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Chelsea Beat Bayern Munich In Champions League Final On Penalties (GALLERY)

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CHELSEA
Chelsea players mob Didier Drogba after he wins the club their first ever European Cup | PA

Chelsea have become European champions for the first time in the club's history after they defeated Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties in the Champions League final.

A win written in the stars, Didier Drogba, who was sent off in the 2008 Moscow final and could not take a penalty against Manchester United, scored the winning spot-kick after Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger had both meekly missed.

It was Drogba who equalised in the 89th minute after Thomas Muller had appeared to have won the competition for the superior Germans in the last 10 minutes.

Bayern dominated a goalless first-half with a mammoth 68 per cent of possession as Didier Drogba cut a lonely figure in the final third of the pitch.

Petr Cech fortuitously deflected Arjen Robben's strike inside the area onto the crossbar after a neat dummy from Franck Ribery.

"Robery"s pace was wreaking havoc as they dovetailed to charge at a nervous Chelsea rearguard, with John Obi Mikel often excelling at shielding them.

Thomas Muller fired a volley wide from Diego Contento's cross on 36 minutes as the Blues continued to struggle to get a foothold in the game. Bastian Schweinsteiger marshalled the midfield expertly, stationing himself in front of Drogba for any long balls and goal-kicks, winning the majority.

bayern
Bayern start the fire

Lacking the suspended Ramires' surges forward, when Juan Mata emerged from the middle rather than the wing, he instigated the counter-attack which led to Salomon Kalou finally testing Manuel Neuer to revoke his status as a spectator a minute after Muller went close.

Mario Gomez was the chief culprit for Bayern's profligacy in the first period however. On four occasions either his first touch or effort on goal ensured an unsatisfactory end product.

Chelsea's sluggishness festered into the second-half too as Bayern's penetrative play showed no signs of lapsing.

Ribery had a goal rightly disallowed for offside on the 54th minute after Robben's poorly struck shot was deflected into the Frenchman's path.

Five minutes later Ashley Cole blocked Robben's goalbound effort with David Luiz dithering, as the Blues' area continued to resemble Rorke's Drift.

And ultimately, Chelsea were breached. Muller, who moments ago had headed the ball into Cech's midriff, gained space over the careless Cole at the far post to nod into the ground and onto the crossbar to give the Bavarians a deserved lead.

muller
Muller mobbed

Like Mario Basler in the 1999 final, Bayern then substituted their goalscorer. Daniel van Buyten arrived while Roberto di Matteo introduced Fernando Torres for the hapless Salomon Kalou.

Then in the 89th minute, Chelsea won their first corner and Drogba, starved of service all night long, met Mata's corner with a powerful header which Neuer failed to keep out.

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Drogba bathes in the glory of his equaliser

Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" blared from the tannoys for a second time in the last 10 minutes, as deja-vu of Bayern's 1999 capitulation seeped into the subconscious. However Drogba ballooned an inviting free-kick into the stands with the last kick, and extra-time was confirmed.

Seemingly in the ascendancy going into the 30 additional minutes, Drogba threatened to morph from hero to villain four minutes in after he conceded a penalty for clumsily tripping Ribbery.

The Frenchman was substituted for Ivica Olic, as Robben stepped up in a bid to score against his former club. But the Dutchman - who had missed one of his last three penalties - meekly struck to Cech's left, and the 29-year-old saved comfortably.

robben
Robben chokes

In the second period of extra-time, Olic spurned a glorious chance to regain the Reds' lead as his lay-off outside the six-yard box for an auspiciously-placed Van Buyten was played ahead of the Belgian with the goal gaping.

With additional time unable to separate them, the Champions League final went to penalties for the first time since Chelsea's loss to Manchester United in 2008, and for only the fifth time in the 21st century.

The spot-kicks - taken at the end of Bayern's support - began with Phillip Lahm, who scored despite a touch from Cech.

Neuer then saved from Mata. 1-0.

Gomez scored past Cech. 2-0.

Luiz hit a brilliant penalty for 2-1.

Then Neuer stepped up! 3-1.

Over to Frank Lampard... a fantastic strike down the middle.

Now it was Olic's turn in his final Bayern game. A wretched penalty and comfortably saved.

Cole stepped up - he scored in Moscow 2008 - he scored in Munich. 3-3.

Schweinsteiger, the spot-kick winner in the semi-finals against Real Madrid, choked...

Then Drogba, bidding to atone for four years ago, did. And Chelsea's honours board had the greatest of all added to it.

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