Classic Final Goals

Knock, knock...

Who’s there? Enter Didier Drogba, delivering a 2012 punchline that Bayern München, playing in their own backyard, didn’t find very funny

WORDS Chris Burke | ILLUSTRATION Osvaldo Casanova

There are certain rules of etiquette when visiting someone’s home. Keep your feet off the table, for example. Refrain from pocketing the cutlery and don’t write your name on the wall with ketchup. That kind of thing. Oh, and above all, never, ever score a late equaliser against your host in the final of the Champions League.

Whoops-a-daisy, Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea legend staked a claim to being the ultimate unwelcome guest on 19 May 2012 when he dropped in at 25 Werner-Heisenberg-Allee, otherwise known as the home of Bayern München. But the German club can’t say they weren’t warned: the Blues’ spearhead that night was made for such occasions. He was the archetypal lone forward – powerful, quick and clinical – but, more importantly, he thrived on the big stage. He racked up a club-record nine cup final goals for Chelsea with one rare lapse, still a sore wound in 2012: the Champions League loss to Manchester United four years earlier, when he was sent off in extra time.

This, then, was as big as it got. Big squared. The Blues aiming to become London’s first team to wear the European crown. Drogba’s Champions League hopes waning at the age of 34 with this, as far as he knew, to be his last game for the Stamford Bridge strivers (he’d make a brief and unexpected return in 2014).

Such a shame, then, that Chelsea didn’t stand a chance. Sudden continental giants since the mid-2000s, they had never looked further from the throne they coveted than in 2011/12. Coach André Villas-Boas had been cashiered in March, shortly after a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the last 16. Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo somehow got them through that tie and somehow managed to keep them going, a feat born more of grit than flair.

How they eked past Barcelona in the semi-finals remains a minor miracle – but how do you top a miracle? Especially when your talismanic captain John Terry is suspended for the final and the pre-designated neutral venue also happens to be your opponents’ home ground.

There are certain rules of etiquette when visiting someone’s home. Keep your feet off the table, for example. Refrain from pocketing the cutlery and don’t write your name on the wall with ketchup. That kind of thing. Oh, and above all, never, ever score a late equaliser against your host in the final of the Champions League.

Whoops-a-daisy, Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea legend staked a claim to being the ultimate unwelcome guest on 19 May 2012 when he dropped in at 25 Werner-Heisenberg-Allee, otherwise known as the home of Bayern München. But the German club can’t say they weren’t warned: the Blues’ spearhead that night was made for such occasions. He was the archetypal lone forward – powerful, quick and clinical – but, more importantly, he thrived on the big stage. He racked up a club-record nine cup final goals for Chelsea with one rare lapse, still a sore wound in 2012: the Champions League loss to Manchester United four years earlier, when he was sent off in extra time.

This, then, was as big as it got. Big squared. The Blues aiming to become London’s first team to wear the European crown. Drogba’s Champions League hopes waning at the age of 34 with this, as far as he knew, to be his last game for the Stamford Bridge strivers (he’d make a brief and unexpected return in 2014).

Such a shame, then, that Chelsea didn’t stand a chance. Sudden continental giants since the mid-2000s, they had never looked further from the throne they coveted than in 2011/12. Coach André Villas-Boas had been cashiered in March, shortly after a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the last 16. Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo somehow got them through that tie and somehow managed to keep them going, a feat born more of grit than flair.

How they eked past Barcelona in the semi-finals remains a minor miracle – but how do you top a miracle? Especially when your talismanic captain John Terry is suspended for the final and the pre-designated neutral venue also happens to be your opponents’ home ground.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Cue a pummelling of the Chelsea goal as the Bayern faithful roared, with Petr Čech the heroic last rampart, not so much preventing goals as halting a rout. But when the goalkeeper’s defences were finally breached by Thomas Müller in the 83rd minute, that seemed to be that. Surely Chelsea didn’t have it in them to get back on level terms?

Pfft, they hadn’t even won a corner.

Until they had. There were two minutes left. Juan Mata, stood by the corner flag, surveyed his options. Mata, the same young Spaniard who Drogba had asked to help him win this title in March. “Man, you’re crazy,” is how Drogba recalls the response. “You’re Didier Drogba, you are gonna help me win it.”

They helped each other. Mata delivered to the near post and Drogba did the rest, despite a solid push from Jérôme Boateng. Up he surged, his powers undiminished, that fearsome forehead redirecting the ball high towards the top corner of the goal. The strong hand of Manuel Neuer crept into the frame, as it invariably does, but this time Bayern’s elastic keeper could only graze the effort, merely pushing it into the roof of the net in a more aesthetically pleasingly manner. As for Drogba, he had barely landed before he was off running again, sliding on his knees towards the Chelsea contingent behind the goal.

Neuer had not seen the last of him. Nor was Chelsea’s brilliant battering ram done shaping events. First he fouled Franck Ribéry in the area at the start of extra time, stirring memories of his Moscow dismissal in 2008 – but the card, on this occasion, was only yellow. Better yet, Čech saved the spot kick from Arjen Robben, allowing Drogba to enjoy the perfect redemption (who writes this stuff?) of later burying the decisive penalty in the shoot-out.

Chelsea, incredibly, had done it. Chelsea, with a caretaker in charge and their captain a spectator, a band of blue brothers surrounded by red in the front room of their rivals. And it was Didier Drogba who struck the crucial blows, the rude guest ensuring a warm welcome in the homes of Chelsea fans forever. They’d probably even let him write his name on the wall in ketchup.

There are certain rules of etiquette when visiting someone’s home. Keep your feet off the table, for example. Refrain from pocketing the cutlery and don’t write your name on the wall with ketchup. That kind of thing. Oh, and above all, never, ever score a late equaliser against your host in the final of the Champions League.

Whoops-a-daisy, Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea legend staked a claim to being the ultimate unwelcome guest on 19 May 2012 when he dropped in at 25 Werner-Heisenberg-Allee, otherwise known as the home of Bayern München. But the German club can’t say they weren’t warned: the Blues’ spearhead that night was made for such occasions. He was the archetypal lone forward – powerful, quick and clinical – but, more importantly, he thrived on the big stage. He racked up a club-record nine cup final goals for Chelsea with one rare lapse, still a sore wound in 2012: the Champions League loss to Manchester United four years earlier, when he was sent off in extra time.

This, then, was as big as it got. Big squared. The Blues aiming to become London’s first team to wear the European crown. Drogba’s Champions League hopes waning at the age of 34 with this, as far as he knew, to be his last game for the Stamford Bridge strivers (he’d make a brief and unexpected return in 2014).

Such a shame, then, that Chelsea didn’t stand a chance. Sudden continental giants since the mid-2000s, they had never looked further from the throne they coveted than in 2011/12. Coach André Villas-Boas had been cashiered in March, shortly after a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the last 16. Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo somehow got them through that tie and somehow managed to keep them going, a feat born more of grit than flair.

How they eked past Barcelona in the semi-finals remains a minor miracle – but how do you top a miracle? Especially when your talismanic captain John Terry is suspended for the final and the pre-designated neutral venue also happens to be your opponents’ home ground.

Knock, knock...
Classic Final Goals

Knock, knock...

Who’s there? Enter Didier Drogba, delivering a 2012 punchline that Bayern München, playing in their own backyard, didn’t find very funny

WORDS Chris Burke | ILLUSTRATION Osvaldo Casanova

There are certain rules of etiquette when visiting someone’s home. Keep your feet off the table, for example. Refrain from pocketing the cutlery and don’t write your name on the wall with ketchup. That kind of thing. Oh, and above all, never, ever score a late equaliser against your host in the final of the Champions League.

Whoops-a-daisy, Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea legend staked a claim to being the ultimate unwelcome guest on 19 May 2012 when he dropped in at 25 Werner-Heisenberg-Allee, otherwise known as the home of Bayern München. But the German club can’t say they weren’t warned: the Blues’ spearhead that night was made for such occasions. He was the archetypal lone forward – powerful, quick and clinical – but, more importantly, he thrived on the big stage. He racked up a club-record nine cup final goals for Chelsea with one rare lapse, still a sore wound in 2012: the Champions League loss to Manchester United four years earlier, when he was sent off in extra time.

This, then, was as big as it got. Big squared. The Blues aiming to become London’s first team to wear the European crown. Drogba’s Champions League hopes waning at the age of 34 with this, as far as he knew, to be his last game for the Stamford Bridge strivers (he’d make a brief and unexpected return in 2014).

Such a shame, then, that Chelsea didn’t stand a chance. Sudden continental giants since the mid-2000s, they had never looked further from the throne they coveted than in 2011/12. Coach André Villas-Boas had been cashiered in March, shortly after a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the last 16. Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo somehow got them through that tie and somehow managed to keep them going, a feat born more of grit than flair.

How they eked past Barcelona in the semi-finals remains a minor miracle – but how do you top a miracle? Especially when your talismanic captain John Terry is suspended for the final and the pre-designated neutral venue also happens to be your opponents’ home ground.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

There are certain rules of etiquette when visiting someone’s home. Keep your feet off the table, for example. Refrain from pocketing the cutlery and don’t write your name on the wall with ketchup. That kind of thing. Oh, and above all, never, ever score a late equaliser against your host in the final of the Champions League.

Whoops-a-daisy, Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea legend staked a claim to being the ultimate unwelcome guest on 19 May 2012 when he dropped in at 25 Werner-Heisenberg-Allee, otherwise known as the home of Bayern München. But the German club can’t say they weren’t warned: the Blues’ spearhead that night was made for such occasions. He was the archetypal lone forward – powerful, quick and clinical – but, more importantly, he thrived on the big stage. He racked up a club-record nine cup final goals for Chelsea with one rare lapse, still a sore wound in 2012: the Champions League loss to Manchester United four years earlier, when he was sent off in extra time.

This, then, was as big as it got. Big squared. The Blues aiming to become London’s first team to wear the European crown. Drogba’s Champions League hopes waning at the age of 34 with this, as far as he knew, to be his last game for the Stamford Bridge strivers (he’d make a brief and unexpected return in 2014).

Such a shame, then, that Chelsea didn’t stand a chance. Sudden continental giants since the mid-2000s, they had never looked further from the throne they coveted than in 2011/12. Coach André Villas-Boas had been cashiered in March, shortly after a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the last 16. Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo somehow got them through that tie and somehow managed to keep them going, a feat born more of grit than flair.

How they eked past Barcelona in the semi-finals remains a minor miracle – but how do you top a miracle? Especially when your talismanic captain John Terry is suspended for the final and the pre-designated neutral venue also happens to be your opponents’ home ground.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Cue a pummelling of the Chelsea goal as the Bayern faithful roared, with Petr Čech the heroic last rampart, not so much preventing goals as halting a rout. But when the goalkeeper’s defences were finally breached by Thomas Müller in the 83rd minute, that seemed to be that. Surely Chelsea didn’t have it in them to get back on level terms?

Pfft, they hadn’t even won a corner.

Until they had. There were two minutes left. Juan Mata, stood by the corner flag, surveyed his options. Mata, the same young Spaniard who Drogba had asked to help him win this title in March. “Man, you’re crazy,” is how Drogba recalls the response. “You’re Didier Drogba, you are gonna help me win it.”

They helped each other. Mata delivered to the near post and Drogba did the rest, despite a solid push from Jérôme Boateng. Up he surged, his powers undiminished, that fearsome forehead redirecting the ball high towards the top corner of the goal. The strong hand of Manuel Neuer crept into the frame, as it invariably does, but this time Bayern’s elastic keeper could only graze the effort, merely pushing it into the roof of the net in a more aesthetically pleasingly manner. As for Drogba, he had barely landed before he was off running again, sliding on his knees towards the Chelsea contingent behind the goal.

Neuer had not seen the last of him. Nor was Chelsea’s brilliant battering ram done shaping events. First he fouled Franck Ribéry in the area at the start of extra time, stirring memories of his Moscow dismissal in 2008 – but the card, on this occasion, was only yellow. Better yet, Čech saved the spot kick from Arjen Robben, allowing Drogba to enjoy the perfect redemption (who writes this stuff?) of later burying the decisive penalty in the shoot-out.

Chelsea, incredibly, had done it. Chelsea, with a caretaker in charge and their captain a spectator, a band of blue brothers surrounded by red in the front room of their rivals. And it was Didier Drogba who struck the crucial blows, the rude guest ensuring a warm welcome in the homes of Chelsea fans forever. They’d probably even let him write his name on the wall in ketchup.

There are certain rules of etiquette when visiting someone’s home. Keep your feet off the table, for example. Refrain from pocketing the cutlery and don’t write your name on the wall with ketchup. That kind of thing. Oh, and above all, never, ever score a late equaliser against your host in the final of the Champions League.

Whoops-a-daisy, Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea legend staked a claim to being the ultimate unwelcome guest on 19 May 2012 when he dropped in at 25 Werner-Heisenberg-Allee, otherwise known as the home of Bayern München. But the German club can’t say they weren’t warned: the Blues’ spearhead that night was made for such occasions. He was the archetypal lone forward – powerful, quick and clinical – but, more importantly, he thrived on the big stage. He racked up a club-record nine cup final goals for Chelsea with one rare lapse, still a sore wound in 2012: the Champions League loss to Manchester United four years earlier, when he was sent off in extra time.

This, then, was as big as it got. Big squared. The Blues aiming to become London’s first team to wear the European crown. Drogba’s Champions League hopes waning at the age of 34 with this, as far as he knew, to be his last game for the Stamford Bridge strivers (he’d make a brief and unexpected return in 2014).

Such a shame, then, that Chelsea didn’t stand a chance. Sudden continental giants since the mid-2000s, they had never looked further from the throne they coveted than in 2011/12. Coach André Villas-Boas had been cashiered in March, shortly after a 3-1 loss to Napoli in the last 16. Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo somehow got them through that tie and somehow managed to keep them going, a feat born more of grit than flair.

How they eked past Barcelona in the semi-finals remains a minor miracle – but how do you top a miracle? Especially when your talismanic captain John Terry is suspended for the final and the pre-designated neutral venue also happens to be your opponents’ home ground.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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