It must have been said at least a thousand times as the Champions League final headed towards a penalty shootout that the Germans ‘don’t lose’ in the dead-ball scenario. Therefore, it was going to take something special to stop them, especially right infront of their home crowd. Czech Republic keeper Cech did just that, guessing right for all five of Bayern’s penalties and crucially saving two. That now means that the last seven penalties Cech has faced, he’s gone the right way. There is nothing lucky about that, despite the old adage of the penalty shootout being a ‘lottery’.
Spirit Over Skill
You can have all the skill in the world, the finest technique known to man, but perhaps the greatest quality of all is that ‘never say die’ attitude which seems to typify this Chelsea side. Refusing to be beaten, they pulled another rabbit out of the hat by striking late on to level the match when all had looked lost. Furthermore, they were 2-0 and then 3-1 down in the shoot-out, yet still failed to buckle. The team may change, but you can rest assured that the spirit will never end. This Bayern Munich team, while possibly providing a visage of being together, were at loggerheads earlier in the season. While Chelsea might have had issues with their long line of managers, you can’t deny that this group of players are all united.
You simply do not expect your 40 goal a season striker to miss the kind of chances that Mario Gomez did on Saturday night. In the semi-final, he may of scored the decisive goal in the home leg late on, but he also missed a raft of chances throughout both ties. Here, he was at it again, heading over a presentable chance, mis-controlling when only six yards out, and most heinously blazing over when brilliantly placed. Is Gomez merely struggling under the pressure, or is the standard of the German league such that he is overrated?
The ‘Beautiful’ Game
There is no set way to play football, and Chelsea proved that it doesn’t matter how you play, it’s all about the result. Bitter Tottenham, Barcelona and Munich fans can moan long into the night about Chelsea’s defensive set-up, but realistically football is all about winning. Chelsea got their name on the Cup, and in 10 years time that’s all that will be remembered. The debate will go on though, yet should more teams adopt defensive strategies like Chelsea in order to succeed? It does appear that while Arsenal continue with their free flowing football, they will never win the Champions League, as their are better sides at it than they are.
The obsession has been satisfied, the dream complete. Ambramovic’s dream of sealing European glory has finally been achieved, and surely nobody can criticise him after what he’s done in his 9 year spell in West London. Chelsea’s motto has been ‘making history, not re-living it’, and they certainly made a huge chunk of it with this step into immortality. The side the Russian oligarch built currently stands on top of the world, and it owes a lot to his money and work.
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