Chelsea wins Champions League final with penalty shootout
MUNICH — Didier Drogba tied the match with a header in the 88th minute, and then scored the decisive goal in the shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League final, 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw Saturday.
The unlikely storyline of an English team beating a German team on penalties in a high-profile match provided a fitting end to a dramatic night, as Chelsea became Europe's champion club for the first time.
The often theatrical 34-year-old Drogba, playing possibly his last game for the club as his Chelsea contract expires next month, was at the heart of the show.
Drogba sent goalkeeper Manuel Neuer the wrong way on the final kick of the shootout in front of massed Bayern fans in their home Allianz Arena. Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger missed the previous penalty, hitting the goalpost.
The shootout was needed after Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech saved Arjen Robben's spot-kick early in extra time.
It was awarded for a foul by Drogba, who earned Chelsea an unlikely reprieve.
After 83 minutes of Bayern domination, Thomas Mueller broke dogged Chelsea resistance with a header past the outstanding Cech.
Chelsea's first Champions League title came four years after losing in a shootout to Manchester United.
Drogba succeeded where his captain John Terry, who was suspended for Saturday's finale, failed in missing the fifth penalty in Moscow four years ago which would have given the club's Russian owner Roman Abramavich the Champions League title he has craved.
Abramovich must now make a fascinating decision on the future of interim coach Roberto di Matteo, who took over from the fired Andre Villas-Boas after a last-16, first-leg defeat to Napoli, and inspired a team which then appeared sulky and fading.
Victory also sealed Chelsea's last remaining route into next season's competition.