Sat 19 May 2012 19:45 (Attendance: 69,901)
There is a statue outside the Chelsea stadium. Inscribed on its plinth are the words: 'Stamford Bridge has many heroes but only one king.' Saturday night presents the chance for someone to achieve the same kind of immortality.
The 'king,' Peter Osgood, captured hearts for his style and manner, and his extraordinary contribution during the 1970 FA Cup triumph. But it was arguably his right-foot shot into the corner of the Real Madrid net in Athens in 1971 that put him on a more rarefied level - it was certainly his favourite strike.
Gianfranco Zola's winner in Stockholm against Stuttgart in 1998 also occupies an indelible place in the collective memory. European finals are exceptional, exotic occasions either way. Has anything hurt as much as defeat in Moscow in 2008?
There are no prizes for coming second. (Or third for that matter, which will clearly come as a surprise to some Arsenal fans.) And nothing propels supporters onto planes, trains and automobiles quite like a continental jaunt. From the platform of Munich, one of our heroes can launch themselves into an orbit of adoration.
This weekend has nothing to do with the last chance to qualify for next season's Champions League - nor the schadenfreude of evicting rivals Spurs from it. It is about glory. History.
In simple terms Chelsea, officially the third-ranked club in Europe, against take on Bayern Munich, the fourth. The two are here because in the semis they brilliantly overcame the clubs in first and second respectively.
Yet the Blues - who should by rights have been the first to enter this tournament in 1955 - are bidding to become the first London club to lift it, while Bayern aim to become the third team to win the title in their own ground.
The Allianz Arena is not their home over decades, of course. It is massive, modern, multi-storeyed but not yet multi-storied - they have been here one year longer than Arsenal at the Emirates. Throw in an unusually huge contingent of opposing fans from Chelsea's global fan base and it could be quite a disorientating experience for the hosts.The field of play does not change, though. The Allianz pitch size is the same as Barcelona's Camp Nou (105m x 68m compared to Stamford Bridge's 103m x 67m).
Not, perhaps, since Leslie Knighton's touring party stopped off for 'sightseeing' in Berlin - in 1936 of all years - has it been more surprising to see a Chelsea team arrive in Germany. Trailing 1-3 from the Round of 16 first leg in Napoli, then 0-2 down with ten men in the formidable Camp Nou... both deficits were overturned - this is a squad that simply never accepts defeat.
The burden has been shared around. Chelsea's last seven goals in this competition came from seven separate players, the five assists from five different sources. With four players suspended - John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles - the load will have to be spread even further.Bayern are missing three key men themselves on Saturday. Their full-strength side - the same one that beat Real - was thrashed 2-5 in the DFB Pokal (German FA Cup final) last weekend. Barcelona were the last team to put four past them three years ago.
The result was achieved by quick counter-attacks from their rivals and costly errors on the Bayern account. In particular the centre of midfield and defence looked all at sea. Luis Gustavo and Holger Badstuber, among the most culpable, are ruled out from facing Chelsea, along with pacy left-back Daniel Alaba. All three suspended Bayern players have played 10 of their 12 Champions League matches.
The Reds' influential centre midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, not 100% after injury, was exercised for 90 minutes by Dortmund. In contrast, Chelsea's first choice shield of Mikel and Frank Lampard had their feet up watching the Blues' 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers.Seasoned coach Jupp Heynckes does have the option of hastening the return of veteran defender Daniel van Buyten. Out with a broken metatarsal since January, the 34-year-old played an hour of Bayern reserves' 0-3 defeat at home to Ingolstadt last week. Everyone in Munich will be all too aware of the impact Didier Drogba had when our two sides met for the only time in April 2005, and that may dictate a decision.
The Ivorian terrorised centre-backs Lucio and Robert Kovac, feeding off Frank Lampard's ready supply and setting the midfielder up for chances - between them, the two netted five of the six goals scored by Jose Mourinho's men.
Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and John Terry, and for Bayern Bastian Schweinsteiger, are the only current players who featured in those meetings in 2005.
This weekend Chelsea face one of the most lethal attacking trios in world football in former Blue Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez and Franck Ribery. The French winger has notched up 30 assists this season and is the most fouled player in this competition.
Three times previously European Cup finals have been played at the home ground of one of the competing teams, the hosts emerging victorious in two of them. Real Madrid won 2-0 against Fiorentina at the Bernabéu in 1957, Inter beat Benfica 1-0 at the San Siro in 1965, and Liverpool won a penalty shoot-out against Roma at their Stadio Olimpico ground.
The last four European Cup finals between English and German teams have been won by the English club - 1999 Man Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich being the most recent.
Five Champions League finals have gone to penalties - the most recent being the painful one in Moscow in 2008.
Chelsea have won two of our last four penalty shoot-outs although in Europe, we have lost both - to Man Utd in 2008 and Liverpool in 2007. Bayern have won all four in UEFA competition including the 2001 Champions League Final against Valencia and this season's semi-final in Madrid.
Champions League top scorers
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 14
Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich) 12
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 10
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 7
Didier Drogba (Chelsea) 5
Eight others on 5
Click on tabs above for more briefing.
As it's a special occasion we have the observations of German football writer Raphael Honigstein and, firstly, former Blue Clive Walker.
'It's a strange game for Munich as it's played in their home, but with unfamiliar elements such as an extra-large away fan contingent,' says Clive. 'In the build-up the players will be comfortable in their own environment and, you'd imagine, would have similar routines to a Bundelisga match.
'Obviously we have to fly out, train under different circumstances, so it is more comfortable beforehand for them. But there might be a price to pay in expectations. Sometimes the home side is expected to turn it on for a final at home, to perform. The fans are desperate not to blow it and may turn quite quickly if they sense an upset. No Bayern player will want to make the mistake that causes disappointment like that.
'Any nervousness in the first ten minutes could be useful - this will be a very important period for us. We can count on the noisy backing of our part of the crowd all the way through. Theirs might turn if nerves kick in and the players become anxious.
'We need to keep Bayern out for that crucial opening period. It will help if, as expected, our two centre-backs David Luíz and Gary Cahill are fit and ready - great news.
'I never doubted personally that there was enough time for their recovery. They'll be properly prepared and ready and that's so important for a side with four players suspended.
'Anyone not available is always a loss and we'll especially miss JT and Branislav Ivanovic. I still expect Roberto Di Matteo to field his usual 4-2-3-1 with Ashley Cole and José Bosingwa completing the back four, and Mikel and Frank Lampard just in front of them.
'Bayern have great attacking movement. When Mikel plays alongside Frank he stays more central and cuts out a lot of the problems.
'Ash will have Arjen Robben to deal with and Philipp Lahm overlapping. Robben is someone we have to close down quickly. He's the last player we need to turn it on.
'We need to be canny in handling Franck Ribéry. If he plays left as usual, Bosingwa has to be so aware of the gap between him and the centre-back - it's the biggest opportunity for the attacker, and he has to show Ribéry outside as much as possible.
'Further forward we have to play without Ramires, who for me is such a huge miss. He would have loved the spaces Bayern gave Dortmund last weekend in the German cup final.
'One option as a replacement if fit could be Florent Malouda. He's experienced and can exploit weaknesses. Has Daniel Sturridge done enough in recent weeks to earn a start? Everyone knows he has the talent to hurt a defence like Bayern's. Robbie also put young left-back Ryan Bertrand further forward against Blackburn.
'I wouldn't expect Fernando Torres to play that wide role, but it's a possibility. I'm sure Roberto will make the right decision on the night. We have huge experience and spirit in depth and we have to make those count.
'The attacking midfield three is completed by Juan Mata, who has a huge part to play, and, I'd imagine, Salomon Kalou. The manager likes him because he's hard working, does what he is told at both ends of the pitch, and can make things happen in big matches.
'In some ways I can see a similar scenario to Barcelona, in that their back four leaves gaps and you can get at them through the centre.
'That seems to present the perfect opportunity for Didier Drogba to turn on one of his magnificent, untouchable performances. If that's the case, their defence won't be able to deal with it.
'Didier provides the flexibility to go long or short. We have to defend from the front but we have a bunch of players you can trust, and anyone who wants to should exploit the gaps Bayern will leave. No excuses from anyone - we might never get another chance.
'We need to start on the front foot. Everything we do should be fast, positive, breaking up play, moving it forward and getting in behind their centre.
'I think it's a real 50:50. They have to deal with our frontline, we have to deal with theirs.
'I'd like to think we can score. It's not going to be easy. But what an opportunity for our players this is. I desperately hope they grasp it, and I'm predicting a surprise goal for Gary Cahill from a set play.'
German football writer Raphael Honigstein believes home advantage should not be overplayed, especially when the hosts will be missing three key players.
'It might be a small, psychological advantage but nothing more: nearly half of the stadium will be filled with Chelsea supporters, of course,' he says, adding, 'generally speaking, Bayern have enjoyed playing at the purpose-built, atmospheric Allianz Arena after more than four decades in the Olympic Stadium with its running track.'
'Left-back David Alaba, who is banned, has really come into his own in recent weeks but in Diego Contento, Bayern have a decent back-up. The suspensions of Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo are more problematic. Badstuber has been excellent this season and will be sorely missed. His natural replacement, Daniel van Buyten (broken metatarsal), is in a race to get fit in time.
'If the Belgian doesn't recover, midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk will have to fill in at the back. But that would leave the team without a defensive midfielder. Toni Kroos might have to play deeper, alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger, with Thomas Müller coming in behind Mario Gomez.
'It doesn't sound too bad on paper but Bayern are significantly weakened by the suspensions, as their bench isn't that strong.
'Heynckes will stick with his usual, possession-based 4-2-3-1 system and hope that his wide players Robben and Ribery can get behind the Chelsea back four.'
WE HAVE HISTORY
The Blues have beaten German opposition in a European final before, on 13 May 1998 in neutral Stockholm. Our Uefa Cup-Winners' Cup opponents were Joachin Löw's Stuttgart.
Gianluca Vialli's men were having marginally the better of a 0-0 draw until around the 70-minute mark when the previously injured Gianfranco Zola was asked to warm up off the bench.
Soon after, he replaced Tore André Flo and his inauspicious first touch led to a failed dribble. Much like Fernando Torres against Barcelona, the Italian maestro for some reason continued his run and was spotted by Dennis Wise, who delivered a delicious pass into his path. Zola did not have to break stride to steer the ball over goalkeeper Franz Wohlfahrt's flailing arms, before reeling away, mouth agape, fingers pointing with elation at the Chelsea supporters.
Both sides had players sent off before the end, but the Londoners were comfortable, winning our second European trophy.
The only previous encounters between Chelsea and Bayern came in the quarter-finals of the 2004/05 Champions League. Bayern's squad contained future Blues Claudio Pizarro and Michael Ballack. Arjen Robben, now of die Roten, was unavailable for Chelsea through injury.
The dominant figure of both legs off the field was José Mourinho, the media focusing on how he might supposedly sidestep his Uefa stadium ban. On it, the key figure was Didier Drogba, who along with Frank Lampard dominated the action in London and Munich, monstering Lucio and fellow centre-back Robert Kovac.
Joe Cole's deflected shot opened Chelsea's account after just three minutes at the Bridge. And although substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger stabbed home the loose ball after Ballack's set-piece the Germans were not on level terms for long.
A brace from Lampard - the first from Drogba's brilliant head-down, the second an outstanding half-volley after a swivel turn - restored the Blues' advantage, and Drogba stabbed home a fourth when Bayern failed to deal with a Lampard corner. A stoppage-time penalty by Ballack ensured there was work to be done in Bavaria for the second leg.
Once again Chelsea opened the scoring in the old Olympiastadion, Lucio inadvertently redirecting Lampard's shot past Oliver Kahn. Petr Cech foiled Schweinsteiger and Kahn stopped Duff as play opened up in the second half.
Then Pizarro latched on to strike partner Roy Makaay's header to equalise from close range. But 15 minutes later Drogba rose majestically to meet Joe Cole's cross and steer a header brilliantly into the net for an aggregate 6-3 lead.
Seemingly cruising, the Blues were rocked by two very late goals for Paolo Guerrero and Mehmet Scholl but held on, to face Liverpool in the semi-finals.
6 April 2005 First leg Stamford Bridge
Chelsea………..……4 Bayern Munich…..….…2
J Cole 3 Schweinsteiger 52
Lampard 59, 69 Ballack 90+2 pen
Chelsea's biggest away win in the Champions League
20/10/1999 - Galatasaray 0-5 Chelsea - First group stage
Bayern's biggest home win in the Champions League
13/03/2012 - Bayern Munich 7-0 Basel - Round of 16, 2nd leg
The semi-final second leg at Camp Nou was the only occasion in the competition this season our opposition opened the scoring. The Blues scored first in all 11 previous Champions League games.
The Blues have won one and drawn two of our seven away European matches against German teams.
Chelsea have joined three other English clubs who have reached the European Cup/Champions League final twice or more: Liverpool, Manchester United and Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest.
Chelsea emerged victorious in our only previous European final against German opposition. Gianfranco Zola scored the only goal in the 1997/98 Cup Winners' Cup in Stockholm.
Chelsea have won seven and lost five of our last 19 away games in the Champions League. In the knockout stages it's three wins (FC Copenhagen, Liverpool and Benfica), three draws (Barcelona twice and Juventus) and three defeats (Man Utd, Inter Milan and Napoli) from the last nine away games.
|Chelsea have appeared in four previous European finals|
|1970/71 ECWC||Real Madrid||Piraeus||D 1-1*|
|1997/98 ECWC||VfB Stuttgart||Stockholm||W 1-0|
|1998/99 USC||Real Madrid||Monaco||W 1-0|
|2007/08 UCL||Manchester United||Moscow||D 1-1**|
|Chelsea's away record against German teams|
|1965/66||TSV Munich 1860||D 2-2||Fairs Cup quarter-final|
|1999/00||Hertha Berlin||L 1-2||Champions League group stage|
|2003/04||VfB Stuttgart||W 1-0||Champions League round of 16|
|2004/05||Bayern Munich||L 2-3||Champions League quarter-final|
|2006/07||Werder Bremen||L 0-1||Champions League group stage|
|2007/08||Schalke||D 0-0||Champions League group stage|
|2011/12||Bayer Leverkusen||L 1-2||Champions League group stage|
Chelsea's last ten years in Europe
2001/02 Uefa Cup - second round
2002/03 Uefa Cup - first round
2003/04 Champions League - semi-final
2004/05 Champions League - semi-final
2005/06 Champions League - round of 16
2006/07 Champions League - semi-final
2007/08 Champions League - runners-up
2008/09 Champions League - semi-final
2009/10 Champions League - round of 16
2010/11 Champions League - quarter-final
|Champions League results|
|Sep 13||Bayer Leverkusen (Group E h)||W 2-0|
|Sep 28||Valencia (Group E a)||D 1-1|
|Oct 19||KRC Genk (Group E h)||W 5-0|
|Nov 1||KRC Genk (Group E a)||D 1-1|
|Nov 23||Bayer Leverkusen (Group E a)||L 1-2|
|Dec 6||Valencia (Group E h)||W 3-0|
|Feb 21||Napoli (Round of 16 a)||L 1-3|
|Mar 14||Napoli (Round of 16 h)||W 4-1|
|Mar 27||Benfica (Quarter-final a)||W 1-0|
|Apr 4||Benfica (Quarter-final h)||W 2-1|
|Apr 18||Barcelona (Semi-final h)||W 1-0|
|Apr 24||Barcelona (Semi-final a)||D 2-2|
Champions League scorers
Drogba 5, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Ramires 3, Torres 3, Ivanovic 2, Kalou 2, Mata 2, Meireles 2, D Luiz 1, Terry 1. Total 24.
|Last six domestic results|
|Apr 21||Arsenal (a)||D 0-0|
|Apr 29||QPR (h)||W 6-1|
|May 2||Newcastle (h)||L 0-2|
|May 5||Liverpool (FA Cup final, Wembley)||W 2-1|
|May 8||Liverpool (a)||L 1-4|
|May 13||Blackburn (h)||W 2-1|
Congratulations to Petr Cech who celebrates his 30th birthday on Sunday (20 May).
BAYERN MUNICH STATS
22 league titles, last in 2010
15 German FA Cups, last in 2010
6 German League Cups, last in 2007
3 German Super Cups, last in 2010
4 European Cups/Champions Leagues, last in 2001
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1967
1 UEFA Cup in 1996
2 Intercontinental Cups, last in 2001
Last ten league seasons
2002/03 - Champions
2003/04 - Runners-up
2004/05 - Champions
2005/06 - Champions
2006/07 - 4th
2008/09 - Runners-up
2009/10 - Champions
2010/11 - 3rd
2011/12 - Runners-up
Bayern are appearing in their ninth European Cup final. They have won four and lost four of their previous eight. A win would take them level with Liverpool with five wins. Only Real Madrid (nine) and AC Milan (seven) have won more.
Bayern's four European finals against English sides have seen them beat Leeds (1974/75) and lose to Aston Villa (1981/82) and Man Utd (1998/99) all in the European Cup as well as losing out to Liverpool in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup.
They are unbeaten at the Allianz since Borussia Dortmund won 1-0 on 19 November 2011. Since then they have won 13 and drawn one. Bundesliga champions Dortmund achieved the league double against Bayern as well as beating them in the German Cup final last weekend.
Bayern have won all seven homes games en route to the final scoring 21 and conceded four.
Norwich, in 1993, are the only English side to beat Bayern on their own ground in 18 attempts.
Domestically, Bayern were runners-up to Borussia Dortmund, finishing eight points behind the leaders. Their home record was 14 wins, one draw and two defeats.
Only Lionel Messi has scored more goals in the Champions League this season than Mario Gomez who has scored 12. In 59 games this term for Bayern and Germany he has scored 48.
Bayern's Allianz Arena has a Champions League capacity of 66,000. They have achieved that figure in each of their seven Champions League home games this term.
|Bayern's last 10 home games against English teams in Europe|
|1995/96||Nottm Forest||W 2-1||UEFA Cup quarter-final (won 7-2 on agg)|
|1998/99||Man Utd||D 2-2||Champions League group stage|
|2000/01||Arsenal||W 1-0||Champions League second group stage|
|2000/01||Man Utd||W 2-1||Champions League quarter-final (won 3-1 on agg)|
|2001/02||Man Utd||D 1-1||Champions League second group stage|
|2004/05||Arsenal||W 3-1||Champions League round of 16 (won 3-2 on agg)|
|2004/05||Chelsea||W 3-2||Champions League quarter-final (lost 5-6 on agg)|
|2007/08||Bolton||D 2-2||UEFA Cup group stage|
|2010/11||Man Utd||W 2-1||Champions League quarter-final (won on away goals)|
|2011/12||Man City||W 2-0||Champions League group stage|
|Champions League results|
|Aug 17||Zurich (play-off h)||W 2-0|
|Aug 23||Zurich (Play-off a)||W 1-0|
|Sep 14||Villarreal (Group A a)||W 2-0|
|Sep 27||Manchester City (Group A h)||W 2-0|
|Oct 18||Napoli (Group A a)||D 1-1|
|Nov 2||Napoli (Group A h)||W 3-2|
|Nov 22||Villarreal (Group A h)||W 3-1|
|Dec 7||Manchester City (Group A a)||L 0-2|
|Feb 22||Basel (Round of 16 a)||L 0-1|
|Mar 13||Basel (Round of 16 h)||W 7-0|
|Mar 28||Marseille (Quarter-final a)||W 2-0|
|Apr 3||Marseille (Quarter-final h)||W 2-0|
|Apr 17||Real Madrid (Semi-final h)||W 2-1|
|Apr 25||Real Madrid (Semi-final a)||L 1-2 won 3-1 on pens|
Champions League proper scorers
Gomez 12, Robben 4 (1 pen), Ribéry 3, Kroos 2, Olić 2, Müller 1, Rafinha 1. Total 25. (plus Gomez, Robben and Schweinsteiger in the play-offs)
|Last six domestic results|
|Apr 11||Borussia Dortmund (a)||L 0-1|
|Apr 14||Mainz (h)||D 0-0|
|Apr 21||Werder Bremen (a)||W 2-1|
|Apr 28||Stuttgart (h)||W 2-0|
|May 5||Cologne (a)||W 4-1|
|May 12||Borussia Dortmund (German Cup final, Berlin)||L 2-5|
|2011/12 final Bundesliga table|
Raul Meireles, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and John Terry, and for Bayern David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo are suspended.
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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