Monday 14 May
Nothing, everyone is off for the day as Manchester City celebrate with rude gestures toward their neighbours.
We’ll have to recruit a bit of steel if one season finishing 25 points behind the leaders does not become a Liverpool style drift down the league. New blood is difficult to identify however as financial fair play rules start to bite we are going to have to be canny and make the most of what we have.
Tuesday 15 May
Both Gary Cahill and David Luiz trained today to give everyone a huge surge of confidence. We could do this easily if we didn’t have injuries and suspensions is a feeling growing around the final but the reality is that we might have to do it on the back foot with Bosingwa and Ferreira at centre-half. If we have one or both of Luiz and Cahill we’ll win at a canter. The reaction to today’s session will be most telling.
Malouda did not train because of a hamstring and is doubtful for the final.
Wednesday 16 May
Nathan Ake is having quite a month. He played in the first leg of the FA youth cup for Chelsea before disappearing to Slovenia where his Netherlands side have just won the European U17 championship. Nathan was captain and played through midfield, he scored in the first group game and netted his penalty in the final against Germany
Roy Hodgson announced his first England squad and fumbled every decision. Rio Ferdinand does not go because of John Terry, who in turn is not captain because of Anton Ferdinand. Roy has decided to take Stewart Downing despite the Liverpool winger’s complete lack of form (goals 0, assists 0, penalties missed 1) while leaving Adam Johnson at home.
To compound that mistake he has left out Micah Richards and is, instead, trusting the right-back spot to serial flop Glen Johnson. Kyle Walker is injured.
He has also left out Daniel Sturridge. Chelsea boys who will attend the fiasco of England’s summer campaign are the usual: Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill.
The wrong man for the job has picked largely the wrong squad and will play the wrong tactics and we’ll stuck with him until we slump in the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 playing 4-4-2.
Thursday 17 May
Pedro Proenca from Portugal will referee the final on Saturday. We have to just hope he is fair and alive to Bayern’s ability to fly through the air at the slightest of touches.
Should we win though plod has decided that we’ll not be allowed to drink outside. The killjoy snatch-squads at the Met announced that any parade will fall under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001’s controlled drinking zone. Which means that the thuggish idiots that usually police the area are now under orders to be mean spirited as well. The provisions in this act were designed to stop drunks congregating in shopping centres and annoying the public not to prevent people celebrating a one-off event, so, the police and council will knowingly be using the Act contrary to the intention of parliament and in breach of our rights.
Friday 18 May
Keeping with the tradition of making announcements the day before a big final Ron Gourlay proclaimed Audi as our car-partner. You know what a car partner is – someone who drives you home when you’ve had a few too many or something to do with dogging – take your pick. Only in Chelsea and Audi’s case it means we’ll be getting those big sporty seats in the dugout and fewer reserves on the bench. Those seats take up a lot of room.
Odd our Chief Executive should announce a German sponsor the day before we play a German team in Germany. He is a reassuring presence.
Traditionalists will love this one: the Charity Shield will be played at Villa Park on Sunday 12 August. Everyone who missed schlepping to Birmingham for a semi-final will get their wish as the FA selects a neutral venue. Everyone who cannot get a ticket because the Villan’s ground only holds 43,000 might not enjoy it so much. After the FA’s profiteering there will probably be only a handful of tickets to go round.
The switch from Wembley is necessary because of the Olympic final is the day before.
Saturday 19 May
European Cup Final – Munich 2012
FC Bayern München 1:1 Chelsea
(3-4 on penalties)
Ihrer Stadt, Ihr Stadion, Unser Pokal. Finally.
With very big risks come great rewards. Roberto Di Matteo stuck to his guns and the defensive model that beat Barcelona made its way to the final and yet, despite Bayern being better across the pitch and more adventurous, scoring with eight minutes to go, having a penalty in extra-time and being 3-1 in the penalty shootout, somehow we won.
Ryan Bertrand will never forget this. He must have known a while before the match as news leaked to the Times on Friday that he would be playing ahead of Ashley Cole to help contain the threat of Robben and Lahm. If we’d had Ramires available then we could have copied Dortmund in last week’s German Cup final and simply broken into the space behind the advancing full-backs but with limited numbers and Malouda being semi-crocked, handing the 22-year-old a European debut actually seemed like sound thinking.
We didn’t start all that well. Drogba was all steaming menace and the German side were clearly wary of him but we had no supply routes. Cole and Bertrand were busy going backwards and Lampard was sticking to the script in the middle leaving Kalou the only midfielder with licence to try to join.
In theory we should have had a man over in the middle but somehow they contrived to overrun us almost completely. We didn’t have much to cheer in the opening half-hour apart from Schweinsteiger sticking out a mitt for deliberate handball in the opening minute.
Schweinsteiger, Kroos and Robben all had shots blocked, over or wide in the opening period. Before Gomez took over the missing duties and headed over before letting one slide across his body for a better shot but a Chelsea boot still cleared.
Robben hit the post in the next instant as the ball slithered into his path but Cech stuck out a knee. Robben then hit the wall with a screaming free-kick as Chelsea’s tackling started to get a bit ragged: Bosingwa was luck the ref didn’t see the worst of his tackle on Ribéry.
Gary Cahill, clearly bored with his day job sprang forward into attack and was felled on the edge of the box for the first shot we had and a breather. Mata sliced the ball a mile over.
It started looking like we could actually out play Bayern if we could break out of the fetish for defending the 18-yard line. Cole found Didier who slipped the ball to Lampard. Frank looked like he would shoot but instead played in Kalou but the Ivorian’s shot didn’t have enough curl or power and Manuel Neuer saved easily.
Gomez was having a particularly clumsy evening. At one point he left Cahill sliding for a block that wasn’t there and then with the goal 12-yards away, Gomez hot row z.
The second-half started as the first had been played: Luiz and Cole getting in the first two important blocks. Didier tried to distract us with a 30-yard effort just wide; he always scores in finals you know, moments before Ribéry has a goal disallowed. Robben’s shot broke to Ribéry from Cole’s block but the replay shows him offside as the ball was played.
Ashley Cole gets another block on a Robben shot before another cross from Lahm hits him on the arm. Going for the set Lahm tries a sneaky tumble but the ref isn’t even impressed enough to book him for the dive.
Given the amount of energy expended it wasn’t a surprise that a flat spot in the final appeared around about the hour and we had ten minutes meandering before the Bayern waves started breaking again.
Robben was in his pomp and Cole was at full stretch just to contain him. The Dutchman fed Toni Kroos but David Luiz’s crashing block snuffed out any danger.
We decided that 70-minutes was a good place to start attacking: Mata found Bosingwa wrong side of half-way and his cross was met by the luckless Kalou and his header was cleared only for Drogba to bash in a cross and then has the ball bobble to him but off balance he can only dab the ball back toward Neuer.
Then the roof fell in. Just moments after Cole had marked Müller out of a clear header, the England left-back marked Gomez instead and Müller ghosted in behind heading down so powerfully it somehow bounced over the stranded Cech. 1-0.
Torres immediately replace Kalou. Chelsea faces had hot the floor. To have one tactic – defence – against a side that had lost 5-2 last weekend and have it fail with eight-minutes left to play left all our dreams in tatters. And Harry Redknapp cheering somewhere far away.
Luiz had time for a hack on Robben before Bayern took off the dangerous Müller for an extra defender in Daniel Van Buyten.
That we won our first corner shortly afterwards seemed just a statistical aberration when Mata floated in the corner Didier Drogba knew what the fates had on store and beat two Bayern blocks to meet the ball with the thumping header of all time Neuer got to the ball but it was simply too powerful for him. 1-1.
Munich started to go to pieces as Drogba got a last minute free-kick with panic on German faces but thwacked it into the night air not the net.
Extra-time started with Torres falling over in the box and Mata having a dig but they came back down to our end and Ribéry felt the slightest of touches from Drogba and fell in a heap. It was a practiced dive but still and act of cheating, Didier merely brushed the side of his foot but the referee was looking for any contact and gave a penalty. Robbery, sorry Ribéry seemed to hurt himself on the way down because he needed treatment and was replaced before Robben could take the kick, which probably put him off because …
Cech saved – down to his left and spun on the loose ball as the stand erupted behind him.
Torres looked particularly eager to impress boomed over an impressive cross but they cleared and that was that for the first period of extra-time.
Bayern kept coming in the second period: Olic, fed by Lahm, looked all set to end things only he couldn’t make up his mind between a cross and a shot and managed neither: Mario Gomez was typically flat footed in the six-yard box.
Cahill had one more massive block from the gormless Gomez as Bayern pressed, somehow desperate to avoid penalties.
Phillip Lahm: calmly to Cech’s left. The big Czech guesses correctly but couldn’t keep it out. 1-0.
Juan Mata: has grown into the team so successfully over the course of the season but has been less influential in the big games. Bunted his effort almost straight at Neuer. 1-0.
Mario Gomez: a big surprise that he hit the target again Cech close. 2-0.
David Luiz: can’t fault the execution but with a massive run-up half in blue looked away – it went in. 2-1.
Manuel Neuer: a German side at home in a cup final can’t find five outfield players to take penalties. Neuer scores but Cech is getting closer. 3-1.
Frank Lampard: bashed straight down the middle by the man carrying everyone’s mortgage. 3-2.
Ivica Olic: Cech saves down to his left. 3-2.
Ashley Cole: infrequent but reliable penalty man. Psyches-out their ’keeper. 3-3.
Bastian Schweinsteiger: Cech tips it onto the post after a stuttering run-up and weak prod. 3-3
Didier Drogba: man of destiny flops it in the opposite corner after Neuer dived – Chelsea are champions of Europe…
If you wept at each hard luck story on the way from the semi-final against Monaco to the pathetic display against United last year, with ghost goals a corrupt referees in between you’d never have guessed this team was going to finally do that. A goal down with seven minutes to go, a penalty in extra-time, missing the first shot in a penalty shoot-out against a German team and we still won.
The Bavarians have gone home with their sorrows – they had their chances to make this theirs and will bitterly regret that they couldn’t. You have to feel very sorry for the most dignified hosts you could hope to meet. But then they have had four of their own.
JT, in his strip and his shin-pads, joins the rest of the team to lift the trophy with everyone joining in. Roman took the trophy and cracked a smile.
Man-of-the-match went to Didier Drogba but could have gone to either Cech or Cole. Or for that matter, Frank Lampard who was less showy in central midfield but has now adopted the role Villas-Boas wanted him to take.
The win means:
Chelsea are the first club from London to win the European Cup. I’m sure we’ll have to remind them from time to time. Apparently, we have no history…
We replace Tottenham Hotspurs in the Champions League next season making it ten in a row for Chelsea. Harry Redknapp will lead Spurs into the Europa League – his favourite competition.
At the end of August we will play the Uefa Super Cup for the second time. We first won it in 1998 when we beat Real Madrid. This time we’ll play Atlético Madrid who won the Uefa Cup with a goalkeeper on loan from Chelsea.
The fixture pile-up will get worse when we go to play the Fifa Club World Cup in December in Japan.
Yes, that was George Osborne’s ugly face gurning in the background as the cup was handed round. It seems we are still a magnet for idiot, innumerate, posh-boy, glory-seeking wankers.
Note to the streaker:
some limp-git ran on at the end in all but his underpants. If you are going to get arrested to streaking at least take all you clothes off – muppet.
Still, good will to all men – except Tory scum of course – West Ham managed to get promotion by beating Blackpool. Hearts won the Scottish Cup. Some big rugby prize was also decided. Most of the parties were still going at four in the morning leaving only 12-hours – 4pm is far too early to hold a parade.
The team party went on all night at the hotel with many apparently sleeping on the roof terrace.
Sunday 20 May
The parade happened although significant numbers were still too hungover to make it about half the population of west London found a vantage point and pelted the coaches with 100% of the available supply of celery. The FA Cup was there as well for everyone who had already forgotten our other day out this month.
It seems strange to look back over this season and say that despite the two cups won we still need to rebuild and appoint a manager. Repeating sixth place will not be an option for the next full-time manager – unless we win the Champions League again – nah – that could never happen.
The only clod, sorry, cloud on the horizon was provided by Fernando Torres. Strikers need to be selfish but it is difficult to credit him telling Spanish journalists that this has been the worst season of his life and he wants talks with the club about promises that have been broken.