|Draw against Stoke|
|Chelsea 2-1 City|
Meanwhile, Villas Boas had promoted certain players to his starting XI, most importantly Sturridge, who scored goals for fun. Mata, in addition, performed particularly well. Alex and Anelka were demoted to the reserve team and sent to train with them after handing in transfer requests, while Kalou found first team opportunities hard to come by.
That win against City started off a chain reaction of bad matches. After draws against Norwich and Fulham, Chelsea lost to Aston Villa, squandering up a 2-1 lead. The new year didn't bring any more joys for the club. After the departures of veterans Anelka and Alex, Chelsea ended up signing only Gary Cahill, Kevin De Bruyne and Lucas Piazon, the later two having no immediate impact on the first team.
|Napoli 3-1 Chelsea|
Abramovich had other things in mind. He sacked Villas Boas, even though he had been working really hard, sleeping in his office, to turn around the fortunes of the club. This really saddened me, prompting me to write an open letter to Abramovich. Assistant Manager Roberto Di Matteo (who was sacked as the West Brom manager just over a year ago) was promoted to interim manager, and that, my friends, seemed like a season end to me. Zola went on to support his ex teammate immediately saying Di Matteo's stubborn behaviour would lead to success. Oh boy, wasn't he right? It was just a fairytale from then on.
|Chelsea 4-1 Napoli|
Another notable revival was that of Salomon Kalou. The Ivorian would even fail to make the bench in AvB's times, came straight back to the starting XI in Di Matteo's case. He even played 85 minutes in the final.
Chelsea were drawn against Benfica and if they won, they would face the winners of the Barcelona v. AC Milan tie. Chelsea defeated Benfica, although not convincingly enough, with luck and a few refereeing decisions going in favour of Chelsea.
|5-2 Thrashing of Tottenham|
|Torres scores against Barcelona|
Torres came good at the business end of the season with a hat trick against lowly QPR, which Chelsea won comfortably. In the build up to the final, Chelsea lost 2- 0 to Newcastle, with Papiss Cisse defying the laws of Physics with either goal, seriously hampering their top 4 hopes. Chelsea then defeated Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley, Drogba scoring again, to lift the FA Cup. Just three days later, with a reserve team, Chelsea lost 4-1 to the very same Liverpool. But that loss was forgotten pretty soon, as Chelsea won the last match in the Premier League against Blackburn 2-1, finishing sixth in the league.
Meanwhile, Bayern had already lost the league to Borussia Dortmund. Just a week before the all awaited final, Bayern were hammered 5-2 in the DFB Pokal final by Dortmund again, this time Lewandowski netting a hat trick.
|It was touch and go for both of them, a race against time.|
|Bertrand vs Lahm|
Chelsea won a corner and Mata stepped up to take it. Lampard signaled Cech to remain where he was. The ball came to Drogba, as he lost Boateng, and BANG! The most powerful header I have ever seen! Neuer got his hands to it, but couldn't stop it from getting into the corner of the net. It was NOT luck. It was sheer CLASS! This took the game to extra time.
|Cech saves the penalty.|
The remaining part of extra time was pretty much uneventful, which brought the game to penalties. Chelsea had lost the game on penalties in Moscow, with John Terry's slip being a painful memory in every Chelsea supporter's heart. Maybe this was the only way they could win; overcoming their demons in the process.
Lahm stepped on to take the penalty for Bayern and scored, whereas Mata missed the first. Luiz scored with his swinger taking a longer run up that Shoiab Akhtar and hitting the ball on the top right corner. Cole took a perfect penalty curling the ball into the net, and Neuer almost got to Lampard's shot. Almost. Meanwhile, Gomez and Neuer had scored for Bayern, while Olic and Schweinsteiger had missed. Cech had dived the right way for each of the 6 penalties he faced on the night.
|The winning goal; Neuer can just look!|
Drogba comes on to take the last. He knows a kick of the ball can engrave his name in the history books of Chelsea. He takes a run up as half of the Bayern Munich players look the other way. He doesn't hit the ball as well as he would've hoped, but it doesn't matter. Neuer dived the wrong way. Chelsea are the Champions! The one trophy that has eluded Roman Abramovich since he took over years ago, injecting millions for players and managers alike. Finally, the Holy Grail that Chelsea were after. Finally...
Bayern had 43 shots on goal, with 7 on target. Chelsea had 9, with 3 on target. Bayern had 20 corners as compared to Chelsea's ONE. Bayern had Batman and Robben, but Chelsea had the blessing of Ra's Al Ghul's League of Assassins, and the Good doesn't win always. Chelsea made the most of their luck, Bayern simply didn't.
|Let the celebrations begin|
|David Luiz with his customary expresson|
No matter what anyone says, Chelsea are the champions! The Kings of Europe. And for the next year, Chelsea fans like me have got the bragging rights! Thank you for that, Di Matteo!