5 Points On The 2012 Champions League Final

By: 05.19.12  •  19 Comments
Photo: Dylan Martinez/REUTERS

Intro by S. Cadet

You couldn’t write a better finish to stalemate nearly lasting all of the match. And now, via gut-wrenching penalty kicks, Chelsea stands as your 2012 Champions League winners over Bayern Munich. It doesn’t seem that long ago when the Blues were the wayward side out of London.Yet the past isn’t meant for dwelling when you’ve just been solidified as Europe’s top of the heap. Let’s shift our focus to the main story lines and key moments tied to Chelsea’s epic victory. For now Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Barca supporters (what up Jason H.?!?) should just remember time heals all wounds.

Page 2

1. What Chelsea’s win really means
There was a lot of loose talk about “destiny” during the UEFA Champion’s League final. The synonyms arrived once more when Chelsea’s Champion’s League triumph over Bayern Munich were deemed “written in the stars.” Here’s the thing about Chelsea’s so-called destiny: it implies that it was predetermined, as if some soccer God commanded the win. Chelsea wasn’t destined to win anything.

Moreover, Chelsea was a team that supremely underachieved in its domestic pursuit before putting together a pack-it-in-defense under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo in tournaments. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t deserved. They rode their style of play to victory, employing a “Rumble In the Jungle”/Ali technique which saw them outlast a tiring Munich. Chelsea deserved this win. They weren’t destined for it.

Page 3

2. Hire him?

Does Roberto Di Matteo deserve the permanent gig at Stamford Bridge? No. He deserves kudos for gifting the Blues its first Champion’s League trophy in its 107-year history. However, its one thing to utilize the same pack-it-in defense in a short period compared to a full campaign. His less-than-memorable time at West Bromwich should elicit hesitation, especially when he’s managing world superstars and not second-tier EPL stars.

Page 4

3. Drogba

Give it up for the man even if he nearly cost his club with his ill-timed, inside-the-box tackle of Franck Ribery in the fifth minute of overtime. He disappeared frequently throughout the majority of the game* but his performance ensured this was his night. His 88th-minute goal and eventual penalty kick iced his name in Chelsea lore.

* Granted, he played more like Wayne Rooney plays for Manchester United. He got back, defended and ran around like a chicken with his head cut off for the majority of the game.

Page 5

Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

4. Defensive Substitutions

Munich manager Jupp Heynckes’s defensive substitution of striker Thomas Müller for Daniel Von Buyten was correct—in theory. However, Munich’s swap developed separately from Chelsea’s game plan since Chelsea came into the game with a defensive mindset. Munich’s substitution altered its successful style of play. Without their offensive threat in Müller, Munich permanently put itself on its back foot.

Around The Web

Featured

Nikki Glaser On Her New Series ‘Not Safe With Nikki Glaser’ And Being A ‘Curious Perv’

From Showman To Shaman: How An Assassination Attempt Changed Bob Marley’s Life And Music

From Zero To Guitar Hero, Meet The Small-Town Musician Who’s Well On His Way

Hannibal Buress On ‘Comedy Camisado,’ Animation, And Doing Stand-Up In Japan

Phil Matarese And Mike Luciano Talk ‘Animals.’ And Creating Television In Their Apartment

‘Black Sheep’ Revisited: The Farley-Spade Classic That Could’ve Been, 20 Years Later

EAT THIS CITY: Chef Callie Speer Shares Her ‘Can’t Miss’ Food Experiences In Austin, Texas

Kimbo Slice Is Down To Fight Kurt Angle And Roy Jones, Jr. As Soon As He Settles His Business At Bellator 149

By:  •  2 Comments

A Top Recruit Michigan Landed On Signing Day Isn’t Who You Think He Is At All

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. On How His Personal Ancestry Obsessions Led To ‘Finding Your Roots’

Love Books? Plan A Trip To The Most Literary City In The Country

What The Shot-For-Shot Remake Of The ‘Magnum P.I.’ Intro Tells Us About ‘Archer’ Season 7

By:  •  2 Comments