The 2008 Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United had reached a penalty shootout
Ronaldo misses his kick
As is so often the case, it was the best player on the park who missed the first spot kick. United’s Ronaldo, EPL player of the year took a long pause in his run up before hitting the ball too close to the centre of the goal. Cech guessed right and pushed the ball to safety
Lampard then put Chelsea 3-2 up in the shootout with a shot that was too quick for Van der Sar who had guessed the right way.
Hargreaves and Ashley Cole both hit great penalties. Hargreaves fired an unstoppable shot into the top left corner of the net and Cole squeezed his kick past the United keeper at the bottom right corner.
Chelsea captain fluffs his lines
Nani who had replaced Rooney with ten minutes of extra time to play stepped up for United. He hit the ball to the left of the goal. Cech guessed right but the ball was too fast. It was 4-4 with one penalty left.
That kick fell to Chelsea’s leader, Terry. With one kick to win the Champions League the pressure was immense. The weight of the millions of people watching him step up and the millions of pounds of Abramovich’s money would have needed broad shoulders. Gamesmanship from Van der Sar who did not stand on his line straight away wouldn’t have made it any easier.
Terry stepped up to the mark. It was as if it was written in the stars for him to be the man to make the Russian owner’s dreams come true.
As he took his run up he slipped just before he kicked the ball and his shot hit the post and bounced away. The shootout was headed for sudden death.
Abramovich’s dreams were turning into a nightmare and When Anderson scored the first kick in sudden death, the pendulum seemed to have swung United’s way.
Anderson had come on for Wes Brown in the last minute of extra time and he fired his penalty straight down the middle but fortunately for him, Cech had dived to his left and the ball flew in.
Kalou then hit his kick into the top right hand corner of the goal to put the pressure back on United.
Van der Sar saves Anelka’s kick
Giggs stepped up and placed a calm penalty into the bottom right of the goal, sending Cech the wrong way to make the score 6-5 to United.
Anelka, who had come on for Joe Cole in extra time, was the final player to make the long walk from the halfway line. He may have been put off by Van der Sar who was pointing to Anelka’s right. Anelka hit the ball to his left but it was too close to the centre of the goal. Van der Sar guessed right and saved the kick. United were Champion’s of Europe for the third time.
United win 50 years after Munich Air Disaster
John Terry’s spot kick was the third time Chelsea had hit the woodwork that night. If any one of those attempts had found the net it would have almost certainly have realised Abramovich’s dream of European glory.
Perhaps fate was on United’s side after all. It was 50 years since the tragic Munich Air Disaster and it was fitting that United should mark the anniversary with The European trophy that the United players of 1958 had been heading towards.