Preamble Everyone's on a journey these days. Detailed imaginary research shows that the phrase "on a journey" is used 1724 per cent times more in the iAge than it was in the 20th century. It's most prevalent on reality TV shows, with presenters and judges putting on their Gravitas Face as they talk about the journey undertaken by the show's stars. (That journey in full: a return ticket from anonymity to Heat magazine.)
If you want a real spiritual journey, try Chelsea's attempt to win the European Cup. Let me assure you, this, like any other story worth telling, is all about obsession. It began on Wednesday 13 August 2003, when they won 2-0 away to Zilina in the qualifying round, their first European match after Roman Abramovich's takeover. Eidur Gudjohnsen scored the first; Michal Drahno scored an own goal; Juan Veron flounced around imperiously. This was the team in full:
Cudicini; Johnson, Desailly, Terry, Bridge; Geremi, Veron, Lampard, Duff; Gudjohnsen, Forssell.
Subs: Huth, Melchiot, Gronkjaer, J Cole, C Cole, Ambrosetti, Hasselbaink.
Eight managers, 3193 days, 101 games and around £600m later, they face Bayern Munich in the final tonight. This is their last chance to secure the legacy they crave – and the legacy they deserve. It's hard to recall the last time a side as brilliant and enduring as this Chelsea team failed to win the European Cup. The late 1980s Real Madrid perhaps?
Chelsea's courtship of the European Cup has been so heartbreaking and apparently ill-fated as to make Scotland and the World Cup – not to mention Heathcliff and Cathy – seem like they lived happily ever after. It's been a litany of misfortune and near misses. There was infamous tinkering and an unseen handball against Monaco in 2004; the ghost goal and Eidur Gudjohnsen's injury-time miss in 2005; the penalty shoot-out at Anfield in 2007; THE penalty shoot-out in Moscow in 2008; the 47 clear penalties that were not given by Tom Henning Øvrebo before Andres Iniesta's injury-time decider in 2009. Five semi-finals in six years, including one final; no medals and umpteen regrets.
When Chelsea were quietly beaten before the semi-finals by Internazionale and Manchester United in 2010 and 2011, it seemed that time was up for a great team, and that the European Cup was destined to be the one that got away. Then something perverse happened. Since the second leg against Napoli in February, Fate has been whispering all sorts of filthy promises in Chelsea's ear. The manner of their victories over Napoli, Benfica and particularly Barcelona has created an increasing sense that this is their year. If nothing else, a win tonight would ensure Gary Neville's goalgasm was not in vain.
The trouble is, that duplicitous wench Fate has been giving Bayern Munich an equally strong come-on. They too have unfinished business in this tournament, having lost the final to Jose Mourinho two years ago; they also have a powerful sense of destiny, fuelled by a sensational semi-final victory over Mourinho and the long-standing knowledge that the final would be played in Munich. Bayern could become the first side to win the competition on their own ground since Internazionale in 1965. Either they will win their fifth European Cup, or Chelsea will win their first.
Kick off is at 7.45pm.
Team news That drum-and-bass track you can hear in Munich is Ryan Bertrand's heartbeat: he has been included in the Chelsea team and will make his European debut, in a Champions League final, playing out of position. I wouldn't ordinarily encourage use of the word 'wow', but, well, wow! That might be the bravest decision in top-level football since somebody last made eye contact with Roy Keane.
Bertrand's primary role will be to help Ashley Cole against Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm. The rest of the Chelsea side is as expected, with Gary Cahill and David Luiz both fit to start. Well, they start. Toni Kroos drops into a deeper midfield role for Bayern alongside the majestic, man-lovable Bastian Schweinsteiger, so Thomas Muller will play behind Mario Gomez.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1) Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Tymoschuk, Contento; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Gomez.
Subs: Butt, Van Buyten, Petersen, Olic, Rafinha, Usami, Pranjic.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1) Cech; Bosingwa, Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Kalou, Mata, Bertrand; Drogba.
Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Romeu, Torres, Malouda, Ferreira, Sturridge.
Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal)
It's abundantly clear that anybody who uses the phrase "on a journey" should be banged up for a not insignificant stretch. But what other words and phrases warrant a sentence of the custodial variety? I'll start with the obvious open goal: chillax.
Talking of David Cameron, he's been busy caught saying something or other about John Terry. The country's got 99 problems and, while some would argue John Terry is one, it'd probably be better if Cameron focused on the other 98.
7.20pm On ITV, Adrian Chiles apologises for his imminent use of a stereotype – and then shows that forewarned is not forearmed by informing us that the Bayern chant with "Teutonic efficiency". There's a rumour that one of them has been caught eating a Bratwurst as well.
7.30pm "Remarkably generous appraisal of this Chelsea team: 'a great team...brilliant and enduring'," says Robert Elison. "But come on, like all true-blooded patriotic Englishmen, you want Bayern to win, right?"
Well yes, but that's mainly because of thunderous man-crushes on Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller and indeed Germany. But I don't particularly want Chelsea not to win. It does feel as if negative attitudes towards Chelsea have softened a fair bit in the last month. There are a number of possible reasons for that: the manner of the win over Barcelona; the decency of Di Matteo; the realisation that this is their last chance and that they really have been a bloody fantastic team; and, perhaps, the absence of John Terry.
7.31pm Roberto Di Matteo is asked whether playing Ryan Bertrand is a risk. "No, he's fine," he says. "He's a composed guy." He looks very calm and is answering Gabriel Clarke's questions with an almost playful smile. He really is a dude, isn't he.
7.35pm "Would Roberto Di Matteo be the nicest manager to win the Champions League?" says Ethan Dean-Richards. "Normally only vicious types grab it – Mourinho, Ferguson and even Guardiola aren't smiley like Robbie." Er, hello? Johan Cruyff? Actually Ancelotti is very nice. You have to love a man who uses his autobiography to detail a habit of staring at his fadass in the mirror.
7.37pm "Hey Holmes," waddups JR in Illinois. "Being a U.S. of A-er I use and appreciate many of y'alls words/phrases from over there. Not a lot of them have made it over here. Unfortunately one of the ones that has is one that I just cannot abide: 'spot on'. If you use it: fine. If an American uses it: no good. I also dislike a phrase used over here that means the same thing: on point. Do you use that one over there?" Only when it's time to rock a funky joint.
7.39pm I'm going to go on a journey to the coffee machine. Why don't you pour yourself a drink of Inhibition Obliterator? We're six minutes away from the greatest club game on earth.
7.40pm In a parallel universe, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are studiously avoiding eye contact in a tunnel in Munich.
7.41pm Sky's Geoff Shreeves has been around both dressing rooms to remind both sets of players that everybody they know someday will die, and now the players are in the tunnel. Bayern are in red, Chelsea in blue. On the field, a swarthy man with spectacularly moist hair is belting out a tune.
7.43pm The players are lined up on the field now. Jose Bosingwa waves at solmeone in the crowd. Most of the players have their business face on. Ryan Bertrand looks pretty calm. There's no sign of Karl Power.
7.44pm There is a stonking atmosphere, as there always is at German grounds. It's spine-bothering stuff.
1 min Chelsea kick off from left to right. They are in blue; Bayern are in red.
2 min An early free kick from Robben, deep on the right, is headed clear by Bosingwa. The game has started as we expected, with Bayern having plenty of the ball.
2 min Schweingsteiger is booked for a deliberate handball. That was utterly needless, because he was 70 yards from his own goal. It was just an instinctive motion, but he might regret it later tonight.
3 min "If you're looking for great European teams to miss out on winning the Champions League, how about Arsenal 2002-04?" says Andrew Enloe. "Not winning the Champions League is in fact the one mark against their greatness." That's true, although unlike Chelsea they didn't even get close to winning it. That's why I left out Ferguson's first great Man Utd side as well. (Personally I think Arsenal 97-99 were better than 02-04, but that's another story.)
5 min Schweinsteiger is given a disgraceful amount of space 25 yards from goal. He picks up a loose ball, runs into the D and then drives a left-footed shot that is deflected over by the sprawling Cahill. When the resulting corner is half-cleared, Kroos drags a shot wide of the near post from 20 yards. Chelsea aren't exactly on the ropes here but it hasn't been a great start. It's an odd thing to say in a final, but they need to quieten the crowd. Good luck with that, gentlemen. It may not be September/October, but I suspect there's been a Munich Beer Festival today.
6 min "We all know the real story line today," says Lorenzo Landini. "Sideshow Bob impersonator David Luiz versus George McFly impersonator Mario Gomez. Can't wait to see that play out."
7 min Chelsea's first attack. Drogba moves wide to the right to pick up possession and belabour a cross that is too far in front of Bertrand and Kalou.
8 min A dangerous deep cross from Mata is headed away at the far post by Lahm, allowing Bayern to break dangerously. Robben hurries towards Cole from the right, gets into the box and then comes back on his left foot. It's set for him to shape a curler into the far corner. He hoofs it miles over the bar.
10 min I don't think Cech has had to use his hands yet, and in that sense Chelsea will be pleased with the start. But they have struggled to keep the ball. I suppose that was to be expected early on. And if they win the game, Chelsea will not give a solitary one about the means.
12 min Nothing to report on Ryan Bertrand as yet. He might not even have touched the ball, certainly not offensively – the few attacks Chelsea have had have been down the right.
13 min "Perhaps more interesting than the line-up for the first game of Abramovich era is the team for the last game of the Bates era," says my colleague Evan Fanning. "A mixture of has-been, never-beens and never-will-bes:
Chelsea v Liverpool, 11 May 2003: C Cudicini, M Melchiot, W Gallas , M
Desailly, C Babayaro, J Gronkjaer, E Petit, F Lampard, G Le Saux , J
Hasselbaink, E Gudjohnsen. Subs: E de Goey, J Morris, M Stanic, C Cole, G Zola."
14 min An inswinging cross from Ribery, deep on the left, is headed over by Gomez. It was no sort of chance really – he was ahead of the near post 10 yards from goal, under pressure from David Luiz, and had no pace on the ball to work with.
15 min "5live commentary has just let us know that 'the longer this game goes on, the better for Chelsea'," says Matt Dony. "With any luck, it'll stretch into sometime next week, allowing them to muller (minus umlaut) Munich."
16 min Lampard makes a good interception in the box from Ribery's cutback, but here come Bayern again. Schweinsteiger has taken the temperature of the game and is influencing it a bit too much for Chelsea's comfort. Mata needs to get tighter on him when Chelsea don't have the ball.
17 min A slick one-two between Lahm and Robben, but whoever is controlling David Luiz is pressing the right buttons at the moment: he moves forward smoothly to challenge Lahm on the edge of the box.
18 min A corner from the left by Kroos is allowed to reach Robben on the penalty spot, and he belts a volley that is deflected wide for another corner. Chelsea are really struggling now. From that corner, a cutback eventually finds Gomez eight yards from goal. He eschews the first-time shot, instead allowing the ball to run away from the sliding Cahill, but it slips under Gomez's foot and Chelsea clear. That was a big opportunity.
21 min: BAYERN HIT THE POST! A goal isn't just in the post: it's been sent by special delivery. Robben almost gave Bayern the lead there. He came across to the left, slithered into the box and then drove an angled shot towards the near post from 12 yards. I'm not sure how well Cech saw it, but he stuck out his right leg to deflect it onto the outside of the post.
22 min "How about the Glorious Glasgow Rangers, 92/93?" says Ryan Dunne, and literally nones of others. "Recall that the eventual winners, Marseille, only won (allegedly, but not by much) due to match-fixing, suggesting we were the 'real' winners anyway (the funny group stage format meant that we should have qualified for the final ahead of Marseille, making Milan the moral runners-up)." It's worth mentioning that Rangers team just for this Goal of the Century contender in the group stage.
23 min There's no way Chelsea can do this for 90 minutes. Mind you, we said that against Barcelona and they did it for 180 minutes then.
24 min Chelsea have had 36 per cent possession and no attemps at goal. Bayern have had six.
25 min "Totes," says Sean Boiling. "There are no mitigating circumstances if you are more than 12 years old. Oh, and awesome."
28 min This is ridiculously one-sided. Luiz fouls Muller 20 yards from goal, to the right of centre. Robben will fancy this, although Kroos is there as well. It's Robben to take it ... and he clips it straight into the wall.
30 min Bertrand gets his first chance to run at Lahm, who dispossesses him expertly. It's easy to say that the game has passed Bertrand by, but you could say that about all Chelsea's front four. The reality is that they simply haven't had the ball.
31 min Bosingwa somehow gets away with a wretchedly inept hack from behind at Ribery by the halfway line. He should have been booked for that.
32 min Gomez's pull back finds Muller, whose shot is blocked well by the covering Bosingwa. It breaks to Robben, whose bobbling volley from the edge of the area is straight at Cech.
33 min Cahill, Beckenbauring his way forward in open play, is fouled on the edge of the area by Boateng. This is a great chance for Chelsea. The free kick is 20 yards from goal, maybe 10 yards to right of centre. You'd expect Mata to hit this ...
34 min Mata does he hit it, but he curls it over the bar. Still, a shot is a shot is a shot.
35 min "Doesn't Gary Cahill look like he's doing Riverdance rather than football?" says Katherine Cross. That's a compliment, right.
36 min Another near miss from Bayern. Ribery played the ball down the left to Contento, who curved over an excellent first-time cross. Muller, near the penalty spot, got away from Cole and belted a left-footed volley not far wide of the near post.
37 min Chelsea's best move of the match. A precsie ball in from the left by Cole was flicked behind his standing leg by Drogba on the edge of the box. It came to Lampard 25 yards from goal; he might have fancied the shot, but instead played wide to Kalou in a fair bit of space on the right side of the box. His curling shot towards the near post was held by the plunging Neuer.
39 min Is it me or is Mario Gomez a bit of a donkey? He has just missed another chance. Robben's excellent lobbed pass freed Ribery on the left of the box. He shanked his shot across goal, and Gomez miscontrolled it eight yards from goal at the far post. It was a nasty ball to deal with – pacy and bouncing – but I know what Lionel Messi or Carlton Cole would have done with it.
40 min Bayern's patched-up defence is not very good. Roberto Di Matteo should make Chelsea's players write 100 lines of this at half-time to drill it into their subconscious. They haven't really got at them at all in this half.
42 min: GOMEZ MISSES AGAIN! What a chance this is! The move began Robben moved infield from the right and stabbed a short pass towards Muller. He fell over under a challenge from the increasingly clumsy Luiz right on the edge of the area – that might have been a penalty, you know, although I'd like to see it again – and the ball ran square to Gomez. He dummied Cahill expertly to create a clear shooting opportunity ... and then blootered it into orbit from 12 yards.
44 min The longer the game stays 0-0, the more Bayern's players and fans will wonder: what if? This level of dominance is all fun and games till Drogba roofs one from 15 yards.
45 min There will be one added minute of Bayern attacking.
Half time: Bayern Munich 0-0 Greece. Or, to put it another way: Bayern 60-40 Chelsea (possession), Bayern 16-2 Chelsea (goal attempts), Bayern 8-0 Chelsea (corners). It's been all Bayern, but Chelsea came here to win the European Cup. The means matter not a jot, and they are still right in the match. See you in 10 minutes.
"No matter how many people paint it as a 'tactical battle'," begins John Reid, "this game is very dull. Chelsea remind me of a relegation haunted team playing against my beloved Celtic, with nearly everybody playing behind the ball. We haven't even got John Terry to vent abuse at."
46 min Welcome to part two of The Comedy Stylings of Mario Gomez, in which a German striker misses 47 sitters before Chelsea win the European Cup through a last-minute goal from Frank Lampard. What's the German for Carroll?
47 min Ribery bursts into the area and sidefoots the ball low across the face of goal. Luiz, facing his own goal, does superbly to get there ahead of Gomez and clear.
48 min "I was watching the 1982 final between Aston Villa and Bayern on ESPN Classic the other day and this game is being played out in an eerily similar manner," says Greg Palin. "Chelsea just need to bring on Peter Withe."
49 min Cole makes an outstanding recovery block on Robben on the right of the box. The ball comes to Kroos, whose crisp 25-yard shot is deflected for Bayern's 49th corner. Chelsea surely cannot keep this up. Their back isn't against the wall; it's moulded into it.
51 min The ball bounces up nicely from Drogba, 30 yards from goal, and he tries one of those booming shots we have seen so often down the years. This wide bounces a few yards wide of the near post.
52 min "What is all the fuss about possession and attempts on target?" says Katja Leistenschneider. "Barcelona enjoyed most of the ball against Chelsea too, so what? If Robben hits the post ten times and Gomez finds Row Z twenty times and Drogba rattles the back of the net just once, it will be good enough."
It's not necessarily a moral thing; it's simply that teams who have more possession, more shots and spend more than a few seconds in the opposition half are theoretically more likely to score a goal.
53 min: RIBERY HAS A GOAL DISALLOWED! Oh my. After a quick Bayern break, Robben's shot from 15 yards is blocked by a defender and comes to Ribery, who slams it into the empty net from a few yards with Cech already committed to saving Robben's shot. He has barely started celebrating when he realises the flag is up, and his usual beautiful face breaks into a scowl. I thought he was onside at first – but ITV are saying it was definitely the correct decision. We've only seen one replay at this stage.
55 min "If you look closely," says Bassim, "Juan Mata is a mini Peter Withe."
57 min SHOW THE DISALLOWED GOAL AGAIN PLEASE.
59 min A sensational block from Ashley Cole denies the increasingly dangerous Robben, who teed the ball up 12 yards from goal and lashed it low towards the far corner. Cole, who had followed him all the way infield from the right, threw himself in the way. Forget Lampard, Terry and Jarosik: Cole, more than anyone else in the modern Chelsea team deserves a Champions League winner's medal. Of England's golden generation (sic), he has been easily the best at the very highest level.
60 min "Ribery's left foot was in an offside position," says David Warren. "Pretty clear by about half a yard..."
63 min "'The means matter not a jot, and they are still right in the match," quotes Peter Fremont. "You've lost yourself here. There's a difference between winning a match and being a champion. You want a champion to at least look like an equal of the other side. Otherwise, partisan fans aside, no one sees having a minute out of 90 as making you special, because in a sport like football, any team can have one in any match. Against Barcelona and here, all Chelsea have shown is that like an overmatched boxer on the way down, they can take a beating while looking to land a lucky one. The list of teams that could do that isn't short or exclusive."
I agree completely. What I meant is that to this Chelsea team, after all that European Cup pain, traditional notions of glory don't matter one bit.
66 min Lahm's cross is blocked by Cole, and Bayern appeal for a penalty. It did hit his arm, but it was close to his body and he wasn't far from Lahm. A few minutes later Lahm falls over in the box after a challenge from Drogba. Not even Mike Dean would have given that penalty.
67 min If Bayern score here, Chelsea won't get back into it. They have been defending for far too long to switch gear. Chelsea surely have to score first.
68 min After a quietish 10 minutes, Bayern are enjoying another spell of rhythmic pressure. Chelsea's back nine are defending with outstanding discipline, however, and another fine tackle from Cole on Muller gives Bayern another corner. That leads to another corner, which is headed away by Luiz at the near post.
69 min "I don't often take issue with you about football, but I disagree re possession," says Gary Naylor. "I've always felt that in matches likely to be settled by the odd goal, it is the quality and location of possession that matters. With defences set up so well these days, there's a case for surrendering possession in areas away from goal and waiting to jump on what's called turnover ball in rugby. Two extended moments of possession sublimely used trump 89 minutes of 'After you Claude'." I agree up to a point, and Jonathan Wilson has written about this in the past, but if you're not going to have much possession you'd better have quality counter-attacks. Chelsea have nothing of the sort, even though they will be pleased that they have limited Bayern to one really clear chance. Chelsea may well win this game, but all logic based on the first 68 minutes points to Bayern winning it.
70 min The superb Robben teases Cole and then plays a sharp ball back to Kroos on the edge of the area. He smashes it first time towards goal and Luiz makes a brilliant block. John Terry is not out there, but there have been at least five Terry-style blocks from the defence.
71 min Mata rolls his studs over the ball, a rare moment of Chelsea confidence, and lays it wide to Bosingwa. He puts over a dangerous near-post cross towards Kalou that is superbly headed away by Tymoshchuk
73 min This is much more like it from Chelsea. Drogba rolls Tymoshchuk expertly down the left and drills over a low cross towards the far post that is blootered away for a corner by Boateng. Before it is taken, Florent Malouda replaces Ryan Bertrand. The kid done good.
74 min Drogba misses a half chance. Neuer came for a deep cross from the left but was stretching and could only pat down towards Drogba, who was off balance 10 yards from goal and bobbled it meekly back into the arms of Neuer. He could maybe have done better there, with Mata waiting for a pass inside him.
76 min Ribery moves to the right of the box, slips Lampard beautifully to get to the byline, where his low cross is blocked by the magnificent Cole. The ball loops up dangerously over Cech, who backpedals to slap it over the bar for a corner. Bayern have had at least 15 corners in this game. Chelsea have had none.
78 min This is the most relentless grilling I've seen since my R.E. teacher Miss Malone got stuck into my mate Brendan Strong about the state of his homework. Chelsea haven't been able to get out at all, with the important Mata particularly peripheral. I don't know how much you blame him for that; they simply haven't had the ball enough.
80 min Chelsea have an appeal for a penalty after a supposed handball from Ribery. It was in fact a clear chestball, with the ball hitting him somewhere in the vicinity of his right nipple.
81 min "Chelsea are really riding this team of destiny thing for all it"s worth," says Chris Mrema. "Surely they can't park the bus for 300 minutes (180 against Barca and 120 against Bayern)."
82 min Cole is rightly booked for a foul on Muller, who changed direction suddenly near the halfway line and was caught by Cole's scything right foot.
83 min Robben's dipping cross from the left is headed straight at Cech by Muller, who did well to climb all over Cole but couldn't get any pace on the ball.
GOAL! Bayern 1-0 Chelsea (Muller 83) Thomas Muller has surely won the European Cup for Bayern Munich! Chelsea will be furious about the manner of this goal, but Bayern will feel it was well conceived. Ribery floated over a dangerous, dipping cross from just outside the box on the left. I think hewas aiming for Gomez, whose presence attracted Cole, but it cleared them both and Muller came round the back to head the ball down into the ground and up over Cech. He was only a few yards from goal when he headed it, and I think the fact the ball went down so sharply confused Cech, who couldn't then react to save it as it kicked up off the pitch.
84 min Kalou off, Torres on.
86 min Luiz is booked for a miserable hack at Robben, who has been the best player of the pitch tonight. Before the free kick is taken, Bayern replace Thomas Muller with another centre half, Daniel Van Buyten.
87 min In the past, Chelsea have had a million complaints about the hand they have been dealt by Dame Fortune and referees in the European Cup. They cannot have a single complaint if they lose tonight. Bayern have been palpably superior, and the loss of so many key players has been far too much for this admirable Chelsea side to deal with.
GOAL!!!!!!! Bayern 1-1 Chelsea (Drogba 88) I do not believe this. Didier Drogba has equalised with a simply monstrous header. Chelsea won their first corner of the match, down the right. Mata swung it towards the near post, where Drogba got away from Boateng and flashed an almighty header from eight yards that went through the left hand of the leaping Neuer and into the top of the net. I'm surprised it didn't maim Neuer, so firm was the connection. That is a sensational header born of pure desire.
89 min Finish the sentence: "Football? (6,4)."
90 min There will be three minutes of added time. Robben's shot is deflected for a corner, which comes to nothing. Drogba has scored in seven cup finals for Chelsea. He is a beast.
90+1 min Mikel's deep cross is punched away unconvincingly by Neuer. This is Chelsea's best spell of the match. Bayern look terrified. The whole stadium is having acid flashbacks to 1999.
90+3 min It's Bayern who need the whistle here – they need it desperately, in fact, as Ribery has just shoved Mata over 25 yards from goal, right of centre. This will be the last kick of normal time, and Drogba is lining it up. Could he?
90+4 min Drogba takes a deep, demonstrative breath, has a two-step Socrates-style run up – and then lamps the ball miles over the bar.
Full time: Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea That's it. For the first time since Chelsea's last appearance four years ago, the Champions League final is going to extra time. See you in a few minutes.
91 min orres falls over in the box after only 40 seconds of extra time, but there was nothing in that. Thirty seconds later, Mata's firm shot from 20 yards is blocked excellently. Chelsea have started extra time as they finished the second half.
93 min: PENALTY TO BAYERN! And it's Drogba who has conceded it! What a bizarre twist. It was a clear penalty. Ribery was only just inside the box, on the left; Drogba tried to challenge him from behind, but it was a clumsy attempt and he simply kicked Ribery's ankle. I'm contractually obliged to call it "a forward's challenge". Drogba is arguing but that was a clear penalty. It'll be
Lionel Messi Arjen Robben to take it...
95 min: CECH HAS SAVED IT!!!!!!! This defies belief. Robben smashed the penalty hard and low to the left of Cech, who got down and just keep the ball out with his left thigh. He had almost dived too far – the kick was nowhere near the corner – but he managed to get enough on it to ensure it didn't slither under his body, and then he grabbed the ball before Robben could get to the follow-up. This is quite ridiculous.
96 min David Luiz could have been sent off there. He had already been booked and made a really clumsy challenge on Gomez down the Chelsea left. Before the free kick is taken, the slippery Ivica Olic comes on for Ribery, who is limping badly after that tackle from Drogba. Ribery was excellent.
97 min The reaction of Roman Abrahmovich to that penalty safe was fantastic. At the moment the kick was taken he twitched three or four times, like a man being defiled with a cattle prod, and then started punching the air deliriously.
98 min "All those Germans and they give the penalty to a Dutchman!" says Gary Naylor. "Chelsea's name on the cup."
100 min If the goal/penalty descriptions haven't appeared, press F5. We have a problem with the auto-refresh.
101 min For those who are into the whole tactics thing, Chelsea are still playing 4-2-3-1, with Torres on the right. So are Bayern, with Van Buyten at the back, Tymoshchuk into midfield and Kroos behind Gomez.
102 min "Robben is undoubtedly an incredible player, but he should have scored his one on one to win the World Cup, and now he should have scored a penalty to win the Champions League," says Matt Dony. "Plus a horror show against Dortmund in the Bundesliga. Bad luck, or lack of big-game temperament?" If Thierry Henry had completed that particular hat-trick we would never have heard the end of it.
103 min Torres has looked sharp since coming on. He beats Contento on the right and booms over an excellent deep cross. It looks like it might reach Drogba beyond the far post, but a crucial header from Lahm sends it out for a throw in.
104 min This is a great point from Niall Mullen. "When Chelsea inevitably win this on penalties (no EBLJT will ensure that) will they be simultaneously the least and most deserving winners of the Champions' League?" If they win it will definitely be one for The Joy of Six: triumphs of the human spirit.
Half time in extra time: Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea See you in precisely one minute.
106 min Chelsea kick off the final 15 minutes.
107 min "You keep mentioning that you have technical problems with the auto-refresh," says Graeme Thorn, "so how's this for a suggestion - put up a simple "GOAL!" or "SAVED!" in one update, then fill in the description on the next update, that way the auto-refresh might pick up all your typing and
save wear on readers' F5 keys. Just a thought."
Ah, well that's the exact problem with the auto-refresh. If we type the basic information (which we have to to relay it as soon as possible), the auto-refresh then sometimes fails to pick up any subsequent additions to that block of information.
108 min: WHAT A CHANCE FOR OLIC! Bayern have missed another outstanding opportunity. Lahm surged infield, past a couple of players and clipped over a brilliant angled cross beyond the defence. It came to Olic, six yards from goal beyond the far post, but he was caught between shooting and playing it square to Gomez. In the end he didn't really do either, volleying the ball gently across goal and wide of the far post.
109 min The admirable Cahill clears the ball for a throw in and is simultaneously clattered by Olic, who somehow gets away without conceding a free kick. If Bayern score from this attack Chelsea will be furious.
110 min They don't score from this attack.
111 min It's all Bayern at the moment. Cahill and Luiz must have been snorting Shredded Wheat all week because they are still going – if not quite strong, then at least still going.
112 min How did that stay out?! Robben's superb angled pass put Lahm into the area, round the back of Cole. Cech flew from goal to meet him so Lahm, on the stretch, clipped it first time across the face towards Gomez. He would have had an open goal, but Cahill threw himself heroically in the way and Luiz booted the rebound behind for a corner. Cahill has cramp and will have to go off the field before the corner is taken.
113 min Lahm has been sensational in extra time. He finds Robben, who zips infield, across the line of the defence, and then shanks his 20-yard shot miles wide of the far post. Cahill is back on. Chelsea do still have one substitution remaining.
115 min I know they are playing German opposition, but Chelsea would take penalties here. They would put their favourite granny on eBay for penalties right now. They look utterly shattered, and it's all Bayern.
116 min So who might take penalties for Chelsea if it comes to that? Cole, Lampard, Mata and Drogba are certainties you would think. Not sure after that. Luiz? Torres? Malouda? Is Malouda even on the pitch? Actually it's not really fair to criticise Chelsea's attacking players, because 90 per cent of their work has been of a defensive nature.
118 min Robben goes on one last run, inside Cole, but then he is stopped by Malouda.
119 min Chelsea have the ball. Both sides have settled for penalties. Mind you, we said that approximately 0.000004 seconds before Nayim.
120 min Fernando Torres is booked for dissent after shouting something at the referee along the lines of "£@$E@£(Q$R£*($£QREQWR YOU EFFING $E£Q$£($%*£QR."
Full time: Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea Penalties? Effing hell.
Magnificent abuse of statistics from Clive Tyldesley on ITV "The last two times the Champions League final has gone to penalties, it's been won by an English team," says Clive, declining to point out that, the last time it went to penalties, it was also lost by an English side: Chelsea, in 2008.
10.18pm Roberto Di Matteo is scribbling five names on a sheet of paper. Either that or he's doing a Jackie Treehorn-style scribble.
10.20pm Manuel Neuer was the penalty shoot-out darling in Madrid in the semi-finals, but then Petr Cech has saved penalties in the semi-final and the final. The two have just shaken hands warmly. One of them will be embraced by a phalanx of delirious, sweaty men in around 10 minutes' time.
10.21pm The penalties will be taken at the Bayern end. Arjen Robben scrubs his pate nervously. The bald community will shun him forever if he misses again in the shootout.
GOAL! Bayern 1-0 Chelsea Philipp Lahm sidefoots the first penalty high to the right. Cech got hands on it but couldn't stop it.
NEUER SAVES FROM MATA! It was a poor penalty, driven low to Neuer's left but nowhere near the corner.
GOAL! Bayern 2-0 Chelsea Mario Gomez does finally trouble the net with a crisp sidefoot into the bottom right corner.
GOAL! Bayern 2-1 Chelsea David Luiz takes a huge fast bowler's run-up – and sidefoots an outstanding penalty into the top right corner. File that one under 'Pick that out!'. Luiz has shown wonderful courage tonight.
MANUEL NEUER IS GOING TO TAKE THE THIRD PENALTY He's not shy, this lad.
GOAL! Bayern 3-1 Chelsea Neuer scores with a brilliant penalty, sidefooted into the bottom left corner. Cech went the right way again but could not get there.
GOAL! Bayern 3-2 Chelsea Frank Lampard smashes it straight down the middle.
CECH SAVES FROM OLIC! Chelsea are back in it! It was a poor penalty from Olic, sidefooted at saveable height to Cech's left. Here comes Ashley Cole, with the chance to bring Chelsea level.
GOAL! Bayern 3-3 Chelsea Ashley Cole levels thing up with an outstanding penalty, sidefooted at pace into the side netting in the right corner, and now it's effectively sudden death.
CHELSEA ARE ONE KICK AWAY FROM WINNING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE! Schweinsteiger scored the winner in Madrid. I can't feel my fingers. Here he comes – and he's hit the post! He stopped and waited, trying to dummy Cedh, and then he sidefooted it off the inside of the right post. Actually Cech might have got a touch on this. He did! It just grazed his fingertips before hitting the post. What a save!
This could be Drogba's last kick of a ball for Chelsea. This is too much to bear.
CHELSEA ARE CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE! Didier Drogba takes an outrageously cool penalty, sidefooting it into the bottom left corner as Neuer goes the other way. Sit down, take a sup of industrial strength liquor and consider this: Chelsea are the champions of Europe! For nine years – nine long, bloody, heartbreaking years – it looked as if Chelsea and the European Cup were simply never meant to be. And then, when we thought a great team were winding down in their football dotage, they went and won the thing! Sometime in March, Fate did a crazy U-turn. Whenever this victory is discussed, one phrase will be used more than other: "It was meant to be."
Drogba is running round like a madman with his shirt off, like a less swollen Craig Beattie. Bayern look shellshocked. John Terry has whipped off his training top and is in his full Chelsea kit, hugging allcomers. No, he hasn't nicked the armband off Frank Lampard. Roberto Di Matteo is in tears, trying to take it all in. There's a lovely embrace between the spine of the modern Chelsea side: Terry, Lampard and Drogba, with only the magnificent Cech missing. Ashley Cole deserves to be there too, and Kezman. They have been through so much together, and now they have won the greatest tournament in club football. This is magnificently perverse: they are the best team in Europe and the sixth best team in England!
Branislav Ivanovic is sitting on top of the crossbar, punching the air. Geoff Shreeves should be along any minute to tell him it was all a dream.
"We've never wanted to say it too much but this is the one we really wanted," says Frank Lampard.
One thing you should definitely not think about it – not now, not ever – is how David Mellor might be celebrating this triumph.
Here's Didier Drogba. "I want to dedicate this to all the managers we had before, and all the players we had before." In other words, "This one's for you Mateja Kezman." Drogba is midway through an interview when he says "Life is fantastic!" and skips off giddily like a summer girl in a field of corn. This night is about the team, of course, but his individual contribution was immense.
Michel Platini hands the
metallic monstrosity Champions League trophy to John Terry and Frank Lampard, who lift it joyously to confirm that, no, it wasn't a dream and, yes, Chelsea really are champions of Europe. At least I think Terry lifted it: you couldn't see him because a giddy Jose Bosingwa stood right in front of Terry and then grabbed the trophy off him! There goes that photo opportunity! Jose Bosingwa 1-0 John Terry. I'd love it if Bosingwa had been plotting that for years. Anyway, enough about Terry; tonight isn't really about him. The trophy is eventually passed along to Roman Abramovich, who wanted this one more than any other.
Crikey. What can you say about that? Throughout the knockout stage Chelsea have had the best view from the precipice, yet they have constantly ignored the logic of an apparently imminent exit from the competition. In cricket, people often talk about "sticking in the game": just hanging on and hanging on and staying alive until a chance comes. That's what Chelsea have done in this amazing run: they have stuck in the game and stuck in the game and stuck in the game until there were no more games, and they were champions of Europe. Champions of Europe! It's a stunning triumph of the human spirit; and, in terms of Roberto Di Matteo's involvement, one of the great football fairytales. Thanks for your emails; night.