Posts Tagged ‘Didier Drogba’

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The season starts in less than 10 days time; let’s take a look at reigning European champions-Chelsea’s challenges and preparation for the 2012/2013 season. Chelsea had been one of the busiest clubs around this summer carrying out some major signings/changes in the squad. Last season comprised of breaking strikers and parting managers resulting in a 6th place finish in the premier league to a defensive winning performance in the Champions league backing Roberto Di Matteo’s evolution mantra.

Keeping up with high hopes of Chelsea fans this season it’s been a high spending transfer window so far. As last season’s big guns like Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa, and Salomon Kalou have all left the club, Di Matteo’s chances of succeeding have certainly been boosted by Abramovich’s clear backing in the signings of Marin, Hazard and Oscar. Don’t be surprised if at least two further signings this window is made to strengthen the areas such as right back. So far Chelsea has focused only on adding to the attack. The main focuses of the club this summer seems to be finding younger, more versatile players.

Signings to watch: Eden hazard Ligue 1 Player of the Year signed for Chelsea after a long drawn out game of £32million. He’s one of the elite young talents in Europe, and it’s certainly possible that he will adapt quickly. It is highly expected that he would immediately play a pivotal role and will be a constant player in the first team.

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Next up we have Oscar,an attacking midfielder formerly of Brazilian club, Internacional, he finished last season with 13 goals and assists, proving that he can finish as well as create. With his recent star performance in Olympics 2012 he has certainly shown his football maturity, technique, pace, passing ability, movement and bravery.

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Marko Marin is a player who is only 23 years old with considerable playing age ahead of him and he is hungry to prove himself. A ‘smart’ signing for Chelsea at 6.5m pound price. He promises to excite the supporters with many moments of genuine magic thanks to his skill set.

Assets from past : Apart from the new signings assets like Frank Lampard a penalty kick specialist, could suffer from serious rotation due to his age but not to be written off. The club’s greatest athlete and Player of the Year last season, Ramires is naturally a dynamic central midfielder offering Chelsea a unique tactical option. Mata is expected to be significantly more creative than last year’s backing a more of assisting role.

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Fernando Torres will be Chelsea’s focal point. His late season resurgence and Golden Boot winning showing at Euro 2012 has certainly returned the much needed confidence. Carrying forward the legacy of Drogba will be the ultimate test of Torres, who has not reached his incredible, prolific and big-game (scoring openers) exploits since his twenty-two goals in thirty-two matches for Liverpool in 2009/2010. If he continues his performance from the Euros into the premier league, he could have that awesome 20+ goal season he is in dire need of.

The ‘new look’ Chelsea is looking very promising and new signings will prove to assist Chelsea in their quest for sustainability. They have replaced their more physical players with small players with good passing and agile ability; possibly we could see a new Chelsea mentality playing tika taka football this season. Previewing where Chelsea will finish in the Premier League is a real paradox, with Chelsea have yet to gel in the pre-season – they lost to the MLS All-Stars as well as to AC Milan. Chelsea certainly seems to prove a tough test for the top teams this year with new faces filling up the vacant position fronting well organised, dynamic and resilient picture.Image

Likely XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Highly unexpected that RDM will stick with this line up much often, look out for frequent rotations as he showed in the previous season.

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Speaking on ITV, Drogba (the eventual match winner) said it was ‘written a long time ago’ that the Club would beat Bayern Munich to become the first London club to win the Champions League. Call them lucky, opportunistic or whatever you want but let’s face it; it’s hard not to imagine that Chelsea were destined to win the Champions League Saturday night at Allianz arena Munich. The day 19th may 2012 belong to underdogs who colored Munich blue .

Chelsea have made history by becoming the Kings of Europe after a captivating match against Bayern Munich which ended with the Blues winning a penalty shootout 4-3 after the game had ended 1-1. A team that many had thought drained two months ago is now the European champions. Chelsea did it behind the heroics of keeper Petr Cech and Didier Drogba, they did it with an interim coach- Roberto Di Matteo, and they did it without four major players (suspended). They held their turf and nerves against The Bavarians, who came hotfooting from every possible angle.

Bayern Munich largely held the upper hand throughout yet were unable to capitalize until Thomas Müller headed in with seven minutes remaining which beat Cech by some abrupt bounce, and it looked like the trophy was heading to Munich for a fifth time but Chelsea’s strength of character rose to the prow once again when Didier Drogba who had other ideas, the Ivorian leveling in the 88th minute with a powerful header from Mata’s corner. Bayern had a fantastic opportunity to restore their lead early in extra-time when they were awarded a penalty, but Petr Cech saved it from his former Chelsea teammate Arjen Robben who looked nothing less than dejected.

After a few clashes in the remaining period of overtime, it was time for certain heartbreak shootout.

Bayern Munich again spurted ahead 3-1, but Chelsea again restored parity 3-3. The teams were ready with their final kicks. Bastian Schweinsteiger fluffed, finding the post and it fell to Drogba to seal Chelsea’s fate, which he did in style giving Chelsea the title they failed to win in a similar shootout to Manchester United in 2008 in Moscow. He’s been the man of big moments for Chelsea these last couple of months. He’s started every decisive match. He’s always been there for Chelsea. Drogba has conquered all at Stamford Bridge – the premier league titles, the Carling cup, the FA cup and now the Champions League. He has nothing to prove to anyone anymore, a Chelsea legend forever.

For Bayern the defeat was particularly bitter as not only have they failed to win the Bundesliga, but they also badly lost the German Cup final to Dortmund. Moreover it also ended FC Bayern Munich’s hopes of becoming the first team to win the competition in their own stadium.

In a nutshell: wasteful Bayern were edged out by an effective and spirited Chelsea side. Munich launched thirty-five shots at them, not counting the penalty kick tiebreaker. They earned twenty corner kicks. Chelsea had one corner, and they scored off of it. Chelsea had done the improbable, if not the impossible. They were simply good.

 

 

 

 

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They carved through the two favorites of Spain. They made pundits look like fools who had it all planned out an El Classico Champions league final with the two greatest and most followed sides in the world going head to head, and the two most extraordinary players going toe to toe; taking the Spanish rivalry to a much higher level that of European stage.

                                                          Presenting the final contenders: Chelsea & Bayern Munich

They had different plans for their Semifinal opponents Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. They surprised and reminded the whole football fraternity about the love for the game;{It’s not the best team that always wins}.The two Spanish giants looked invincible at least on paper with two top goal scorers this season playing for them and even after their 1st leg deficits, the odds were still very much in favor of the Spaniards to make it through to the final.

FC Bayern Munich have achieved their dream of reaching the 2012 UEFA Champions League final on home soil, against Chelsea FC, after ousting Real Madrid CF on penalties following 210 minutes of an enthralling semi-final. While at Bernabeu ten-man Chelsea pulled off an extraordinary display of defensive play to reach the 2012 UEFA Champions League final. A match full of action, Chelsea having had their 1-0 first-leg lead wiped out by Sergio Busquets and captain John Terry sent off, Ramires to return Chelsea to the front seat before half-time. With two Lionel Messi’s woodwork hit and in the second period Torres confirming the progress with a sublime cool finish passed Valdes.

This season’s UEFA Champions League has been full of surprises. It won’t come anything less than surprises with the two teams set to face each other in the Final on the 19th of May are Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Chelsea have turned what was looking like a pretty miserable season into right around with FA cup silverware beating Liverpool at wembley on May 5 and stand on the brink of finally tasting European glory. While Bayern Munich failed to get a hold on Bundesliga yet again mounting to a huge desire of making this well fought season of some worth with Champions league title in their bag.

Bayern Munich’s home, the Allianz Arena in Munich, will play host to this seasons UEFA Champions League Final. Playing in their backyard, the Germans will be slight favorites and will be able to field their strongest team. Chelsea will lose four pillars players, including captain John Terry who had a red card sanction. But the Blues can count on a super fantastic Didier Drogba, on top of his game in recent weeks and a team looking to secure their first ever champions league trophy.

Last time these two teams met each other was in 2004/05 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, where Chelsea bloomed 6-5 on aggregate to reach the semi-finals but they lost to Liverpool FC. In the first leg, Chelsea won 4-2 and Bayern won 3-2 in the second leg. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and John Terry are the only survivors in the current squad, all five contributing in both legs.

This year’s final On the 19th of May the two teams will walk down the red carpet and come up from under the stands leading to the Allianz Arena in Munich. Betting it to be more appealing than a el Classico, full of sparks and glory. The night will witness a special final represented by the Bundesliga and the English Premiership having a proven stamp of worlds’ best competitions of all.

                         A  Sneak Peak:UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL DESTINATION– ALLIANZ ARENA MUNICH

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Just to Put things in perspective –Not been contravened this time, Chelsea are in the final of the UEFA Champions League 2012. Blues survived John Terry’s red card and many such heart breaking moments to seal a truly remarkable victory over Barcelona.

At the final blow of the whistle at Camp Nou , 95000 football crazy fans in the stadium and billions around the globe witnessed Chelsea eliminating Barcelona and making their way into Final on May 19th after almost 4 years. Last time Chelsea marched to the Champions League final under the guidance of caretaker manager Avram Grant in 2008. Last night, it was a combination of guts, determination and spirit which aided Chelsea overcome the maze comprising the brilliance of Barcelona, referee, ghost goal, penalty shoot and woodwork. This time, there were no complaints, no conspiracy theories.

The Blues were in serious trouble after goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta put Barcelona ahead either side of Terry’s red card for violent conduct and Cahill lost to injury .It was a one way traffic similar to the 1st leg (78%-22%), but Ramires chipped one over valdes to get away side back in the game. There were heroes in white Imageeverywhere, with Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic throwing their bodies in the way of everything. Ashley Cole eclipsed Daniel Alves while Ramires, Raul Merieles and Lampard stifled Barcelona in midfield.

Early in the second half Barcelona were given the chance to take hold of the tie again when Didier Drogba tripped Cesc Fabregas in the box. Spot kick to be taken by the one who has scored 14 goals in the Champions League this season – one more would have given him the record for a single campaign – but he beamed his spot-kick against the bar. A let-off for Blues which they didn’t failed to capitalize upon. Chelsea’s rearguard action in the remainder of the second half was stupefying. They were compact, disciplined. They sat on the edge of their box, restraining themselves from chasing the ball.

Barcelona had their chances, with Cuenca’s effort saved by Cech and Messi striking the post from 22 yards, but the Blues held on to their luck and defense. Somehow they rose to find hope, and with it, power and effectiveness to turn a lost match around. In the dying minutes of the classic encounter Torres provided the perfect finish for his team scoring a one on one proving his 50 million pound worth at a critical stage of the league.

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For the final showdown in Munich on 19th May, Chelsea must work out how to win a Champions League final against either the team of Chelsea’s former boss Jose Mourinho or the side whose home ground hosts the final, without suspended quartet Terry, Ramires, Meireles and Ivanovic. Chelsea would be hoping of Cahill and David Luiz overcoming hamstring injuries to have some sort of recognized centre back pairing.

Bottom-line is, nothing can be taken away from English club who beat Barcelona on their own home ground, with 10 men and without their centre backs on the field. They might have played ugly but they won. The final on 19th may in Munich will surely transpire into a BoomBox , expect nothing less than a perfect showdown sparkle.