CHAMPIONS LEAGUE VICTORY: FOOTBALL IS SIMPLY CRAZY, SAYS PETR CECH
MUNICH (AFP) - Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech summed up their season as 'simply crazy' after his key saves helped the Blues win their first Champions League title in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Cech was one of Chelsea's heroes in Munich after he saved an extra-time penalty from Bayern star Arjen Robben, then denied spot-kicks form Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger to seal a 4-3 win over Bayern Munich on penalties.
Chelsea had been heading for defeat after Bayern took the lead at Munich's Allianz Arena thanks to a header from Germany star Thomas Mueller before Didier Drogba equalised for the Blues just two minutes from the final whistle.
With the scores tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes, Drogba then conceded a penalty four minutes into extra time, but Robben could only hit a weak shot to Cech's right which the goalkeeper gratefully collected.
It all came down to a penalty shoot-out and after Cech twice palmed away Olic and Schweinsteiger's efforts, the scene was set for Drogba to fire home the final spot kick as Chelsea claimed their first European crown.
'It is fantastic,' said the 29-year-old Cech who was in goal when Chelsea lost on penalties to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final.
Celebration time in Munich. Photo: AFP.
'We had already lost a penalty shoot-out in 2008, football is simply crazy.
'So much in one year: we were bad in the league, but we've won the title, that is unbelievable.
'It seems, the later someone takes a penalty, the more the players opt for power over technique.'
Cech's comments perfectly sum up Chelsea's 'crazy' season.
With the Blues having lost 3-1 at Napoli in the Champions League Round of 16 clash, coach Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in March and replaced by caretaker coach Roberto Di Matteo.
Under the Italian's stewardship, Chelsea bounced back to beat Napoli 4-1 in the home leg, then saw off Benfica and Barcelona to reach the European final, winning the FA Cup en route, while finishing sixth in the Premier League.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard could only praise Cech for an outstanding display in the Munich final to help deny Bayern a fifth European title.
'Petr Cech has again shown himself to be the best goalkeeper in the world, not that I ever doubted him,' said Lampard.
One of the famous Chelsea 's cows…
'To play the way he did against Barcelona and the FA Cup final then produce that display with two saves in the penalty shoot-out after the save from Robben.
'When you have confidence like that in your goalkeeper, it's great.'
Do have your say:
Between Petr Cech and Drogba who was the hero in Munich and why?