Chelsea winning the Champions League, now just who would have imagined that happening a fortnight ago yet alone in March when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked with the club known as Roman Ambramovich’s toy was on it’s last legs.
However football’s a funny old game and somehow Chelsea ended a chaotic season in style claiming a cup-doubler after defeating Liverpool in the FA Cup final and Bayern Munich on penalties in last night’s Champions League final.
Despite being outplayed by Bayern in two-third’s of last night’s match, Chelsea to their credit hung on in there and recovered from Thomas Muller’s goal scored with eight minutes left to level late on through Didier Drogba and claim their first Champions League win in their history.
It would be very harsh on Ambramovich’s part to not offer the club’s interim-coach Roberto Di Matteo the manager’s job on a full-time basis next season. The former Blues hero has united a team often once labelled as ‘misfits’ and made them European Champions, a feat that is really shouldn’t have happened!
Whether it was luck or destiny there was a feeling that Chelsea were gaining momentum under Di Matteo and despite being in Bayern’s own backyard and under the cosh for large parts of the game, where and when it really mattered Chelsea’s experienced players put on the performance of their lives.
Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were exceptional last night. Lampard showed all his experience and together with John Obi Mikel kept going not looking flustered at all. Cole on the other hand showed why he is still probably one of the best left-back’s in the world last night.
Aside from giving away a foul in the first minute, the former Arsenal man was everywhere and made a number of key blocks and interceptions. He grew in confidence as the game went on and even kept Arjen Robben quiet in the second-period of extra-time, although that may have been down to the Dutchman’s penalty miss.
However the hero in Munich was Didier Drogba. He was their driving force and like great strikers often do, he took his one chance of the game when it mattered and despite missing a penalty (both in normal time and extra time) in the African Cup of Nations final, there was no chance he would fluff his lines this time.
Drobga but for his theatrics, would probably have been as universally loved as Thierry Henry as been for Premier League fans. He has been a great striker and his record of scoring in the big-games with some stunning strikes is a record which few strikers can match.
Now the hard-work will start for Chelsea. How can they cope next season after doing the double? Will Di Matteo be able to cope with the extra-expectation and pressure on his shoulders as if he gets the job he will surely be expected to challenge the two Manchester clubs for the Premier League title.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87