Posts Tagged ‘Drogba’

2013/14 UEFA Champions Legue : Round of 16 draws

The match-ups for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League round of 16.

 

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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.

Yes its true,Barcelona are playing in their fifth consecutive Champions League semi-final, the longest run in the history of the competition.Barcelona travel to London to face Chelsea this Wednesday evening in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final matchup on the same hallowed ground which played host to what has become a defining moment for both clubs.

Barcelona and Chelsea have each reached the semi-final stage of the Champions League six times in the last nine seasons (since 2003/04), the best tallies over that period.Chelsea have earned a much deserved semi final spot in a hard way whereas it has been a nothing less than a cake walk for catalan giants.

It’s been three years since Barca has last met Chelsea in the Champions League.Chelsea usually keeps it narrow at the back in Stamford Bridge and the attacking startegy mostly involve a big centre forward, in this case Drogba winning aerial balls and releasing wide players.the biggest advantage for Barca is the fact that the second leg is going to be held at Camp Nou, a very wide pitch compared to Stamford Bridge.

Prediction for this nothing less than a classic would be a shot in the dark.Barcelona enter the match with the tide of past accomplishment rushing out before them, blustering the services of arguably the best player in the history of the game, and motivated by recent memories. Chelsea also find themselves motivated by these same memories, albeit in quite a different light with a 1-5 win over Tottenhum Hotspur in FA cup semis.As a true Chelsea fan supported by some previous facts ,I won’t be surprised by blues winning by a 2-0 margin.

FC Barcelona Lineup (Predicted): Valdés, Dani Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Fàbregas, Iniesta, Messi, Alexis Sánchez

Chelsea FC Lineup (Predicted): Peter Cech, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Jose Bosingwa, Frank Lampard, Raul Meireles, Ramires, Juan Mata, Salomon Kalou, Dider Drogba