"It surprised people" - Petr Cech opens up on how tactical change involving 2 players prevented Bayern from 'murdering' Chelsea in 2012 UCL final 

Petr Cech reflects on Chelsea's first-ever Champions League triumph
Petr Cech reflects on Chelsea's first-ever Champions League triumph

Chelsea legend Petr Cech has revealed the tactical switch that helped his side beat Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.

The Blues pulled off one of the most extraordinary European Cup victories in the competition's history after beating the Bavarians at their own stadium on penalties, despite missing Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles, Ramires and John Terry through suspension.

The Blues were largely dominated by Bayern throughout the contest but went on to lift their first-ever Champions League trophy when Didier Drogba scored the winning spot-kick in the shootout.

Munich 2012: 10 years on. 🏆@MasonMount_10 and @PetrCech relive their #UCL triumphs!

A decade on from that iconic night in Munich, goalkeeper Cech has opened up on a tactical decision made by then-interim manager Roberto Di Matteo which he believes helped his side to victory.

The Czech shot-stopper told Chelsea's website:

"One big tactical change we made for the 2012 Champions League final was for Ryan Bertrand to be given his debut in the competition playing in midfield in front of Ashley Cole.
"It surprised people because Ryan was also a left-back but Bayern Munich had Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery flying down the wings all that season, murdering other teams, and on their right Robben with Philipp Lahm behind him were particularly effective attacking.
"So our coaches thought that to use Ashley Cole to attack down that side could be dangerous for us.
"Maybe we would not be able to use him at all to attack but you don't want to do that because Ashley was great coming forward from there, so they thought okay, if we put Ryan Bertrand there in front of him, Ryan is good at going forward and crossing the ball and then if Ashley overlaps, Ryan can just drop back and you still have a proper defender at left-back."
When it comes to saving penalties, Petr Cech wasn't the best at them. After joining Arsenal, he didn't save any of his first 15 penalties, diving the wrong way on 12 of them.Yet in the biggest game of his career his PK saves won us the Champions League. Big. Game. Player. 🔵🇨🇿

Petr Cech reflects on Chelsea's 2012 Champions League triumph

The Blues' run to the final included memorable comeback victories against Napoli and Barcelona, while the squad also had to deal with a new manager midway through the season following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas.

Cech, who is now a technical and performance advisor for Chelsea, added:

"We were surviving every round in Europe. Let’s not begin thinking we played great games, even if we played great games in terms of finding ways to win, by being together, keeping the discipline.
"We just hung on in there as long as we could and the Barcelona game was a clear example of that, as was the final against Bayern"
Ten years ago today! 😍

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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