Absolute Agony: Nicolas Anelka Hands United the Champions League Trophy..

...Senior Writer IMay 21, 2008

Manchester United won the Champions League final after winning a penalty shoot-out 6-5, with the score tied at 1-1 after extra time in Moscow.

I'm in absolute tears. This is so not what we deserved out of the game.

United came out firing. Cristiano Ronaldo gave Essien, employed at right back, a torrid time. Time and time again, his trickery and pace was too much for Essien to handle.

United took a deserved lead when Ronaldo headed home Brown's cross to score his 42nd goal of the season—something he said he would do, in an interview yesterday.

United could have and should have doubled their lead a couple of times in the first half. First Rooney robbed Carvalho of the ball deep in his own half and played an incredible, inch-perfect long ball to Ronaldo, who in turn skinned Essien and put in a lovely cross for Tevez. Cech did amazingly to somehow stop his header, and did even better to save the follow-up from Carrick.

Rooney then played a seemingly harmless ball into the box, which Tevez was inches away from turning in.

But Lampard equalised on the stroke of halftime, which you could say was lucky in the way it got to him. Nevertheless, he tucked it away and pointed to sky with the words "That's for you, mum."

Second half, Chelsea came out the stronger of the two teams, and had a couple of great chances to win the game. In a largely quiet second half, Drogba hit the post in a heart stopping moment for both teams.

In extra time, it was Lampard's turn to hit the woodwork, after great work by Ballack.

Evra then dinged his way into the box and cut the ball back for Giggs, whose shot was saved incredibly by Terry.

Towards the end of the 120 minutes, a scuffle broke out between the two teams which ended in Drogba seeing red, for seemingly slapping Vidic. Ballack and Tevez (who started it all) were also booked for their part in the scuffle.

It was penalty shoot-out time. With United winning the toss, Tevez stepped up and scored comfortably. That was followed by comfortable spot kicks by Ballack, Carrick and Belletti.

With the shoot-out finely balanced at 2-2, up stepped Cristiano Ronaldo. He missed his penalty and Lampard stepped up to give Chelsea a 3-2 lead. That was followed by Anderson, Ashley Cole, Kalou and Nani all scoring their spot kicks.

Finally it was left to John Terry to seal the final. Sadly, he hit the post. Some say he slipped at the last second.

So the shoot-out went on and Giggs dispatched his penalty. Chelsea's chances now rested on the shoulders of Anelka. His spot kick was saved by Van der Sar and United players went wild.

From a Chelsea perspective, this is a game we definitely should have won. Ronaldo must be the luckiest boy alive at the moment. For United to lose the final because of him—after such a great season he's had, and so much of the good things about United have come through him—would have been strange, to say the least.

Anelka, who looked careless since he came on, certainly took his spot kick carelessly.

Did he join Chelsea for the money? It certainly looks like it, as I haven't seen him put in a determined performance ever since he joined.

It's amazing that Chelsea now ended up trophy-less, after going close in the league, Carling Cup and now Champions League.

Is this the end for Avram Grant?

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