They carved through the two favorites from Spain. They made pundits look like fools, who had it all planned out as 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, to that of the 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 why the game is loved so much (It’s not the best team that always wins).The two Spanish giants looked invincible, at least on paper, with the two top goal scorers this season playing for them. 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 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 returned Chelsea to the front seat before half-time. Two shots from Lionel Messi hit the woodwork, and in the second period, Torres confirmed his progress with a sublime cool finish past Valdes.
Chelsea have turned around a season that was looking like a lost cause by beating Liverpool at Wembley in the FA Cup final and would be hoping to add the Champions League title as well. Bayern Munich failed to get a hold on the Bundesliga yet again, and would have a huge desire of making this well fought season amount to something by winning the Champions League.
The Allianz Arena, where the final is to be played, is also the home of Bayern Munich. Playing in their own backyard, the Germans will be slight favorites and also have the advantage of being able to field their strongest team. Chelsea will lose four important players, including captain John Terry, who had a red card in the semifinal. 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.
The last time these two teams met each other was in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, where Chelsea won 6-5 on aggregate to reach the semi-finals, but then lost to Liverpool FC. In the first leg, Chelsea won 4-2 while 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 the legs.
In this year’s final, on the 19th of May, the two teams will walk out of the tunnel with only a victory in their minds. I bet it would be more appealing than an El Classico, full of sparks and glory. The night will witness a special final with two teams hungry to claim the right to be called the best club in Europe.
Published with permission from rottengambol.