Sunday, May 20th, 2012
Comment & analysis round-up
Didier Drogba: I believe in destiny and this was written a long time ago but we just didn’t know it. You have to pray and believe. I want to dedicate this to all the managers we had before and the players we have played with. My goal changed the game, mentally. I’m very happy. This is the Chelsea spirit. This is what we have been doing for years and years. We never give up.”.
John Terry: “Tonight we’ve done that and Robbie deserves a lot of credit for that. We hope he gets the job permanently.”
Jupp Heynckes: ’I congratulate Chelsea on their victory. If you wish me to say something about Roberto di Matteo it is that Chelsea should give him a three-year contract.”
Chelsea Win The Champions League: The Reports
Chelsea win Champions League on penalties over Bayern Munich (Observer) These are the moments Chelsea will always cherish and never forget. They gave everything and finally, when it was all done, they had the European Cup in their possession.
Roberto Di Matteo finds way to give Roman Abramovich richest payback (Richard Williams, Observer) Two and a half months ago, remember, this was a team heading for the knackers’ yard. Then Di Matteo replaced André Villas-Boas, and everything changed.
Drogba and Cech deliver holy Grail for Abramovich (Rob Draper, Mail) And so ended the nine-year odyssey that began when Roman Abramovich took over this club and transformed European football. Perhaps it wasn’t the swaggering team he might have imagined. No matter. The mental strength, resilience and defiance of these players produced something extraordinary this season.
Drogba: This was our destiny (Sun) Drogba’s winning spot-kick is worth £72million to Chelsea — £47m for winning the trophy plus another £25m for qualifying for next year’s Champions League.
Wasteful Bayern prove the most generous of hosts (Independent) Bayern Munich lost the European Cup in their own stadium and there would be no consolation. They were at home, they dominated every aspect of the match, they hit the post, they had a goal disallowed – they even, entirely against national stereotype, missed a penalty. In the end it came down to a shoot-out at the end where their own fans sat. This, too, they squandered – they had every possible advantage.
Analysis: How Chelsea Lifted Big Ears
I know it’s a cliche, but Chelsea’s name was always on the cup (Gary Neville, Mail) Chelsea have been beaten in pure football terms by Napoli, Barcelona and Bayern Munich this season but still emerged triumphant through spirit, determination and luck. Sometimes in this sport, you just sense that whatever happens on the pitch, one team are going to come through victorious, no matter how they play or what adversity hits them.
Five things that helped Chelsea to the Champions League trophy (Sachin Nakrani, Observer) Chelsea survived missed penalties and missed chances on the way to glory while the interim manager proved inspired.
Di Matteo’s tactical boldness works for Chelsea as Bayern blink first (Michael Cox, Observer) Di Matteo went for broke, bringing on Fernando Torres for Salomon Kalou… Whereas Heynckes removed one of his two forwards immediately after Bayern’s goal, Di Matteo persisted with two strikers. At the end of a run where Chelsea combined intelligent tactics with a decent slice of luck, fortune favoured the brave.
Chelsea’s Individual Stars
Ryan Bertrand has glorious debut for Chelsea in Champions League final (Dominic Fifield, Observer) He was industrious and efficient here, a nuisance helping to thwart Bayern at one end and offering flickers of threat at the other. It is remarkable to consider he had not even made Chelsea’s European squad list for the first half of the season.
Bayern Munich v Chelsea: the key battles that turned the Champions League final (Alan Smith, Telegraph) This was another of those nights when [Ashley] Cole refused to lie down. His blocks and interceptions were immaculate to frustrate Bayern when they surged down his side.
Frank Lampard emerges on top against old adversary Bastian Schweinsteiger (Henry Winter, Telegraph) Lampard had been largely eclipsed by the outstanding Schweinsteiger during the two hours of open play. The German was exceptional but Lampard never stopped believing. He kept bringing calm and organisation to Chelsea, and took responsibility in that amazing shoot-out.
Di Matteo For The Blues Job
It is unthinkable that Di Matteo will not be offered the job now (Patrick Barclay, Independent) He has not only shown an understanding of how to revive Chelsea’s spirit. Tactically as well, Di Matteo could hardly have put a more distinctive stamp on the crucial months over which he has had control.
Chelsea considering shock approach for Redknapp after drawing Guardiola blank (Mail) The 65-year-old Tottenham manager is one of the names being considered by Roman Abramovich as he seeks the likeliest candidate to put Chelsea back at the top of English football.
West Ham Return To The Big Time
Big relief for Big Sam Allardyce after fortune smiles on West Ham (David Hytner, Observer) There was not much for Allardyce to enjoy during the match, apart from his team’s goals. The tension was almost unbearable as the action ebbed and flowed.
Limbo At Liverpool
Stevie G & Co have let down Kop bosses (Roy Keane, Sun) Senior players such as Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Pepe Reina and Glen Johnson need to look at themselves and ask ‘Have I done enough?’ Maybe I’m stuck in the past but, as a player, your pride should be hurt when a manager loses his job because it means you haven’t done yours.
Shankly spirit is reduced to a mere ghost (Michael Calvin, Independent) Great clubs, important institutions, look after the little people, the small details. Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, are behaving with a stunning lack of class and professionalism.
Liverpool must act quickly if they are to compete in the summer transfer market and return to Anfield’s glory days (Duncan White, Telegraph) According to newspaper reports at the time, the Pope officially closed limbo in 2007. Someone forgot to tell Liverpool.
Kop in Suarez cash tempter (Sun) Liverpool are ready to hand Luis Suarez a whopping 25 per cent pay rise to prevent him leading an exodus of star players.
Eye On Euro 2012
I couldn’t say no to England, so the hard work starts now (Gary Neville, Mail) I love football and I love England. I know people may think otherwise, largely because I said in my autobiography that my England career had been a massive waste of time. But that was a phrase born out of professional frustration. It was a waste of time because I never got past a semi-final and, after 1996, didn’t even get past a quarter-final. I have 85 caps for England but I’d rather have Nobby Stiles’s 28 caps. His mean so much more because he is a World Cup winner.
Hodgson: ‘One strike and you’re out!’ (Independent) England manager will issue stark warning to Euro 2012 squad that bad behaviour will not be tolerated.
Great expectations! Fergie puts his faith in youth with £4m move for Crewe’s Powell (Mail) The manager struck a deal with League Two Crewe for the forward, who has scored 15 goals this season and will feature in next week’s League Two play-off at Wembley.
Chelsea ready to break the bank for Hazard and beat off interest from Man City and United (Mail) Roman Abramovich is offering to pay Belgium star Eden Hazard a staggering £250,000 a week.
Real Luk at Modric (Sun) Real Madrid will move for Luka Modric after they offload Kaka to Paris St Germain. The Spanish champions want to land the Tottenham midfield star for £25million.
Red Robin? Russians prepared to offer Van Persie £300,000-a-week (Mirror) Guus Hiddink’s Anzhi Makhachkala are ready to tempt the Arsenal striker with a three-year contract worth £45million.