MATCH REPORT: BAYERN MUNICH 2 CHELSEA 2 (5-4 ON PENALTIES)
The first nine penalties in the shoot-out at the end of 120 minutes in Prague were all scored before Romelu Lukaku's was saved, denying Chelsea a trophy we had been seconds away from winning.
Fernando Torres gave the Blues an early lead in normal time which was lost even earlier in the second half to a Franck Ribery goal.
After a good counter-attacking display by Jose Mourinho's men, the tide was turning in Bayern Munich's favour, especially when Ramires was sent-off shortly before the end of normal time, but Chelsea, who had earlier hit woodwork, responded splendidly in extra time with Eden Hazard cracking in the second goal.
German chances came and went before, with a minute to the end of the match already indicated, one more dropped their way and Javi Martinez took it. The pain of victory snatched away was only compound by what was to follow from the spot kicks, but there was still plenty to value in the performance.
There was no Bastian Schweinsteiger for Bayern Munich, he has an ankle injury, and Javi Martinez was not fit to start so they switched from the 4-1-4-1 formation preferred by Pep Guardiola this season to match Chelsea's 4-2-3-1.
Phillipp Lahm moved from full-back to play as one of the deeper midfielders with Toni Kroos dropping back to be the other. Mario Gotze, signed in the summer from Borussia Dortmund, was among the subs so Thomas Muller was in the no. 10 role with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery the wingers.
A meeting between the current European champions and the previous holders of the title, alongside other sub-plots not least of which was the re-match of 2012, gave this showpiece match added spice in the build-up to kick-off. The centre of the picture postcard city of Prague had been buzzing with fans from England, Germany and elsewhere since the morning. The Chelsea allocation of 5,000 tickets had all been taken.
Both teams brought the respective European silverware they won last season out onto the pitch to place on stands either side of the Super Cup. The handshakes followed, the trophies were removed and then it was time for the real action.
Mario Mandzukic planted an early far-post header wide and the same Bayern player had an early tangle with David Luiz which prompted the Swedish referee to speak to both.
The Blues backline was stretched on six minutes when Bayern switched play quickly but Ribery made a hash of his delivery into the area.
It was in stark contrast to the ball Schurrle supplied to Torres to score just a minute later. Hazard, at his very best, cruised through the centre of the Bavarian team and slipped the ball wide to our own German. The ball was pulled back to where Torres cleanly volleyed just above the turf and gave Neuer no chance from 15 yards out.
It was the first goal by a Chelsea striker this season and the Spaniard could have added to it after Kroos had been weak in the tackle against Oscar, Chelsea then attacking down the right again. Torres's ambitious shot ended up being more a cross.
David Luiz had earlier been on hand to repel a dangerous Bayern move but midway through the half our opponents did work Petr Cech, Ribery taking Boateng's lay-off and drawing a full-stretch save from our keeper with a low shot.
The French winger went close on 28 minutes from a similar position, this time firing wide of the far post.
Bayern, without any regular holding midfielders, were finding it hard to stop Chelsea springing forward on the counter-attack however, and another Schurrle -Torres combination ended with the latter spinning and not missing by much.
With 37 minutes played, it was Bayern who were able to launch an incisive break after several of the Chelsea midfield were sucked towards the ball. Robben was involved and a pass was pushed through for Lahm to shoot, but a Cahill slide deflected it wide. It was a vital contribution by the big defender who was booked soon after for an aerial collision with Muller. That looked harsh.
The lead the Blues took into the changing room at the break lasted less than two minutes after the restart.
The space Ribery found in and around the right of the Chelsea penalty area had been the major concern in the first half, and now he took a pass from Kroos and launched a shot from 25 yards out. Cech got a light touch on it but not enough to prevent it beating him at the near post. The France international then volleyed another effort wide soon after.
Robben fired high over the bar from a free-kick routine and for a prolonged spell Chelsea saw little of the ball, but then a slip by centre-back Dante in his own area almost let us in. Schurrle grabbed possession and gave it to Oscar in a great position but the Brazilian delayed testing Neuer, a mistake as it turned out when his eventual effort was blocked. Lampard fired the rebound over from distance.
With 70 minutes on the clock, Guardiola brought on Gotze for Muller having introduced Javi Martinez earlier in the game. That first switch had allowed the familiar Lahm and Robben combination down their right to be restored.
On 76 minutes Chelsea hit the bar and it was the other scorer from the Europa League final who was denied, Ivanovic heading goalwards after David Luiz had flicked on a Lampard corner. Schurrle then brought down a Lampard chip over the defence but shot at Neuer with his left-foot.
Bayern came at Chelsea again, and Gotze's shot was deflected away from the target, but then Boateng earned Bayern's first booking for a foul on Hazard and from Lampard's delivery, David Luiz drew a fine save from Neuer with a header.
A minute later Ramires engaged Gotze in a block tackle and the ref decided he had followed through on the young German. The yellow card was produced, quickly followed by a red, and Chelsea would complete the game with 10 men. Ramires will serve a suspension in the Champions League.
There was a warning to Bayern just after the restart when Hazard almost opened them up and coming in from the left again, he drilled the Blues back into the lead two minutes in with a ferocious drive. Neuer will be disappointed with his part in the goal given how close he was to it, but that doesn't mask the quality of the dribble and the strike.
Guardiola quickly replaced the relatively quiet Robben with Xherdan Shaqiri and Mourinho followed by changing centre-forward - Romelu Lukaku on for Torres who had made a good contribution to the evening.
Cech saved a shot from Ribery that was probably going wide anyway, and Cahill twice bravely threw himself in the way of Bayern missiles to take the lead into the second period of extra time.
Two minutes into that, Bayern had their best chance for quite some time, Mandzukic giving Cech a chance to save his close-range header when there should have been none, and then moments later the Chelsea keeper performing wonders to keep out another header across him from Martinez.
The aerial route gave Bayern a third chance of the period but this time Cahill's renowned blocking sense saved his team. Terry came on to strengthen the ramparts.
With three minutes remaining Oscar conceded a free-kick just outside the area and with Mourinho whipping up vocal support from the Chelsea end, Cech pulled off a fine save from Ribery's effort. How the Bayern fans must hate the sight of our keeper!
However with only seconds left on the clock, their team managed to beat him. Another cross came in, it broke from a crowd and Martinez was able to score from close range.
As in Munich in 2012, the shoot-out was in front of the Bayern end, and the Germans went first.
Alaba sent Cech the wrong way to make it 1-0 before David Luiz hit his high and hard. 1-1.
Kroos dummied and rolled his home for a 2-1 lead before Oscar did similar but with much more power.
Next up for Bayern, Lahm found the bottom corner, 3-2. Lampard to the keeper's left, 3-3.
Ribery stroked in the fourth to keep up the 100 per cent record all round, kept going by Cole with a moment of stress when it hit the post and went in.
Shaqiri was lucky when his crept under Cech so it was 5-4 and Lukaku had to score. He too checked his run but then lacked power in his shot and Neuer saved.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, D Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard (c); Schurrle (Mikel 86), Oscar, Hazard (Terry 113); Torres (Lukaku 97).
Unused subs Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Essien, Mata.
Scorers Torres 8, Hazard 92.
Sent-off Ramires 86 for two yellows
Booked Cahill 41, Ramires 63, David Luiz 66, Torres 89, Lukaku 98, Cole 117, Ivanovic 119.
Bayern (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Rafinha (Martinez 56), Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Lahm (c), Kroos; Robben (Shaqiri 95), Muller (Gotze 70), Ribery; Mandzukic.
Unused subs Starke, Van Buyten, Contento, Pizarro.
Scorers Ribery 47, Martinez 120+1.
Booked Ribery 22, Boateng 83.
Referee Jonas Eriksson from Sweden.