This season saw the triumph of Michael Platini's decision to give teams from smaller divisions equal chance to compete against the top giants. His plan just performed too well, much to the disappointment of several top clubs.
This season of Champions' League football saw the biggest group stage casualties for top clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United and FC Porto. Chelsea too went into their last group stage match against Valencia with the prospect of missing out on European football, after some lazy performances put them in the do-or-die situation.
Chelsea, among the others, was least expected to make the next stage, given their poor form. But the West Londoner's delivered a memorable performance, only shadowed by the individual exploits of one Didier Drogba, to enter the knock-out stages of the competition as group leaders.
The Champions' League has been the only thing missing from the Blues' rather impressive trophy cabinet. The most-coveted trophy in Stamford Bridge has eluded the Blues' somehow or the other. They are one of those unlucky teams to have reached the closest to winning it, but have never actually won it.
But this season the Blues' have at least two big teams less to play. Moreover, ending as group leaders means they will face the power-houses only in the last-eight stages, by which time they can already develop their flaws.
Chelsea are currently in a transitional phase, with many of their older players leaving or making space for young bloods to take over their place. This season might actually be the last chance for the likes of Terry, Lampard and Drogba to win the most-coveted European champions medal.
With Chelsea gradually attaining their right combination of youth and experience, it might actually turn out to be the greatest stage-leaving performances from the Blues' aged squad. As proved over the years, whenever the odds are badly against them Chelsea delivers—and this time the odds of them winning the Champions League are of mammoth proportions.
So this season might turn out to be the one in which the Chelsea squad, the fans and owner Roman Abramovich were able to see their dreams come true.