In Moscow last night, it was high drama as Manchester United downed Chelsea FC in penalties 6-5 in the European Champions League Final last night after a 1-1 game (regulation and overtime). Man U won when they should not have. Although they scored first and dominated play (in terms of possession) in the first half, Chelsea’s second half was masterful. Didier Drogba seemed to have a legitimate chance on goal every five minutes. He and Lampard hit the post. In the closing minutes of overtime (which was exciting mostly for observing the tactical substitutions), Drogba was ejected for hitting a Manchester player in the face (albeit a finger tip hit). Not even Russia’s wealthiest man and owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, could buy a goal (homecoming wrecked on ESPN). The fifth penalty taker for Chelsea was John Terry, captain of his team and the man responsible for heading away a goal in the overtime. On his foot, the game hung. Had he scored, victory was Blue and the ever inventive Ronaldo’s penalty miss would have been historic. Instead, Terry slipped and hit the post in the torrential downpour (photo above from Martin Rickett/PA). He will indeed be haunted.
The game featured some fantastic runs, sharp passing and plenty of action. Other quick comments: The corner kicks were less than piercing. There were few menacing free kicks. Rooney was not present.
Whereas Chelsea had never won the Cup, it was Manchester’s third victory, this one coming 50 years after the tragic 1958 disaster. A second place finish in both the Premier League and the Champions League. A difficult pill to swallow. To boot, Chelsea lost the League Cup final to Tottenham Hotspur. Too many seconds if you ask me.
As for [my team] Liverpool, it was a year of fourths… Fourth (or third if you want) in the European Champions League and the Premier.
Here is the BBC writeup.
Some other numbers:
Zero Champions League Cups for Chelsea, one red card, two cups for Sir Alex Ferguson, three (right) posts and 3 missed penalties, Giggs’ 26th cup with Manchester United & his record 759th cap.