Chelsea stuns Bayern in PKs to win Champions League
Munich, Germany (Sports Network) - Didier Drogba scored the equalizer in the 88th minute and then buried the winning penalty kick as Chelsea claimed its first Champions League title on Saturday, defeating Bayern Munich 4-3 in penalty kicks following a 1-1 deadlock in regulation at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern generated by far the majority of the chances, and looked to have clinched its fifth Champions League trophy in the 83rd minute when Thomas Muller headed home Bastian Schweinsteiger's cross.
But the hosts let the title slip through their fingertips in the 88th minute when Drogba turned a header past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from Juan Mata's corner kick.
Arjen Robben was handed a golden chance to restore Bayern's lead in extra time, but his penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Petr Cech, and Chelsea took advantage of the reprieve to win the penalty shootout.
The match played out as expected with the German side having much of the possession and creating the majority of the chances, while Chelsea sat back and defended and looked to counter.
Cech came up with a good save to deny Robben in the 22nd minute before Mario Gomez fired well over the net despite having a good look at goal from 14 yards.
Chelsea tested Neuer just once in the first half as Salomon Kalou found space for a shot that the German netminder easily controlled.
Franck Ribery had the ball in the net for Bayern early in the second half, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
But Bayern kept pressing and was rewarded seven minutes from time when Muller ghosted in at the back post to head home Schweinsteiger's cross.
Chelsea had barely worried Neuer over the first 87 minutes, but the Blues made the most of their only corner kick of the match as Mata swung the ball into the area at the near post and Drogba turned home a header to level the contest.
The Ivory Coast international nearly went from hero to goat a few minutes later as he tripped Ribery inside the penalty area early in extra time, only for Cech to save Robben's spot kick and keep the match even.
Chelsea had one more bullet to dodge late in the second half of extra time when Ivica Olic volleyed the ball just wide from a dangerous position.
Mata missed Chelsea's first penalty kick in the shootout, but after misses from Olic and then Schweinsteiger, Drogba stepped to the spot and held his nerve, converting Chelsea's fourth straight penalty kick to give the Blues their biggest win in club history.