Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba is overcome with emotion after scoring the winning penalty to give Chelsea their first European Cup in what could be his last appearance for the club. Reuters

Chelsea became champions of Europe for the first time in their history after beating Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League final in Munich.

Bayern dominated the match in their own Allianz Arena, but missed a succession of chances throughout. After finally taking the lead seven minutes from time through Thomas Muller, Chelsea hit back through Didier Drogba. Arjen Robben then missed a penalty in extra time before Didier Drogba sent home the winning spot-kick in the shootout.

With full-back Ryan Bertrand in the side in an advanced role down the left, interim boss Roberto Di Matteo clearly set out how he was approaching the game from the off.

And so it proved as Bayern dominated the opening 45 minutes, with Chelsea largely content to sit back in their own half. But the Bavarians went in at the break ruing a series of missed chances that prevented them from taking a commanding lead.

The closest to an opening goal in the first period coming when Arjen Robben's left-footed shot was parried onto the post by Petr Cech.

That was far from the only chance to fall Bayern's way, though. In the 36th minute, Diego Contento sent a cross in from the left that found Thomas Muller whose left-footed volley sailed just wide of the post.

But it was the misses of the Champions League's second-top scorer this season, Mario Gomez, for which the first-half will be most remembered. The best opportunity arriving as the ball fell to him from Franck Ribery's sliced shot, but instead of controlling the ball for a simple finish in front of goal, the big striker was caught completely unawares and the chance went begging.

And Gomez was again left looking bemused just a few minutes later. After doing well to get some space inside the area, the 26-year-old blasted his shot well over the bar on his left-foot.

Less than 10 minutes after the restart, Bayern believed they had finally taken the lead. Ribery turned the ball into the net from close range after Robben's low shot had been deflected perfectly into his path by Ashley Cole, but the Frenchman was ruled offside by the thinnest of margins.

And the second period continued in similar vein as the first as Bayern launched attack after attack with increasing voracity.

It was no surprise when another gilt-edge chance fell their way 13 minutes from time. The ball bobbled through to Muller at the back post off a deflection, but the joint top scorer at the 2010 World Cup dragged his shot wide from 12 yards out.

Muller made full amends for his two misses in the match, though, as he finally got the goal that Bayern richly deserved. Toni Kroos swung the ball in from the left and Muller got up at the back post to head the ball down into the ground and past the despairing effort of Cech at his near post.

But with the trophy seeming certain to stay in Munich, Drogba popped up to give Chelsea an equalizer out of nowhere, just two minutes from the end of normal time. The Ivorian rising with a trademark leap to power a header home at the near post from Juan Mata's right-wing corner.

The goal coupled with Juup Heynckes' defensive substitution of Daniel van Buyen on for Muller appeared to have given Chelsea the momentum for the first time in the contest heading into extra time. Yet less than three minutes into the added 30, Drogba went from hero to villain as he tripped Ribery from behind and gave the referee no option but to point to the spot.

It was Robben, the former Chelsea man, who stepped forward, but, just as he had done in the crucial Bundesliga showdown with Borussia Dortmund last month, he failed to convert. The penalty hit with plenty of force, but far too close to Cech, who got down smartly to make the save.

There was still time for Bayern to spurn yet another chance as the second period of extra time got underway. Philipp Lahm burst forward to the edge of the area before chipping the ball perfectly to find substitute Ivica Olic at the far post, but the Croatian side-footed his volley across goal looking for Van Buyten, who only watched as the ball trickled wide of the post.

And that was to prove the last real chance before the final whistle blew to yield the drama of penalties.

Mata was the first to miss, but just as the trophy looked to be Bayern's once more, Olic had his effort saved by Cech. Then, with Bayern's fifth penalty, Schweinsteiger stuttered in his run-up before striking the ball unconvincingly against the post. As if to hammer home the fact that fate was conspiring toward Chelsea, and in particular their star forward, Didier Drogba stepped forward to send the winning penalty home and send the Chelsea players and staff wild with delight.

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