ivorian striker, who had been sent off in the final minutes of Chelsea’s Champions League final defeat in Moscow four years ago. But the loss left Bayern shattered as their dream of lifting their fifth European title before their own fans at their home ground ended in agony. A match Bayern had dominated went to penalties after a frenetic finish to normal time, with Mueller heading Bayern into the lead seven minutes from time only for Drogba to equalise for Chelsea in the 88th minute. A dramatic start to extra-time then featured Bayern’s former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben missing a penalty – saved by Cech – after Drogba had needlessly brought down Franck Ribery in the area. For much of the match a Bayern victory had looked the likeliest outcome, with the Bundesliga giants revelling in the raucous support of their home fans.

They suffered an early setback when Schweinsteiger was booked for a nervy handball after only two minutes, but thereafter they enjoyed a virtual monopoly of possession. Schweinsteiger was the first to set alarms off in the Chelsea back four, having his shot deflected behind by Gary Cahill after only three minutes. Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo had sprung a surprise by handing a first Champions League start to youngster Ryan Bertrand in an effort to cut off the supply lines to Robben down the right flank. However the wily Dutchman found space with ease in the eighth minute, cutting in from the flank and curling a shot over the bar.

The former Chelsea winger produced the best chance of the half on 21 minutes when he shot low and hard, but Cech stuck out a leg and the ball cannoned to safety. Bayern’s pressure should have earned a reward but Mario Gomez squandered two promising openings shortly before halftime, slicing from close range on 39 minutes and then blazing over from just inside the area after losing Cahill. The second half followed largely the same pattern as the first, with Bayern having a goal disallowed for offside by Ribery on 54 minutes. It looked all over for Chelsea when Mueller headed in to put Bayern 1-0 seven minutes from time. But Drogba had other ideas. However Chelsea looked to have squandered parity in the fourth minute of extra-time, when Drogba needlessly clipped Ribery to concede the softest of penalties from referee Pedro Proenca. However, Cech dived low to his left to thwart Robben’s spot-kick with his legs as the tension rose to excruciating levels. Substitute Olic almost won it for Bayern in the 108th minute, but his shot flashed across goal as the game went to penalties.

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