Chelsea were one of the dominant forces in the Premier League a few years back. The Blues boasted the likes of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres and Michael Ballack, but were yet to clinch a Champions League title ever in their history. This Champions League drought was brought to an end when Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich in the final of the Champions League, on May 19, 2012 with the final Didier Drogba penalty vs Bayern. That season, Chelsea had a terrific journey as they also defeated Barcelona in the semi-final.
The final, which celebrated its 8th anniversary on Tuesday, was played at the Allianz Arena, the home ground of Bayern Munich. The Bavarians were the first team to play a Champions League final at their home stadium since 1984. The first half of the game saw tremendous effort from both the sides to score, but none could break the deadlock. The hosts finally got the breakthrough when Thomas Muller headed the ball past Peter Cech after a terrific cross from Toni Kroos in the 83rd minute.
Bayern Munich decided to sub off Thomas Muller and introduced Daniel Van Buyten in the game to provide some much-needed defensive stability. However, despite the tactical substitution by Jupp Heynckes, Chelsea managed to return into the game with Didier Drogba scoring a header after a brilliant corner kick from Juan Mata in the 88th minute. The game was again wide open.
In extra time, Bayern Munich again got the opportunity to take the lead after Didier Drogba was penalised for a foul on Frank Ribery. However, Bayern star Arjen Robben failed to capitalise on the opportunity as Peter Cech saved the spot-kick. Both the sides failed to break the deadlock in the extra time. As a result, the game was to be decided by a penalty shootout.
Bayern captain Philip Lahm took the first kick, scoring with ease past Cech. Chelsea's struggle continued when Juan Mata's penalty was saved brilliantly by Manuel Neuer. This was followed by kicks from Mario Gomez and David Luiz, both of whom scored for their respective sides. Goalkeeper Neuer decided to take the third kick, and he hit it beautifully, followed by a successful penalty from Lampard.
Peter Cech produced a magnificent save on Ivica Olic's kick, taking the score to 3-3, followed by Ashley Cole's composed penalty. Bastian Schweinsteiger's penalty hit the post, much to the agony of the home crowd. Didier Drogba went up to take the final spot-kick. The striker hadn't yet forgotten his side's failure in the Champions League in the past few seasons. With a composed mind, he sent Neuer wrong the way, as Chelsea won their maiden Champions League title in their decades-long history.