19. may 2012. A date that every Chelsea fan in London remembers. That was the day when the wait for the club’s most valuable trophy was broken. Petr Čech, among others, helped to make it happen with his outstanding performance.
The 2011/12 season was very special at Chelsea. At the beginning of the season, the team was led by a talented coach André Villas-Boas, who wanted to introduce a new order in the team. But also because he came for a high sum for a coach at that time, there was a huge pressure on him.
With results not really coming in and Chelsea threatening to have their worst season since Roman Abramovich came into ownership, there had to be a reaction. And that was sacking.
In March 2012, Roberto Di Matteo took over the team until the end of the season, as if he had been schooled by José Mourinho. Under him, Chelsea did not play attractive football, nor were they dominant in any way. But it was all the more miraculous.
Not only did the Blues manage to win the FA Cup. They even reached their first ever Champions League winners’ trophy. And it wasn’t an easy journey. They beat Napoli in the first knockout round, then knocked out Benfica and then Barcelona stood in their way. But they managed to beat them too.
In the final, Bayern Munich were in Chelsea’s way for the trophy. Tough, strong, confident. And the difference in quality was evident in the match. The Bavarian giant pushed the London side as hard as they could. But the excellent Petr Cech in goal let in a single shot in stoppage time.
In the 83rd minute, Thomas Müller beat him, and five minutes later Didier Drogba equalised and it went to extra time. Arjen Robben took the penalty kick and Čech made a sensational save, which was the key moment.
The game went to penalties. Čech managed to keep out Ivica Olić, Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the bar and Drogba scored the winning goal to secure the Blues’ most valuable club trophy.
Even without that, although both Cech and Drogba would be giant Chelsea legends, the way they contributed to this achievement underlines their importance to the club several times over.
Source: UEFA, WhoScored
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