Champions League Final – Allianz Arena, Munich 19th May 2012
Chelsea v Bayern Munich
That’s one headline nobody thought they would see at the start of the season and in fact until a fortnight ago it was a forgone conclusion that the Champions League Final would be between the top two Spanish sides Barcelona and Real Madrid, both teams play with flair, both teams have star studded line ups yet somehow it wasn’t enough. Fortunately football refuses to be a predictable sport and the team work shown by both Chelsea and Bayern was a credit to both teams and an inspiration to all players. It shows that with grit and determination you can overcome the classiest of teams, that doesn’t mean Chelsea or Bayern didn’t play some superb football because they certainly did.
Despite being down to 10 men Chelsea did the impossible and beat Barca on their own ground and to cap this incredible evening Fernando Torres, who has had a terrible time all season, became the man who scored the winning goal that sent Chelsea into the Champions League Final, if you had written this script you would have been committed for insanity. Bayern had a more nervy night and their game ended up going to penalties where both sides exhibited some very nervous penalty kicks but Bayern won it 3-1 on penalties to clinch their place in the final at their own ground, so home advantage there then. John Terry the Chelsea captain was sent off, along with Ramires and Ivanovic from Chelsea and Gustavo, Alaba and Badstuber from Bayern, they will all miss the Champions League final.
The international players’ union FIFPro have issued a plea for clemency by Uefa to allow the players, three from each club, who were all shown yellow cards in the semi-finals, to play. Pointing out that Uefa will adopt Fifa’s policy for Euro 2012 where existing yellow cards are waived after the quarter-finals. Both sides have been allocated just 17,500 UEFA Champions League Final tickets each but the neutral section will be made up of some 7,000 fans who will receive tickets through a ballot. There have been 231,000 applications for a non supporters ticket, approximately 50% from Germany and fewer than 3% from England. Spurs fan will be watching the European Cup Final game nervously, they have a chance of qualifying for next years Champions League, however if Chelsea win the Final then Spurs will be forced to play Europa League football next year.