Chelsea FC: From Zeroes to Heroes
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Chelsea began the year with a freshly appointed manager from Porto who won everything there. Believed to be able to bring the same changes and reform that Jose Mourinho once brought, Andre Villas-Boas tried his best to change the team and even removed several aged players in that process.
His actions were not welcomed by Chelsea's "Old Boys".
Roman doesn't really care who's not happy, as long as there is a cup in the cabinet at the end of the season—most importantly from the UEFA Champion League.
Villas-Boas began his season on a roller coaster ride, drawing his first EPL matches and then having what Chelsea would consider bad run of form.
Most importantly, his run in the UEFA Champions League.
UEFA Champion League Group Stages
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Beating Leverkusen 2-0 then drawing Valancia at home 1-1.
Chelsea then trashed Genk 5-0 at Stamford Bridge with Torres netting two goal only to draw 1-1 when visiting Genk.
A lost at Leverkusen, when Bastian Oczipka score in injury time started the wave of critics ruling Chelsea FC out of the UEFA Champion League.
With only one more match to play, against Valencia at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea must win the match in order to progress. Critics filled the air proclaiming the end of Chelsea's UEFA run for another year.
3 minutes into the game, Drogba blasted pass the Valencia keeper and Ramires doubled the advantage on the 22 minute then Drogba sealed the game off with a third and final goal on the 76 minutes with Chelsea finishing top in their group and securing a place in the knock out stages.
Round of 16
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Villas-Boas took Chelsea to Napoli only to be hammered with a 3-1 defeat and were followed by a draw to Birmingham City in the FA Cup. Finally when even the top four finished, their presence in the EPL was beginning to show signs of not happening, Villas-Boas was removed allowing an Interim Manager to step into his shoes and clean his mess.
Di Matteo's newly-formed Chelsea saw Birmingham off to progress while still the most "impossible" match was to be in the semi finals.
Chelsea broke the silence at the 29-minute mark when Didier Drogba once again scored. John Terry, Chelsea's team captain, woke Stamford Bridge up right after half time by scoring, which meant Chelsea would have progress on an away goal.
Gokhan Cech of Napoli had other ideas as he blasted a shot past the 55-minute mark to put Napoli back on the road to the Quarter Finals. But Chelsea was awarded a penalty at 75 minutes which Lampard finished in style to even the score.
The game entered extra time and right at the end of the first half when Branislav Ivanovic shot and scored Chelsea's fourth goal to bring the team into the Quarter Finals.
Quarter Finals and Semi Finals
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Chelsea defeated Benfica with ease as di Matteo's tactics played out well against Benfica twice. Chelsea progressed into the semi finals.
Chelsea will play Barcelona and the instant reaction from the public was the it will be a pure Spain final with Real Madrid playing Barcelona.
However Chelsea had different ideas defeating Barcelona 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. On the other side on the table, Bayern defeated Real Madrid and both underdogs progressed into the final.
However, defending against Barcelona away will not be easy and a 1-goal advantage was insignificant.
Indeed Sergio Busquet's 35-minutes goal and Iniesta's 44-minutes goal gave Barcelona the advantage but Ramires scored and beautiful chip on injury time of the first half.
With John Terry sent off and probably his most stupid act ever, everyone ruled Chelsea out at that point of time while many believe Ramires gave Chelsea fans some false hope.
After half time, Chelsea "parked the bus" but Barcelona were awarded a penalty in the 48 minute and all seems lots for Chelsea until Messi missed that penalty and Chelsea continued defending and hold up wave after wave of Barcelona's attack.
As insignificant as it could be deep into injury time, a Chelsea clearance fell to the feet of Fernando Torres who was completely unmarked. He dribble half the field and past Valdes and put it into the net sealing Chelsea's Champion League Final return as Chelsea came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.
Champion League Finals
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Entering the Finals, Chelsea were once again the underdogs. Having just won the FA Cup and confirming no top 4 finish, the Champion League win would meant so much to Chelsea as it secures a UEFA Champion League spot for the following year and it will be the first time they bring the cup home.
The match was tight all the way until the 83rd minute as Thomas Muller scored but Drogba equalizer just 5 minutes later to bring the game into extra.
Chelsea wasn't short of heroes as Robben's penalty and saved by Cech just 5 minutes into extra time.
And finally the match had to be brought to penalties. Once again Chelsea are the underdogs having had bad reputations with penalty shot outs while the German counterparts seem to often do much better.
True enough Lahm score his penalty while Mata missed and David Luiz score.
Bayern continue to put pressure as Gomez and Neuer both score their penalty but Frank Lampard scoring means the shot out will continue with minimum favour to Bayern.
Once again the Cech became the hero saving both Olic's and Schweinsteiger's penalty while Ashley Cole scored the penalty.
It was all down to Didier Drogba to final it. No one can imagine that was going in Drogba's mind at the moment but he kept calm and blasted past Neuer to bring the UEFA Champion League back to Stamford Bridge winning probably his first and last UEFA Champion League Medal.