Chelsea pips Bayern Munich in Champions League final

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Chelsea Champions
Munich, May 20: Didier Drogba scored the decisive goal of the penalty shootout to help Chelsea overcome Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final at the Allianz Arena here on Saturday night.

The Bundesliga giants dominated nearly the entire match but their failure to capitalise on several goal scoring chances cost them dear in the end. Bastian Schweinsteiger who controlled Bayern's midfield had his shot deflected behind by Gary Cahill after only three minutes. Five minutes later, Arjen Robben cut in from the flank and curled a shot over the bar.

The German team's  best chance of the half came on 21 minutes when Robben hit a low and hard shot. However, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech stuck out a leg to deflect the ball. On 36 minutes, a nice cross by Diego Contento was wasted by Thomas Mueller who volleyed wide of the post.

Buoyed by the support of thousands who had thronged their home ground, Bayern started the second half in earnest. On 54 minutes, their fans watched in dismay as the referee Pedro Proenca disallowed a goal for offside by Franck Ribery. Full-back Ashley Cole foiled some of the German team's subsequent efforts.

Mueller's header in the 83rd minute meant that Bayern was finally in the driving seat. However, Drogba scored an equaliser two minutes from time. When the Ivorian clipped Ribery's heels in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot in the fourth minute of extra time, ardent Chelsea supporters feared the worst.

However, Cech made a brilliant save to deny Robben. Bayern squandered another golden chance in the 108th minute when all that Daniel van Buyten had to do was just tap in teammate Ivica Olic's shot. After Bayern captain Philipp Lahm scored first in the ensuing penalty shootout, their goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved Juan Mata's kick to put Chelsea behind.

As Cech managed to block Olic's fourth penalty for Bayern, the onus was on Schweinsteiger to score and restore their lead. But, his shot stuck the post. Then Drogba stepped up to score the winning penalty and thereby ensure that the team from London became Europe's champion club for the first time.

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