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UEFA Champions League
May 19, 2012
• Allianz-Arena, München
Referee: Pedro Proença
• Attendance: 62500
T. Müller 83'
Chelsea won 4 - 3 on penalties
D. Drogba 88'
Thank you for joining me for what has been a rollercoaster of an experience this evening, as Chelsea came back from a goal down late in normal time, to go on and win the match on penalties. Good night everyone!
And don't forget, this victory of course means that Chelsea will have the chance to retain their crown next season in this competition, at Tottenham's expense, after finishing outside the Champions League qualification positions in the Premier League.
Glorious scenes for Chelsea fans worldwide tonight, as their players celebrate euphorically down on the pitch. Torture for Bayern's supporters though. Didier Drogba applauds the Chelsea fans that worship him away to the left-hand side, while Bayern's players look dejected, with Schweinsteiger in particular, inconsolable.
FULL-TIME: BAYERN 1-1 CHELSEA (Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties, after extra-time). Drogba and Cech will enjoy the plaudits tonight, the former scored the equalising goal in normal time, before dispatching the winning penalty in the shoot-out, while Cech saved Robben's penalty in extra-time before then stopping Ivica Olic's spot-kick in the shootout. Chelsea's players and coaching staff look ecstatic on the pitch at the Allianz-Arena tonight. What a performance from the London side!! Chelsea win the Champions League for the first time in their history, and have now won 10 trophies in the past eight seasons.
DROGBA SCORES!!!!!! Low to Neuer's right. CHELSEA ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE!!!!!!
Drogba could win it for Chelsea here...
SCHWEINSTEIGER HITS THE POST!!! Bayern 3-3 Chelsea.
COLE SCORES!!!! Brilliantly place into the bottom right corner. Bayern 3-3 Chelsea.
OLIC MISSES!!!! Brilliant stop from Cech. It remains Bayern 3-2 Chelsea.
LAMPARD SCORES!!! Another fine penalty, smashed down the centre of the goal. Bayern 3-2 Chelsea.
NEUER SCORES!!! YES, NEUER!! That's a fine penalty from the Bayern keeper. 3-1 to Bayern.
LUIZ SLAMS HIS PENALTY HOME!! A ten-yard run up results in a rocket of a strike that leaves Neuer no chance.
GOMEZ SCORES!! Cool as you like from the German. Great strike low to Cech's left.
MATA MISSES!!! GREAT SAVE FROM NEUER!! Advantage Bayern.
LAHM SCORES!!! Cech gets a hand to it, but Lahm's effort is well-hit and flies into the back of the net.
There will be some nervous bodies out there on the pitch at the Allianz-Arena. I wonder who is going to make themselves a hero. In a couple of minutes we will know. Bayern will get us underway...
Yellow Card Fernando Torres
END OF EXTRA-TIME: BAYERN 1-1 CHELSEA. 120 minutes was not long enough to decide a winner, so into the dreaded penalty shoot-out lottery we dive. Which side will hold their nerve? I'd normally jump on any kind of German bandwagon in this situation, but having seen Robben's effort from the spot during extra-time, and considering the size and penalty-saving history of Chelsea's keeper Petr Cech, this one could go either way!
The referee blows the whistle to mark the end of extra-time. Penalties it is...
Torres picks up a yellow card for pushing Contento to the ground after losing possession just outside the Bayern box. This one looks like its heading to penalties folks!
But, in keeping with his torrid extra-time performance, he hammers it miles away from Petr Cech's goal. Hang your head Arjen, that was dreadful.
FREE-KICK TO BAYERN 30 YARDS OUT. Robben has a chance to make amends for his penalty miss...
Arjen Robben sums up his extra-time performance with an awful effort. He does well to cut in from the right flank but with time and space on his side, he slices a left-foot shot high and wide.
CAHILL PULLS OUT AN UNBELIEVABLE BLOCK!!! The centre-back throws his body in front of Gomez as the striker looks to nod Lahm's cross home from 10 yards. That was top, top defending from Gary Cahill.
Although, having said that, based on his performance tonight, Chelsea probably wouldn't have been too worried if it had fallen at the feet of Mario Gomez either...
Chelsea will be delighted it was Van Buyten in that goalscoring position there and not one of Bayern's attackers, as that could easily have been 2-1 to the Germans.
MASSIVE CHANCE FOR BAYERN!!! Olic volleys a deep cross to the back post across goal towards his fellow substitute Daniel Van Buyten, but the big centre-back is not on the same wavelength and fails to make any kind of attempt to divert the ball into the back of the net. Let off for Chelsea!
CORNER TO BAYERN. The ball runs all the way through to Schweinsteiger at the back post but he is unable to control the ball. He eventually moves it on to Robben before Chelsea hack the ball away upfield.
Here we go again... The second half of extra-time is underway, with Chelsea in possession.
HALF-TIME IN EXTRA-TIME: Bayern 1-1 Chelsea. The momentum has swung in Chelsea's favour following Petr Cech's smart stop from Robben's penalty, and Di Matteo's men will have high hopes of clinching a winner in this second half of extra-time against a dazed Bayern Munich side.
SILLY FOUL FROM LAMPARD!! Diego Contento has the ball by the corner flag on the left and looks to be going nowhere before Lampard comes flying through the back of the defender. Bayern take the free-kick but it is cleared to safety by a resounding header from Gary Cahill.
Drogba is flagged offside as he looks to latch on to a searching pass from midfield by Mikel. The referee has signalled one additional minute of play at the end of this first half of extra time.
Lampard knocks the ball out to Torres on the left, and he shows some neat footwork to evade the challenge of Contento before curling a tantalising cross towards the back post. Lahm is alert to the danger however, and heads the ball away from danger with Drogba lurking behind him.
Robben is unlucky to be penalised for handball 35 yards from goal, but Chelsea will not mind, they have a free-kick in a promising position.
Torres overruns the ball out of play, as Chelsea hurl the ball forwards to him and Didier Drogba in search of a winner. Drogba appeared to get in Torres' way there as he ran across his team-mate on the edge of the Bayern box.
Olic's first contribution is to commit a foul on Bosingwa on the left-hand side. Bayern look a bit shell-shocked following Robben's miss. Chelsea will certainly look to exploit that!
During Chelsea's celebrations following Cech's save, Bayern brought on Ivica Olic to replace the man that won the penalty Franck Ribery.
Robben will be absolutely seething about missing that spot-kick against his old side. Can he make amends over the course of the remaining 23 minutes??
Penalty save Petr Cech
Missed Penalty Arjen Robben
CECH SAVES IT!!!!!!! BRILLIANT STOP!! Robben fires the ball low and hard but the Chelsea keeper gets down well to parry the ball and then fall onto it as Robben rushes towards the rebound. It remains 1-1 here!
Yellow Card Didier Drogba
DROGBA GOES FROM HERO TO VILLAIN IN THE SPACE OF MINUTES!!! The Chelsea attacker clips the heels of Ribery as the Frenchman dances his way into the penalty area. Robben has a chance to score against his old employers and restore his side's lead here.
SHOULD THAT BE A PENALTY FOR CHELSEA?? Torres goes marauding down the right and looks to be brought down by Contento, but the referee thinks otherwise, and waves away the Spaniard's appeals for a penalty.
Bayern get us underway here for the first half of extra-time...
90' + 3'
END OF 90 MINUTES: BAYERN 1-1 CHELSEA. Normal time could not separate these two sides, and we march on into extra time here. Thomas Muller looked to have done enough to win the match for his side with his goal in the 83rd minute, but cometh the hour cometh the man for Chelsea, and that man, as it so often has been, was Didier Drogba. The Ivorian thumped home an equaliser with his head in the 88th minute to send this one into extra-time. Blink and you'll miss something, so do not look away guys. What a frantic end to the original 90 minutes that was!
90' + 3'
Scrap that. Drogba fires it miles over. And there is the whistle that marks the end of normal time here. We've got 30 more to come!
90' + 3'
Ribery brings down Mata 25 yards from goal. Free-kick to Chelsea. Seconds to go. Time for a hero...
90' + 2'
The ball falls to Mikel a long way from goal, and he chips a ball towards the hulking figure of Drogba inside the Bayern area but Manuel Neuer does well to come out and punch the ball comprehensively to safety.
90' + 1'
Chelsea have a throw-in deep in Bayern's half on the right...
The fourth official has signalled that there will be three added minutes here at the Allianz-Arena. Can one of these sides win it during that time?!
Assist Juan Mata
Goal Didier Drogba
WOW!!!! WHAT A HEADER FROM DIDIER DROGBA!!!! CHELSEA HAVE EQUALISED HERE!!! 1-1. Mata curls the corner in from the right, and Drogba is there to pummel the ball past Neuer and into the back of the net. Muller's header wasn't pretty. Drogba's was!! GAME ON!!
Daniel Van Buyten
YELLOW CARD FOR LUIZ!! The Brazilian produces a rash challenge on Robben on the right-hand side that results in a booking, and hands Bayern an opportunity to waste some valuable minutes over the taking of the set piece.
Yellow Card David Luiz
Chelsea's response is to replace Kalou with that man Fernando Torres as they go in search of an equaliser, while Bayern bring off their goalscorer Thomas Muller for the imposing Belgian centre-back Daniel Van Buyten.
That wasn't the cleanest of headers from Muller, but he won't care, and neither will the thousands of Bayern fans inside the Allianz-Arena tonight. The stadium is rocking!!
Assist Toni Kroos
Goal Thomas Müller
GOALLLLL!!!!!!!!!! BAYERN TAKE THE LEAD!!!!!!! THOMAS MULLER IS THE SCORER. The Germans' pressure has finally paid off. Muller is there at the back post to head the ball into the ground and into the back of the net, after Toni Kroos had dinked a delightful little ball to his team-mate from outside the area.
Muller climbs above Cole at the back post to send a header towards goal, but Cech deals with it comfortably.
Yellow Card Ashley Cole
Chelsea have got some tired legs out there, as both Lampard and Drogba are shown breathing heavily as Mata prepares to take a throw on the right. Their old warhorses have put in a good shift tonight, but can they conjure some magic in the last ten minutes of normal time to win this final?
MULLER SHOULD DO BETTER THERE!!! The ball spills to Muller on the right-hand side of the Chelsea box, but the Bayern man rushes his shot, and the result is unsurprising as the ball trickles wide of Cech's right-hand post.
That Bayern corner amounts to nothing though, and the ball eventually rolls out for a goal-kick to Petr Cech.
MORE GREAT DEFENDING BY COLE!! I'm running out of positive adjectives to describe the left-back's work tonight, as he puts in another superbly-timed challenge inside his own penalty area, this time on Ribery. The ball loops up following the tackle, and Cech is forced to tip Ribery's deflected cross behind for a corner.
Amidst that flurry of activity Chelsea's Champions League debutant Ryan Bertrand was replaced by Florent Malouda as Di Matteo rolls his dice for the first time.
The corner is swung in by Frank Lampard and falls to the feet of Drogba at the back post, but his eventual shot is weak and is easily gathered by Neuer in the Bayern goal.
WELL I VERY NEARLY LOOKED STUPID THERE!! Drogba rinses Tymoschuk for pace down the left before hooking a cross into the area that is headed behind for a Chelsea corner by Contento. A chance for Di Matteo's side to throw forward the big boys at this set piece.
Anatoliy Tymoschuk may not be a central defender but he is putting in quite a performance at the back for his side tonight. The Ukrainian has had the better of Drogba all night. *cue Drogba goal that involves Tymoschuk making a massive error*
Kroos has had a fair few shots at goal already in this game, the latest of which is blocked well by Cahill inside the area. It's amazing that this game is still goalless in the 71st minute!
Here's some more from our man at the ground Wayne Veysey: "The Bayern fans are starting to get a little frustrated as the resourcefulness of Chelsea's defending is limiting their team's sights on goal. Franck Ribery had one shot that was disallowed for off-side and a penalty appeal for an Ashley Cole handball was rejected. But Chelsea continue to hand firm. Is it Torres time soon?"
MORE FABULOUS DEFENDING FROM COLE!! Muller has the ball on the right side of the Chelsea penalty area, and looks to dig out a cross, but Cole is across to tackle the Bayern attacker and put the ball out for a corner. Bayern's 13th of the evening!
BRAINLESS STUFF FROM KALOU!! The Chelsea attacker has possession in his own half and instead of playing a simple pass out to Cole on the left, he tries to dribble past Philip Lahm. He loses the ball, and Lahm sets off on a surging run into Chelsea's penalty area that is brought to an abrupt end by Didier Drogba, with some sections of the home support clamouring for a penalty to be awarded. The referee has absolutely none of it however, and waves play on. That was a let-off for Kalou, who was far too sloppy in possession.
By the way, should Bayern emerge victorious, their manager Jupp Heynckes will become only the fourth coach to have won the tournament with two clubs after Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jose Mourinho.
BRILLIANT CHALLENGE FROM SCHWEINSTEIGER! On a yellow card, the Bayern captain lunges into a challenge on Cole as the left-back bombs forward, but the midfielder times his tackle to absolute perfection, nicking the ball off the feet of Cole, before rising from the turf and starting an attack for his side. Textbook stuff from Schweinsteiger.
Surely, it won't be long before the two manager's look to change things here, we've seen no substitutions as yet, but both teams have talent on their benches.
Chelsea need to be careful not to commit too many forward when attacking, as Bayern continue to look dangerous on the break, particularly when either Robben or Ribery are in possession.
ASHLEY COLE IS SINGLE-HANDEDLY KEEPING HIS SIDE IN THIS MATCH!! Robben hits a firm half-volley goalwards but Cole is there, AGAIN, to block the effort away to safety. The left-back has been without a doubt his side's outstanding performer so far this evening.
As a slight aside from the actual play on the pitch, if you get a chance to see Salomon Kalou's choice of haircut this evening, then please do. He's got some lovely patterns on the back of his head for this special occasion.
Another long-range strike from Toni Kroos, but this one fails to test Petr Cech though, as it flies harmlessly wide of the Chelsea keeper's goal. A slight lull in proceedings at the Allianz at the moment.
I tell you what, Ryan Bertrand has put in an impressive shift so far considering this is his first appearance in the competition. His manager Roberto Di Matteo will be delighted with his contribution.
GOAL DISALLOWED FOR RIBERY!!!!!!!! Arjen Robben's sidefooted effort from 20 yards is deflected into the path of Ribery by Cole, and the Frenchman gleefully fires the ball into the back of the net, only to be flagged offside by the assistant on the far side. Good spot from the linesman, it's a correct decision.
More solid defensive work from Ashley Cole at the back for Chelsea, the left-back moves inside to nick the ball away from Mario Gomez as the striker bulldozes his way into the Chelsea penalty area.
Speaking of Drogba, the striker has played in eight cup finals in his time at Chelsea, and has scored in all eight of them. BIG. GAME. PERFORMER.
AUDACIOUS FROM DROGBA!!! The Ivorian fires a hugely-speculative effort towards goal from 40 yards out that flies just wide of Neuer's right-hand post.
LUIZ BLOCKS KROOS' SHOT!! The Brazilian puts his body on the line to block the Bayern midfielder's long-range effort as the German side pick up where they left off at the end of the first half.
Robben races down the right and drives into the penalty area but is blocked off by a fantastic last-ditch challenge from Ashley Cole. Wonderful defensive play from the Chelsea full-back.
We are back underway here for this second half. Fingers crossed it is a corker!
Although, saying that, I remember the time I preached to anyone that would listen (all three of them) that he would light up Euro 2008 and was a shoe-in for the Golden Boot award, before he proceeded not to score once during the whole competition...
A quick glance at my Twitter timeline tells me that there is not alot of love in the air for Mario Gomez at the moment. He's missed a couple of gilt-edged chances in this match, but he still has time to come good. Don't forget, the German international has 41 goals in 51 matches in all competitions this season, including 13 in 13 in the Champions League.
Our man at the Allianz-Arena, Wayne Veysey, has been in touch to provide his thoughts on the game so far: "The final whistle blows, the deafening tunes start. With barely a second between the two. Supporters, dignitaries and neutrals alike can now reflect on an opening period completely dominated by Bayern, who are effectively the home side and are playing like it. They have had 13 shots to Chelsea's two, which is an accurate reflection of their control. Only wonky finishing has let them down, with Mario Gomez the worst culprit. Chelsea will be happy with the scoreline but need to make far greater use of Didier Drogba, who has not even threatened intermittently."
HALF-TIME: BAYERN MUNICH 0-0 CHELSEA. Jupp Heynckes' side have carved Chelsea's defence wide open on numerous occasions in the opening half of this Champions League final but are yet to make their mark on the scoresheet. Mario Gomez has been the chief culprit for profligacy, the German international missing a glorious chance late in the half to give his side the lead at the break. Chelsea have come into the game as the half has worn on though, and have created chances of their own, Kalou forced a smart save from Manuel Neuer in the 37th minute, while Juan Mata missed a chance from a free-kick 20 yards out just minutes beforehand. It's been a thoroughly enjoyable match so far, let's hope for more of the same after the break!
45' + 1'
It's half-time here in Munich, and the score remains 0-0, despite Bayern creating two handfuls of chances.
VERY GOOD DEFENDING FROM LUIZ. The Chelsea centre-back shows great composure to nick the ball off the feet of Robben before turning inside his own area and passing the ball out to Bosingwa in space on the right.
Chelsea are moving the ball to Juan Mata more as this half wears on, and you get the feeling he will be crucial in their efforts to get something from this game. The Spaniard has enjoyed a fine debut season at the club since his move from Valencia last summer.
GOMEZ FIRES MILES OVER!!! The German international turns Cahill brilliantly inside the Chelsea box only to then send his left foot shot high over Cech's crossbar. You could have put two goals on top of the Chelsea goal there and I don't think that would have found the back of the net. Awful finish from the Bayern striker!
A rare break in counter-attacks allows me to regather my thoughts for a second, as the two sides settle down momentarily. It's been a frantic opening half to this final. Despite starting slowly, Chelsea are start to exert some influence on the game, with Frank Lampard in particular impressing in the centre of the park.
A SERIES OF HORRIBLE TOUCHES FROM BAYERN'S ATTACKERS!!! Ribery slices a volleyed shot into the path of Muller, who then completely miskicks the ball in space 6 yards from goal. One of them, if not both, should have hit the target there.
HANG ON THOUGH, NEUER MAKES A GOOD SAVE UP THE OTHER END!! Chelsea aren't lying down here! Salomon Kalou fires a snapshot effort at goal from the right side of the penalty area that Neuer has to get down well to gather at his near post. It is end-to-end stuff in Munich!
MULLER VOLLEYS WIDE!!!! Bayern are creating chance after chance here, this time Muller is guilty of failing to give the German side the lead. A cross from the left finds the attacker 10 yards out and he attempts to volley goalwards on the turn but makes a mess of it, and the ball dribbles wide.
CHANCE FOR RIBERY!! The Frenchman cuts in from the right and is afforded some room 20 yards from goal to get a shot away, but drags his effort wide of Cech's right-hand post.
MATA CURLS IT OVER! Drogba allows the Spanish magician a swing at goal and will perhaps regret that decision after watching Mata fire it some way over the crossbar.
GREAT PLAY FROM CAHILL! The centre-back goes rampaging forward and draws a foul from Jerome Boateng right on the edge of the Bayern penalty area. Big chance for Chelsea here...
Bosingwa goes through the back of Ribery in Chelsea's right-back position, and is perhaps fortunate to avoid a visit into Pedro Garcia Proenca's book for that challenge. Ribery has toyed with the Portuguese full-back since losing out in a one-on-one race for the ball early on.
Robben and Kroos line it up, and it is Robben who eventually strikes it, but it is straight into the Chelsea wall and deflected out for a Bayern throw on the right.
Bayern free-kick 25 yards from goal...
The set piece fails to amount to a chance, and Bayern are back in possession once more. Jupp Heynckes will be fairly pleased with his side's start to the game, particularly the lack of pressure being exerted on his makeshift back-line.
FREE-KICK TO CHELSEA. The Blues have a free-kick inside the centre circle after Boateng climbs over the back of Drogba. And Chelsea have a rare chance to hurl the ball into the Bayern box.
Bayern's umpteenth corner of the game is gathered well by Cech, right under the nose of Robben who is lingering at the back post. He's been far more busy than his opposite number Manuel Neuer so far!
MORE TIDY BUILD-UP PLAY FROM BAYERN!! Toni Kroos is Chelsea's tormentor on this occasion, the midfielder spinning inside the area and lifting a cross out of his feet towards the imposing Gomez, but he is just unable to get his head on the ball, and Bosingwa sees the ball out for a Chelsea goal-kick.
One of our men in the stadium, Wayne Veysey, has sent us his thoughts midway through this first half: "Bayern are winning the battle of the fans hands down. The noise emanating from the red-and-white human wall from the goal to our right is thunderous and relentless. From the blue-and-white masses, less so. There are more 'home' fans here, of course. Despite an official allocation of 17,500 to each finally, judging by the replica shirts on display Bayern are outnumbering Chelsea nearly 2:1."
GREAT SAVE FROM CECH!! The Chelsea stopper tips a dangerous Robben effort onto the crossbar!! Bayern are rapping on the door here!
Despite their nervy start this evening, Chelsea have reason to be positive playing Bayern, having triumphed in the club's only previous meeting in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in 2005, when the Londoners prevailed 6-5 on aggregate.
CHELSEA'S DEFENCE NEED TO SORT THEMSELVES OUT!!! Confusion between Cahill and Bosingwa nearly serves the ball on a plate for Ribery as the German side turn up the heat at the Allianz.
Lampard is on hand to boot the ball behind for a corner, as Bayern again threaten in the attacking third, this time through Muller and Gomez. The corner finds Robben at the back post, and he fires a first-time volley goalwards that is deflected for yet another corner.
They are giving the ball away cheaply when they do steal it off Bayern too. Di Matteo has had a couple of long discussions with Bosingwa down on the touchline already, as his side struggle with the attacking threats of Ribery and Robben.
Robben and Ribery exchange passes inside the Chelsea half as Bayern look to fashion a shooting chance. Di Matteo's men are pegged back on the edge of their own penalty area at the moment. Nervy times for the Londoners.
MARIO GOMEZ GLANCES A HEADER OVER!!!! Ribery curls a fine ball into the Chelsea penalty and Gomez does well to get ahead of Cahill to meet the cross, but his glancing header flies over Cech's bar. It remains goalless here.
Here's some match trivia for you all. As many of you know, Bayern are playing the final in their own stadium, the Allianz-Arena tonight, and this has happened before, but not for 28 years! The Bundesliga club are the first to benefit from home advantage in a European Cup final since Roma played Liverpool at the Stadio Olimpico in the 1984 showpiece.
Some good defensive work from Didier Drogba in his own half draws a foul from Ribery, gifting Chelsea possession from the resulting free-kick. Drogba's defending in the second leg of Chelsea's semi-final match against Barcelona was outstanding, and it looks like it may well be a feature of this match too if the opening 11 minutes are anything to go by.
Bayern counter through Robben on the right, and the Dutchman is allowed to cut on to his favoured left foot, but the finish is awful, his shot ballooning high over Petr Cech's crossbar.
What a night for Ryan Bertrand by the way, making his Champions League debut in the final of the competition. That's the stuff dreams are made of.
Chelsea's pre-match preoccupation with the threat of Arjen Robben has allowed Ribery some space on the left so far, and he has seen far more of the ball in the opening exchanges than his Dutch team-mate.
The corner is cleared by Cahill but only as far as Toni Kroos, and the German midfielder fancies a strike at goal, but his effort drags a couple of yards wide. It's been a bright start!!
GREAT BLOCK FROM CAHILL!! The Chelsea centre-back does superbly to block Schweinsteiger's stinging drive from the edge of the box. Corner to Bayern.
Franck Ribery looks to test Bosingwa's pace with a jaunt down the left but the Chelsea defender is more than a match for the Frenchman, and casually shepherds the ball out of play for a goal-kick to his side.
THAT'S SILLY FROM SCHWEINSTEIGER!!! Bayern's midfield enforcer picks up a booking in the third minute for handball. That could prove costly as the game unfolds!
Yellow Card Bastian Schweinsteiger
Jose Bosingwa heads the set piece away and the ball moves back to Bayern's centre-half pairing of Jerome Boateng and Anatoliy Tymoschuk, who are happy to pass it between them.
Free-kick to Bayern in the opening minute, after Ashley Cole flys into Toni Kroos 35 yards from goal. Robben to take it.
Here we go. Chelsea get us underway...
Frank Lampard and Philip Lahm complete the pre-match pleasantries with the customary handshake in the centre circle. I don't know about all of you, but I am very excited about this match. Let's hope it is a cracker!
The numerous inflatable objects that were involved in the pre-match festivities are making their way off the pitch, and we are minutes away from getting underway in Munich!
For those Chelsea fans worrying about the absence of their captain John Terry tonight, fear not, their side have won 57% of their Champions League games when Terry has been absent from the starting line-up, while they have lost 49% with the skipper in the team.
“Half an hour to kick off and still lots of empty spaces in the Chelsea end. And some worrying news: the U-bahn to the stadium is seriously struggling with the numbers who want to use it. A 15 minute journey is taking an hour and a half. Chelsea fans, like most English football fans, tend to stay in the pub quite late before heading to the ground. I hope the failings of the Munich infrastructure do not see people missing what may be the biggest game of some of their lives...”
Goal.com have a couple of our guys over in Munich tonight, and one of those, Dan Levene, has been in touch to give his final thoughts ahead of kick-off.
My colleague Liam Twomey wrote a brilliant piece this morning about Chelsea's failure to adequately replace Arjen Robben since he left the club in 2007. I've a feeling the flying Dutchman may have a large part to play tonight, and he will no doubt be eager to make an impact in such a massive game against his former side. Who do you guys think will be the stand-out player tonight? Send your thoughts over to @goal_intl.
BAYERN TEAM NEWS: Jerome Boateng partners Anatoliy Tymoschuk at centre-back for Jupp Heynckes' side, with Philipp Lahm and Diego Contento making up the rest of the back line. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos form the defensive base in midfield, while the formidable attacking quartet of Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez complete the starting XI.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS: Roberto Di Matteo has thrown a cat amongst the Chelsea pigeons by starting Ryan Bertrand in midfield tonight, in what must be an attempt to shackle the attacking talents of Robben and Ribery. Didier Drogba starts ahead of Fernando Torres upfront, while David Luiz and Gary Cahill start at centre-back in the absence of Terry and Ivanovic.
Subs: Turnbull, Ferreira, Essien, Romeu, Malouda, Torres, Sturridge
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bosingwa, David Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Kalou, Mata, Bertrand; Drogba
Subs: Butt, Van Buyten, Rafinha, Usami, Pranjic, Petersen, Olic
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Tymoshchuk, Contento; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Gomez
Without further ado, here are the line-ups:
Bayern are in their own backyard, and will fancy their chances against a Chelsea side missing two of their best players this season, Ramires and Bratislav Ivanovic, through suspension. And John Terry. Raul Meireles is also ruled out through suspension for the London side. However, the 'home' side have their own selection issues for the game, as bookings in the second leg of their semi-final against Real Madrid mean Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo all miss out tonight. Which patched-up side will triumph to be crowned champions of Europe?? We are about to find out...
The Allianz-Arena is rocking already in Munich, as we approach the kick-off of this season's Champions League final that pits Bayern Munich against Chelsea. My name is Charlie Scott and I will be bringing you LIVE coverage of this HUGE match as it unfolds.
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