REACTION: INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT

Chelsea have made history by becoming the champions of Europe after an enthralling match against Bayern Munich ended with the Blues winning a penalty shoot-out 4-3 after the game had ended 1-1, and Roberto Di Matteo was understandably struggling to take in what he had witnessed.

The game appeared to be beyond us when Tomas Muller headed the German side in front with only eight minutes left to play, but our strength of character rose to the fore once again when Didier Drogba - the eventual matchwinner - headed home a Juan Mata corner in the 89th minute.

Bayern had a fantastic opportunity to restore their lead early in extra-time when they were awarded a penalty, but Petr Cech saved from his former Chelsea teammate Arjen Robben. The Blues trailed for much of the shoot-out after Mata had missed our first kick, but the tide turned when Ivica Olic saw his kick saved by Cech. When Bastian Schweinsteiger then hit the post, it fell to Drogba to seal our fate, which he did in style to spark jubilant scenes among both players and supporters alike.

'Football and life are unpredictable at times and crazy,' said Di Matteo. 'I don't think we could have predicted what's happened over the last three months at the club, it's been very difficult but to finish like this is an incredible achievement.

'It feels great, you think about it when you watch at home, watching others lift the trophy, but I'm pleased for the players. They've worked so hard over the years to win it, four years ago they had a painful experience and tonight we are on the other hand.

'When they scored there wasn't much time left but the heart and passion we've shown in the competition has been immense. To be able to equalise and go into extra-time was a good feeling. Preparation for the game was difficult with suspensions and injuries, it wasn't ideal for a Champions League Final but the desire and motivation has shown again tonight.

It was a historical night for the club in more ways than one, and one that will live long in the memory. Not only did we lift a trophy that has, up to now, eluded us, but by doing so we became the first London club to be crowned kings of Europe.

Throw in the fact that the victory ensures we will be participating in the tournament next season at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur, and it will probably go down as the greatest night in the club's long, illustrious history.

'The winner of the competition should automatically qualify, whether it's unfair is not for me to judge,' said Di Matteo. Harry Redknapp has done an extremely good job but we're pleased for ourselves, nobody would have favoured us but we managed to do it and we're very happy.

'It's a huge difference for the future of the club, we always said it was crucial to be involved in the Champions League, winning puts us in next year so its double whammy in a positive sense.'

The Italian has now lifted both the FA Cup and Champions League since taking over the reins from Andre Villas-Boas back in March, and nights such as this will only see the calls for a man who already enjoyed a special bond with the supporters to be given the job on a permanent basis.

Whether or not such a decision hinged on the outcome of a solitary game remains to be seen, but the man himself didn't want to look too far ahead on such a magical night.

'I don't know what the futute holds, I'm very happy tonight to make history,' said the Italian. 'It's the first time we've won it, it's very difficult to win and you have to take your chances when they come.

'I'm capable of going on holiday as I need one desperately, we don't discuss publicly, its irrelevant anyway. I'm happy with the role I've been given and whatever the future holds I will accept.'

Drama and controversy are seldom in short supply at Stamford Bridge, but even by our own standards this has been the most eventful of seasons. One that, for a while at least, appeared to be going nowhere, has ended on the biggest high imaginable in club football, and it might just take a while for it all to sink in.

Drogba, if reports are to be believed, may well have won us the Champions League with his very last kick for the club, and Di Matteo paid tribute to the Ivorian, among others, who has now scored nine goals in nine cup finals for the Blues, a truly remarkable record.

'It's a conversation the club will have with the player,' he insisted. 'He's been a fantastic servant and brought lots of success over eight years, but it was a great team effort tonight.

'We always tend to focus on the goalscorers but Petr Cech saved a penalty, while Ashley Cole saved off the line in Napoli which gave us hope for the second leg.'

The interim first team coach also had a kind word for the beaten finalists who probably feel on the balance of play they should have won the game.

'Penalties are a lottery but Bayern were very good,' he said. 'They played well and are a good team, that's why they've won it many times before, but our supporters will be delighted tonight because we've won the Champions League.'

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