Moscow seems a long time ago now as the ghost of 2008 was buried by a penalty shoot-out win for the Blues.
We seemed dead and buried when Bayern Munich took the lead after 82 minutes of a game they dominated in the face of some high-class Chelsea defending, but showing the resilience yet again that had taken us all this way to Munich, Didier Drogba netted his ninth goal in nine cup finals with two minutes left to play.
Cech then saved a penalty, given away by Drogba in extra-time, and not converted by Arjen Robben, so 10 more penalties had to be taken to determine the destiny of the European Cup.
It didn't start well as Juan Mata failed with Chelsea's first but Cech saved one and Bastian Schweinsteiger struck woodwork before that man Drogba stepped up to win the competition for the first time for a London club, with the satisfaction that it had been acheived in our opponents' stadium and the added prize of qualification for next season's Champions League.
Roberto Di Matteo decided upon Ryan Bertrand in front of Ashley Cole on the flank that Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm attack down for Bayern. The 22-year-old made his Champions League debut. David Luiz and Gary Cahill were fit to start with Jose Bosingwa completing the defence.
Frank Lampard and John Mikel Obi were the deeper midfielders with Juan Mata in front of them, Salomon Kalou on the right and Didier Drogba leading the attack.
Bayern replaced their two suspended defenders with Diego Contento and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, the midfielder deployed at centre-back. Thomas Muller came into midfield.
The pre-match proceedings were loud and colourful with Bayern able to organise their end in a display not possible for visiting Chelsea, but the Blues support were in fine voice and the 'Pride of London' flag travelled with them.
And then it was time for kick-off, Chelsea attacking towards the German side's supporters. Lampard tackled Robben and then Cole went in hard on Kroos to give away a free-kick in the opening seconds.
Inside two minutes Schweinsteiger was booked for a clear handball as Mikel tried to play out from the back and find Lampard.
Bayern advanced on four minutes and Schweinsteiger shot but Cahill stretched out a long leg and deflected it for a corner.
Chelsea's first attack came with six minutes played, a few nervy looking passes leading to a Drogba cross that was overhit. Chelsea kept the pressure on but then Robben broke threateningly, only to sky his shot badly.
Bayern were dominating possession but without the feeling they were about to break through the defence at any second that comes when Barcelona do similar. Gomez stretching over the top of David Luiz headed a cross over.
On 17 minutes Robben met a Kroos corner with a half-volley but it was deflected for another corner which led to the scariest moment yet when Gomez tricked Cahill, Lampard couldn't get the ball out of the six-yard box and Bosingwa sliced his clearance behind him but into a safe zone.
Twenty minutes had gone and Chelsea still hadn't tested Manuel Neuer. Cech on the other hand had to be at his best to turn wide a Robben shot after the former Blue wriggled past Bosingwa.
Just before the half-hour, David Luiz put an arm across the front of Muller and fouled him. Robben's free-kick was a long way off clearing the Chelsea defensive wall. The former Chelsea man did not have a good night.
Two minutes later we briefly found space and Bertrand, supplied by Mata, took on Lahm but the German international stood firm and made the necessary tackle.
On 32 minutes, Cahill was found upfield by Kalou and drew a foul out of Boateng. It was just outside the area, a bit to the right and made for the left foot of Mata, but the Spaniard shot several yards over the bar.
Three minutes later Bayern missed their best chance yet, Muller found unmarked near the penalty spot by Contento but he volleyed wide. Wayward shooting by the men in red continued as one of the themes of the night.
Suddenly the ball was up the other end and Drogba was battling with the Bayern central defence, only the third time a Chelsea player had touched the ball in their area, but he was crowded out.
It seemed to spark some belief into the performance and Bertrand picked out Drogba who in turn played the ball out wide to an unmarked Kalou. The shot was low and hard and forced the first save out of Neuer.
However as we pressed a bit, Bayern became more of a counter-attacking threat and there was much relief when Gomez shot well, well over when presented with a golden chance.
The first-half stats had shown 60 per cent possession to Bayern with eight corners to our nil and 13 attempts on goal to just two from the team from London. The options were to hope for a smash and grab or find some way of taking the game more to a side with an unfamiliar defence.
Ribery attacked and shot after Chelsea lost the ball within a minute of the restart but David Luiz blocked it inside the six-yard box. The Brazilian then got his positioning wrong to let Robben past but Cole saved the day initially and then David Luiz was able to head a shot to safety.
Drogba didn't waste the opportunity to attempt a spectacular on the turn from distance on 50 minutes but didn't trouble Neuer.
Bayern had the ball in the net soon after but Ribery had lashed it in from an offside position. It was a sign though that they were finding increasing space around our penalty area and the defiant Cole needed to be razor-sharp to block Robben's attempt after Gomez had shown good control.
The game entered the final half-hour with Bayern continuing to drag shots wide. Chelsea's attacking potential was diminished by diligent crowding of Mata when he was on the ball.
Cole again threw himself in the way of a shot, this time from Kroos before on 71 minutes, Chelsea broke our shackles and Kalou wasn't too far away at all from making something of a Bosingwa cross. Then Drogba got away down the left and nearly picked out Mata right in front of goal but Bayern cleared for a corner.
Drogba could have made them pay soon after but didn't catch a shot properly. Were Bayern starting to fear the sucker punch?
Malouda had by now come on for Bertrand who seemed to indicate a problem to the bench a minute earlier. RIbery, inside the Chelsea area on the right, shot and it deflected up and dropped worryingly but Cech stretched back and made sure the ball went over the bar. Muller then waited for the ball to fall on his right-foot after an attack started by Schweinsteiger but his shot was a long way wide.
Cole became Chelsea's first booking for a foul on Muller who soon after finally found the breakthrough.
Kroos was allowed to cross towards the far post unchallenged and Muller headed down, able to beat Cech with a ball that bounced up above the Chelsea keeper and in off the underside of the bar. There were 82 minutes played.
Torres came on for Kalou, David Luiz was booked for kicking Robben, and it was hard to see any way back into this game for Di Matteo's men.
But never underestimate Didier Drogba in a cup final. Mata sent an 87th minute corner over towards the near post and the Ivorian thundered a header through the tiny gap between Neuer and his crossbar.
He could have even won it in stoppage time after Bayern gave away a free-kick in a very promising position, but the shot was too high.
Extra time first period
It was a bright start by the Blues but then with three minutes gone, Drogba unnecessarily caught the heel of Ribery and gave away a penalty. It fell to Robben to try to beat his friend Cech but the pressure told, as it had done on Lionel Messi in the semi-final, and the Chelsea keeper was able to save low down to his left as Robben couldn't find the corner.
Ribery didn't recover from the foul by Drogba and was replaced by Ivica Olic.
Mistakes were increasingly creeping into the German side's play and although they were still on top, the game was less one-sided than in normal time. Further chances at either end were scarce.
Extra time second period
Bayern really should have retaken the lead two minutes in when Olic was found all alone at the far post and paddled the ball across to Van Buyten, but the substitute hadn't reacted quickly enough to tap in to the gaping net.
Chelsea survived another goalmouth scramble after which Cahill, who played a might game, felt the effect of those weeks out, needing treatment for cramp.
Torres was booked for dissent after giving away a foul as he seeked a last-minute winner but it was to be the gut-wrenching experience of a shoot-out once again.
At the Bayern Munich end of the stadium, Cech faced the first one from Lahm and got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out.
Mata then shot too centrally and had his saved by Neuer. Gomez found the bottom corner to make it 2-0 to Bayern but David Luiz scored his powerfully and it was 2-1.
The Bayern keeper took the next one, and beat Cech low to the left so it was 3-1 to the Germans. Lampard roofed his to bring the score back to 3-2 before Olic had his saved by the outstretched arm of Cech and Cole drew the scores level at 3-3 with a crisp strike.
Schweinsteiger was next up and the pressure told as he hit the post, Cech possibly getting a finger to it. So it was there for Drogba to win it and this time there was no slipping on the turf by the final taker as he rolled it into the corner.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bosingwa, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Lampard (c); Kalou (Torres 83), Mata, Bertrand (Malouda 73); Drogba
Unused subs Turnbull, Ferreira, Essien, Romeu, Sturridge.
Scorer Drogba 87
Shoot-out penalties David Luiz, Lampard, Cole, Drogba.
Booked Cole 80, David Luiz 85, Drogba 93, Torres 119.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Lahm (c), Tymoshchuk, Boateng, Contento; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, T Muller (Van Buyten 85), Ribéry (Olic 96); Gomez.
Unused subs Butt, Rafinha, Usami, Pranjic, Petersen.
Scorer Muller 82.
Shoot-out penalties Lahm, Gomez, Neuer.
Booked Schweinsteiger 1.
Referee Pedro Proença from Portugal.
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