Drogba fulfils Chelsea dream
Striker scores decisive penalty after Bayern rue missed chances
Didier Drogba tucked away the decisive penalty as Chelsea fulfilled a long-standing ambition to win the UEFA Champions League after a thrilling shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena.
Bayern had numerous chances to wreck the dream of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, manager Roberto Di Matteo and his players, and even led 3-1 in the shoot-out after goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had scored.
But Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger both failed from the spot to allow Drogba, on potentially his final appearance for the club, to step up to erase the heartache of Moscow four years ago.
Thomas Muller's 83rd minute header had earlier appeared likely to give Bayern victory on their home ground, only for Drogba's stunning riposte to send the game into extra-time.
Drogba blotted his copybook by conceding a penalty early into extra-time, only for Petr Cech to deny Arjen Robben and the veteran Ivorian, who was sent off in the final against Manchester United in 2008, completed his redemption by maintaining his composure in the shoot-out.
Di Matteo sent Chelsea out with a game-plan to contain Bayern and, for the most part, the policy worked as Jupp Heynckes' side sought to pick holes in a resolute defence.
Midway through the first half, Robben wriggled into space inside the box, but the former Chelsea winger was denied by a smart reaction stop from Cech, who diverted the ball onto the post.
Mario Gomez, who had scored 20 goals in his previous 17 Champions League appearances, was enduring a frustrating night and he skied over just before half-time as Bayern remained the dominant force.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first as a marginal offside decision against Franck Ribery went Chelsea's way when the French winger turned home the loose ball after Robben's shot had been blocked by Ashley Cole.
The Blues full-back appeared to be a magnet for the ball inside the box, but a momentary lapse from Cole allowed Bayern to take the lead with seven minutes to go.
Toni Kroos curled in a cross from the left and Cole seemed unaware of Muller's presence behind him at the back post as the Germany international's header bounced down and over Cech before going in off the underside of the crossbar.
Bayern brought on Daniel van Buyten in a bid to shut the game down, but were punished with two minutes left when Drogba powerfully headed home at the near post from Chelsea's first corner of the game.
Drogba looked primed to go from hero to villain three minutes into extra-time when he tripped Ribery in the box, but Cech spared the striker as he kept out former team-mate Robben's low penalty.
Cech was again on song in the shoot-out to thwart substitute Olic and Schweinsteiger before Drogba sent the travelling Chelsea hordes into raptures.
More to follow...