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Chelsea Overcome the Odds to Become Champions Of Europe

chelsea champions of europe Chelsea Overcome the Odds to Become Champions Of Europe

Against all odds, Chelsea Football Club are champions of Europe.

It’s been one of those seasons where the cards have been stacked against Chelsea all season. No one expected them to beat Barcelona. Very few people expected them to win in Germany. Many of their senior players were on the verge of being sold in the summer. They still don’t have a permanent manager. The side today featured 22-year-old Ryan Bertrand who was making his Champions League debut. And, then, Chelsea was outplayed for the vast majority of the 90 minutes by a Bayern Munich side who created so many chances, but could only hold on to a 1-0 lead.

With Jupp Heynckes sensing victory, he decided to take off goalscorer Thomas Muller. And with two minutes to go in regular time, it appeared that the odds were stacked against Chelsea until Didier Drogba pulled out a sensational header to equalize. From then on, it was a 50-50 game with both sides creating chances. But when the match went to penalty kicks, the odds were again stacked against Chelsea. Facing dreaded penalty kicks in front of a wall of Bayern Munich fans, it couldn’t have gotten any worse after Juan Mata missed Chelsea’s first spot kick.

Against all odds, once again, Chelsea lifted themselves above the adversity and persevered on. This was a team that throughout the 90 minutes today, threw themselves at Bayern’s shots and tackles, never giving up.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was enough to secure a first-ever Champions League trophy for Chelsea, and to fly the flag for England and the Premier League around the world.

Without a doubt, hats off to the heroes of Chelsea Football Club today. The players were herculean. Everyone from the game-changers Didier Drogba and Petr Cech to the incredible performances by Cole, Cahill, Luiz, Mata, Torres, Bertrand, Malouda, Bosingwa, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou — and to interim-manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Congratulations on an incredible performance that will go into the history books and never be forgotten. Roman Abramovich finally got his Champions League trophy, while Chelsea veterans Drogba, Terry and Lampard struck gold. What an incredible night in Munich.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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46 Responses to Chelsea Overcome the Odds to Become Champions Of Europe

  1. David says:

    I was amazed by Petr Cech’s performance today. He faced 6 penalty kicks and went the right way on all 6. He was very unlucky to not have saved more. For my money he got a fingertip to Schweinsteiger’s penalty to push it into the post. With how close that one was, it only would have taken a fingertip.

    Too bad he looks so goofy, its hard to take him serious when he looks so damn awkward back there.

  2. Hurt4Spurs says:

    Surely Spurs will sack Harry now…

  3. Brad in SoCal says:

    All credit to Chelsea for a great game plan and great execution. They hardly put a foot wrong all game. Sometimes the football gods are capricious, but also sometimes great players (Drogba, Cech) step up on the big stage. Maybe Tottenham can win the Europa League next year.

  4. Gargoyle says:

    Congrats to Chelsea and all the supporters.

  5. dust says:

    The world is going crazy, The Mayan prophecy must be true, the world will end in dec of this year..my proof?
    The germans lost to england on penalties. No way Spurs should not be in the champions league, but as an englishman I’m used to the germans screwing me on penalties.

    For the russian 2.83 billion and 9 years later the prize is finally the champions league. Did they play the best…no, is it fair…no, but what do you expect when you leave your fate in the hands of another team, even if that other team are germans that beat Real Madrid on penalties to get to the final playing at home against a poor and negatively set up chelski.

    When I’m out this evening at my favorite restaurant instead of a Hendricks with a twist before dinner i’ll just need the Hendricks, because of todays injustice I already have a bitter taste in my mouth. Drogba gives away a penalty to Messi at Barca and Robben in Munich and they both miss, no way is there any reason to doubt the existence of a spiritual plane any more because there is no way chelski win the champions league without some form of assistance by a supernatural force. Where were the ghostbusters when you need them?

    Even my rooting for chelski in a failed attempt to trick the universe into flipping the result didn’t work. While Harry has done good things with limited resources, Spurs fate was in their own hands, and what proved the difference, the reason why Spurs didn’t finish in third or continue challenging for the title…Attitude..plain and simple. When your manager constantly makes statements that seem to give the nod to settling like “this is the best spurs have had it” or “I can’t complain this season, its been a great season for spurs” you are excepting meh, mediocrity. and this is why i don’t think harry can stay if my Spurs want to reach that next level.

    You will never achieve championship success unless you except nothing short of excellence and set the right example, you can’t gloss things over with PC patronizing comments. If you don’t expect more or state that you expect more then as a leader of men how can you expect them to perform at a higher level, how can we as fans expect players to commit more than the clubs manager, and leader, leading them to adopt an attitude of ‘if the boss is fine with it so are we’, its the wrong attitude and one that will see players leave.

    I will follow tonights meal with the usual neat single malt scotch (16 year Lagavulin, or 21 year sherry cask Mcallan) and look forward to either a shift in Harry’s attitude or shifting harry out the door for someone willing to settle for nothing short of a league title.

  6. Nonsense says:

    I don’t know if it was some luck or the heart of Chelsea or a combo of both but that was incredible!

  7. Taimur says:

    As an Arsenal fan and a fan of the beautiful way of football, I can’t say how much I’m gutted for Bayern Munich. They were clearly the better team in the match and Jupp Heynckes made a crucial mistake in taking off Thomas Mueller. They should have gone for the jugular right then, Bayern. They knew that they were going to score, and when they did, with only 7 minutes left to play in regular time, they should have kept Mueller on, so that in case Chelsea attack, Bayern would be able to counter them with the talents of Ribery, Robben, Gomez, and Mueller. I can’t believe Mario Gomez, he should have been clinical in front of goal, but instead, spurned chances that came his way. Chelsea were handed so many lifelines in this match that I can’t count on my fingers. They were the most undeserving team today, just like they were against Barcelona. It’s sad that they are the first London club to win the Champions League. Even typing this makes me sick to my stomach. If you’re a true Arsenal supporter, you’ll be disgusted at the sight of seeing Chelsea, a club with no history, and a shady owner, and overpaid mercenaries, lift the European Cup before Arsenal. Appalling, really.

    As for beautiful football losing today, Blackpool were denied a chance to play in the Premier League by a more experienced team and a manager who is a believer in the disciplines of archaic, cattenacio football. It was sad to see Ian Holloway’s men lose. We won’t be able to see him or his team in the Premiership next season, and will instead have to settle for the pitbull-faced Sam Allardyce.

    I would also like to say that I’m happy to see West Ham fans voice their displeasure over the style of football that Sam Allardyce promotes. They like to play along the floor, like Blackpool were playing. Ian Holloway has to be saluted for playing an attractive style of football and succeeding with it in a country where many coaches still prefer playing an ancient, drab, cattenaccio football. Mr Holloway, good luck to your Blackpool side in gaining promotion to the Premier League. This time, you guys have to finish in the top two so you don’t have to settle for the play-offs. We need more managers like Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp, Brendan Rodgers, and Ian Holloway, and less managers like Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis, and Alex McLeish who persist in making their players play boring, dull football.

    • Nonsense says:

      FRAT

    • djsav says:

      Taimur why are u talking out of your back side, Chelsea have shown all u no hopers of football clubs in England how to beat Barcelona, and Bayern Munic. I agree it was not attacking flair football, however it was grit dertermination and heart that won us the Champions League. But being a jelous Arsenal you would not understand. Had Arsenal been in this final your defence would have been batterd from pillar to post. As well as loosing this match. If i was you mate i would worry how your team is going to keep Van Persi, does not look like its going to happen. Reason being mate he wants to play for a club tht plays great football, but wins trophys which Arsenal have not done for the last 10 yrs. U could not even beat Birmingham in the carling cup final last year. The bottom line Taimur CHELSEA FC is the 1st LONDON team to win the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. Live with your jelousy and weep. CHELSEA CHELSEA CHELSEA CHELSEA were gona make it a blue day, this is famous words from a one our CFC songs. I have a sons especially for u Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal Arsenal your going to looose VAN PERSI!!!
      CFC FOR LIFE!!
      CHELSEA CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE.

    • True Blue says:

      Looser!!! Nasri was right, you guys always like mediocrity, hence were celebrating your 3rd place. Next season with RVP gone even that will be hard to achieve, let alone competing for trophies. 7 years and still have won nothing but shit, infact couldn’t even beat Birmingham to lift that Micky Mouse trophy…We are the 1st London club to be crowned European Champions!!! Swallow that!!!! LOSERS!!!!

  8. jtm371 says:

    congrats to all Chelsea fans your team showed the most HEART for BM not to be able to exploit the back 4 of Chelsea was criminal.this has been the craziest season of football it will take something to top it.i know we still have the Euros but that is a animal all to it self.

    Dust,hang in the sun will come up tomorrow and just for the hell of it have a extra scotch you have earn it.CHEERS

  9. Fernando says:

    A performance for the ages.

    Lucky only describes one aspect of Chelsea’s victory. Guts is the other one that comes to mind immediately.

    All of the stats & logic pointed to Munich winning the Cup and with two minutes left and on Chelsea’s first corner of the match, Drogba unleashes a header with outstanding power. That’s a champion’s goal.

    The UEFA rule denying Spurs a CL spot is harsh but they should only blame themselves for blowing the 3rd spot.

    Up The Chels!!!

  10. Chels82 says:

    It’s funny to me that all of these people talking about how disgusted they are with the way Chelsea played and how they were so lucky, yet they seem to forget that our defense was gutted and our midfield was also in no great form. We lost Ramires, Mareilles, Ivanovic, AND our Captain, Terry. I’m not saying they were undeserved losses for the game, but that still means we played at much less than our full potential. And to still pull off that victory only shows the guts and determination that we had as a squad.

    Luck may have been on our side, but there was also some undeniable spirit. You said we couldn’t beat Barcelona. You said we couldn’t win the FA Cup. You said we’d never win the Champion’s League. You’ve been proven wrong. Now it’s time for Chelsea to look to the future and rebuild a younger team.

    GO BLUE!

  11. Zabraski says:

    Knew this was gonna happen when di Matteo took over I told folks that now after spending ludicrous money on tons of managers…the temp manager was gonna win the champs league! And now it’s happened and as a Liverpool fan …ughhhhhhhhhhh although it was a good laugh seeing all the plastic fans with their “ununique flags”…….this is the end Chelsea…roman has done what he wanted to do.

  12. Taimur says:

    the double-standards of the British media. If this had been an Italian team parking the bus, the BBC, SKY, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, etc. would all be in unison about the NEGATIVE, COWARDLY tactics of the Italian team. But when Chelsea did the same thing, they are called HEROIC, GUTSY, SPIRITED, DETERMINED. Don’t be fooled by the choice of words people. Use your head.

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      Never mind an Italian team you lot do it when Stoke pull off a result against any top 6 side, then it gets called anti-football because we upset the applecart. Now it’s heroic, go figure.

      • Guy says:

        These headlines won’t surprise you. “Chelsea’s crucial double barrier” “Di Matteo’s tactical boldness”

        Not a “parked bus” or “anti-football” to be found. ;-) The media are nothing if not predictable.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/may/20/bayern-munich-chelsea-champions-league-final?intcmp=239

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/blog/2012/may/19/di-matteo-chelsea-bayern

        • Guy says:

          btw, Chelsea fans this is not a rip on the Blues. I wanted them to win and I think you do whatever it takes. It’s just an observation on the lens the media use when reporting on matches/tactics.

          • Taimur says:

            thanks for uploading the articles m8. i read the comments and lots of people laughed at the articles. Especially about ‘tactical boldness’. they were just lucky that Bayern were wasteful in front of goal. And the writer also said that Di Matteo had to be given credit for going all out in the final 7 minutes of the game when Mueller gave Bayern the lead. Well, what else was he supposed to do? He only had 7 minutes left in the game. If this were a two-legged final like in the olden days, then believe me, he would have continued to park the bus until the last 10 minutes of the second leg. Any manager would have done what he did in that situation. When Arsene Wenger is trailing or drawing, he brings on a striker for the last 5 minutes to get a draw or win out of the game, like Chamakh. Sir Alex uses Chicarito when United need a goal as well. Nothing BOLD about it, is there?

  13. Abraham says:

    Chelsea really done a great job in the match especially to Petr Cech, he’s done a lot of great savings during the match and the penalty session… Eventhough I’m a Manchester United fan but they showed me a great play…Congrats to Chelsea!! (sorry English is not my native language, sorry if there’s some mistake)

  14. Taimur says:

    If an English team would have been on the receiving end of the tactics that Chelsea employed against Barcelona and Bayern Munich today, you watch how the UK media and public would deride the negative, cowardly tactics of the opposition, because how dare they deny an English team victory? but when a team like Chelsea do it, it’s HEROIC, GUTSY, SPIRITED, DETERMINED. When Inter Milan did a similar thing two years ago coincidentally against the same opponents, there was no mention of the courage and bravery that the Inter Milan players displayed. Only Jose Mourinho was praised as a manager for getting his tactics right, because he managed in England so the English were more familiar with him. But if that were Marcelo Lippi managing say, Juventus, in the final, then the English media would use the world ‘negative’ at least once to describe their playing style. People would have a go at him on Twitter. But not once did I read the word negative in articles and match reports describing Chelsea’s tactics against Barcelona and Bayern Munich. They did acknowledge that Bayern Munich were the better team, but if the result had been different, they would have done so begrudgingly, because it would have been at the expense of their “beloved English team” that the whole of England the UK have a duty to support, even though they only had 4 Englishmen in their starting eleven. Bayern Munich had 7 Germans in their starting eleven.

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      “the whole of England the UK have a duty to support, even though they only had 4 Englishmen in their starting eleven”

      Are we talking about Arsenal or Chelsea?

  15. AllTogtherNow says:

    What a fantastic result for Chelsea. I’m an Everton fan and watched the game as a neutral. I think my initial outrage at a Russian billionaire buying the club and injecting countless millions has died down. I’m pretty much over it now. In fact it makes me smile at how indignant fans of Arsenal and Tottenham can be when discussing their more illustrious neighbours. I cannot believe one comment on here about Redknapp having ‘limited resources’. Even compared to Arsenal, Tottenham have outspent and wasted considerable amounts of cash over the last few years.

    I understand the frustration though of finishing 4th and not qualifying – I would have been incensed if Everton had not been allowed to enter the comp a couple of years ago when Liverpool won the thing. The difference now I guess is that the rules are clear now and Spurs knew exactly what could happen.

    Chelsea won playing to their strengths. They were organised and committed. Lucky, and clinical when they needed to be. I think comments like heroic are a bit misplaced, let’s not forget they get paid millions to do this and the real heroes play with that level of commitment and passion up and down the country in lower leagues and non-leagues for little or no reward every week. If Chelsea had played an open flowing game, they would have lost. Maybe Ian Holloway should pay attention because in 50 years when Chelsea have created a rich history for themselves that will out match anything Liverpool or Arsenal can boast, no-one will talk about defensive and negative play, they will only care about titles and medals.

  16. Taimur says:

    Chelsea are still a small club. One European Cup isn’t going to all of a sudden make them a big club. Look at Notthingham Forrest. Two European Cups but now barely avoided relegation to third-tier football, FFS! Aston Villa with their European Cup barely avoided relegation this season.

    Arsenal will always be the biggest club from London. It will take Chelsea another two decades and Arsenal not winning anything to get to the same level of success as the Gunners. It will take the Spurs probably 50 years for the same. Until then, Arsenal is the place to be as far as the capital is concerned.

    • Fernando says:

      Arsenal the place to be eh? Let’s ask the Arsenal trophy cabinet if it agrees.

      Arsenal’s best Wenger team could never win the CL and yet Chelsea’s worst Premier League finish in years can win the European Cup.

      Sometimes heart is greater thaen pretty passing.

      UTC!!

  17. Joe956 says:

    Fantastic team is Chelsea. I”m a United fan but could not help but admire and respect this Chelsea club, especially after amazing wins over Barc and now Bayern. Giant killers. Di Matteo is the best manager in the Premier League and the most humble. Has so much more class than Mancini it’;s ridiculous. Congrats to Chelsea fans, you earned it.

    • chelsea were lucky says:

      What’s there to admire about a team of self-entitled millionaires who just happened to park the bus in front of the goal and get lucky for two legs? I can’t believe how many chances the superior Barcelona and Bayern Munich had to put this inferior pathetic team to sleep and let them languish in sixth place in the Premier League where you belong. And if you’re a United fan, how can you be even admire what Chelsea did? They did the same thing that Manchester City are doing; buying superstars and paying them huge $$. City are most probably going to run away with the Premiership next year and the year after that and as a United fan, you should definitely be worried. It’s funny of you to admire Chelsea when it was Chelsea that showed the way for other teams to get sugar daddy owners to buy their clubs and buy them trophies. Not that United don’t do that; they do it subtly, not as obvious as City and Chelsea but they do it nonetheless. A United fan admiring Chelsea….now that’s a first.

      • Fernando says:

        “And if you’re a United fan, how can you be even admire what Chelsea did? They did the same thing that Manchester City are doing; buying superstars and paying them huge $$.”

        Chelsea and Man City are the only teams who pay their players money or at least not as subtly as Man Utd.

        I don’t know who you support but I’d gather you’re not one of the bright ones.

      • Kevin says:

        IGNORANCE AGAIN. All the top teams have bought their success. Chelsea played good football what do you know about it. Did you watch every game? NO and in Germany it was about winning at Bayerns home ground. They attack get touched then scream and role over looking for free kicks and penalties and Chelsea exposed their weak finishing and showed how to score a goal by DROGBA. And also how to take penalties without fear. CHELSEA ARE THE BEST AND ARE DESERVEDLY ON MERIT CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE. What is your problem?

      • Kevin says:

        You are lucky but in sport YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK. What is your problem? You cant praise a team who deserved to be for years champions of Europe but didnt cos of bad refereeing and now with them showing other English teams how to beat pretty ballet Barca you can only conplain. All the other English teams played naively and were humiliated except Chelsea. Football is not about possession

  18. Clampdown says:

    I’m sorry, guys, but I thought the match was terrible and really not compelling until the penalties. But, congratulations to Chelsea. It wasn’t pretty, but you got the job done.

  19. Taimur says:

    This is my closure on this year’s Champions League final. Last year, we saw a Barcelona team outclass and outplay Manchester United, the winners of what many consider the best league in the world, with their intricate and skillful passing on a slick and well-manicured Wembley pitch. Everyone throughout the world was salivating over their performance and giving them all kinds of praises. They were the deserved winners of that match and of the Champions League in general.

    This year, unfortunately, we saw a Chelsea side play negative, ultra-defensive, catenaccio football and ride their luck for 2 hours against a Bayern Munich who were wasteful in front of goal and then finally edge them on penalties. Unlike last year, the neutrals don’t feel as if the team lifting the trophy this year deserve to be lifting it. Last year’s winners produced the finest football masterclass, this year’s winners were happy to frustrate their opponents without showing any ambition.

    Whereas almost everyone throughout the globe, including the UK, was showering the Barcelona team with praises and compliments, after their Wembley truimph, only a small section of the UK media is praising Chelsea’s tactics, and not without wondering how Bayern Munich didn’t win the match. Most of us are shaking our heads as to how extremely lucky this Chelsea team got in this year’s Champions League.

    • Sacto Blues says:

      Intricate and skillful passing is just one part of the game as is defense, ball blocking, and keeping your defensive shape. I think you are letting your feelings about Chelsea cloud your football thinking. The harder Chelsea works the ” Luckier ” Chelsea gets. Chelsea won the match they are European Cup winners whether you like it or not

      • Taimur says:

        I’m not letting my feelings cloud my football thinking. lol. i despise Barcelona as well because of their encounters with Arsenal. But at least I admire them for the way they played in the final. The same reason I appreciate the likes of Swansea gracing our Premier League. The same reason I was gutted when Blackpool lost to West Ham in the Championship Play-off final because that means we’ll have to settle for Sam Allardyce instead of Ian Holloway and his Blackpool team.
        From the point of view of the neutral, yesterday was about Luck and Spirit. Last year was about total football winning the hearts of everyone. This year, it was about being successful by living on a knife-edge and having fortune favor you. Unless you’re a Chelsea, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

  20. Kevin says:

    Taimur Arsenal fan? where was Arsenal with their pretty football? All this nonsense about possession. Football is about defence too and with Drogba Chelsea dont need possession and Bayern were playing at home so defence was good Italian tactios. Arsenal triet to beat Barca and failed and Chelsea showed how to and luck? No they made their own. Chelsea have in some positions best in the world players and if teams cant score that is their weakness not Chelseas luck. Chelsea had more strength than the others in mental and physcal and despite the many set backs they are now CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE 2012 and deserve it. They deserved it before this but were cheated by decisions of a ref. Set backs this year were away to Napoli, drawing barca, playing Bayern on their home ground, Ramires being banned, Luiz and Cahill having injury, and taking penalties at the bayern end. AND YOU DARE TO SAY ITS LUCK. It might be destiny though. Where were the other English teams? attacking football to oblivion and being naive and inexperienced.

    • Taimur says:

      Chelsea made their own luck? How about Lionel Messi missing a penalty? How about Arjen Robben missing a penalty? Did Chelsea make that happen as well?

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