Chelsea faces Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final at Allianz Arena, the home grounds for the Bundesliga powerhouse. Of course, the Blues will likely not be overwhelmed by the moment and the unfriendly environs after the shock result at Barcelona in the semifinal round.
2012 UEFA Champions League Final
2:45 p.m. EST
While most soccer fans -- as well as the sport's bookmakers -- were expecting this final to feature a pair of teams from Spain, we're instead treated to a matchup between the two relentless, steel-willed clubs who ousted them. However, the victories over Barcelona and Real Madrid were costly for Chelsea and Bayern, respectively. Chelsea will be without Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles through suspension while the home side will take the field without Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo.
Munich is gunning for its fifth European crown while Chelsea is looking for its first, having lost in its first appearance on this stage to Manchester United at penalties in 2008.
Does Chelsea have another miracle left? Can they hold off the Bayern attack without key defenders? Or will Bayern give its hometown something to celebrate tonight?
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|@ ChelseaIndo : Chelsea XI: Cech, Cole, Luiz, Cahill, Bosingwa, Lampard, Mikel, Bertrand, Mata, Kalou, Drogba.|
|@ FOXSoccerTrax : BAYERN TEAM: Neuer, Boateng, Lahm, Contento, Ribéry, Robben, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Tymoshchuk, Müller, Gomez|
|@ TaylorTwellman : Insanely jealous of Gomez for @bmunich who gets to get on end of things from Robben, Mueller and Ribery #GoalScorerDream|
The U.S. goalkeeper is going with the home team, Bayern Munich.
Chelsea in blue and the Bayern in red. Pomp and circumstance also present.
With Gomez, Robben and Ribery leading the Bayern attack, they figure to pressure the makeshift Chelsea defense.
They're at midfield with the officials, handshakes are shared.
Bayern brings it back and as it gets looped forward again, we've got an early foul by Cole, who got into Kroos late. Free kick from a moderately dangerous spot. Robben stands over it.
Bosingwa heads clear but Bayern keeps it in.
Schweinsteiger picks up a yellow card for a blatant handball as Chelsea looked to break out on counter.
Bosingwa sees Ribery to the endline for a goal kick. Ribery never got his feet right to turn on the ball but defender was with him.
Schweinsteiger gets the ball from Muller straight out from goal at about 22 yards and his shot is blocked by Cahill.
Playing out the corner, the ball is slotted to Kross who strides into his shot unmolested. He fires low, wide.
Bayern is having most of the ball while Chelsea waits in defense. Schweinsteiger and Kross have both seen windows, one was closed and the other was missed.
Again no surprise here, as Chelsea grasps an opportunity to break on the counter. Drogba gets the ball wide right but his cross skies over his teammates.
Chelsea defending high line near midfield and Robben gets free. Cole retreats but the miss, high, is all Roben's doing.
|@ uogbuji : Rush of blood to Robben head. Didn't see Müller's great run. #ChampionsLeague #UCL|
|@ RattoCSN : So far, Chelsea killing this 90-minute penalty nicely|
Gomez gets his head onto a nice, calm cross from Ribery (who had ample time to tee it up) but Luiz in his back pocket as the header goes high over bar.
The pace has slowed, likely to Chelsea's liking. The Blues even finding some space for a bit of midfield interplay. But here come Bayern on the break..
The latest Bayern foray forward is repelled again. But here the come again.
Robben gets onto a low ball and rifles it off a defender. Another corner..
Cech ranges far from goal to punch corner. The ball gets put back in and Gomez mistimes what appeared to be a dummy move.. too much for him.. and the ball rolls around in front of net before Chelsea defenders make a meal of clearance.. WOW.. what a stretch but nothing comes of it.
|@ bandwagonknick : More of that kind of defending please, Chelsea. A couple of own goals would be even better.|
And that was the best chance of the match but Cech somehow tipped it wide with a foot? A knee? Some close quarters work by Ribery and Robben leads to the Dutch striker threading the needle and getting free to run down the Chelsea keeper. The shot was low and hard and seemed postmarked but Cech SAVES!
Out wide right and Robben sends it in. It's cleared out. Bayern trying to keep it from getting back out to midfield. Home side regains possession swinging it right to left to right.
|@ TheRealMattKing : Petr Čech is like the soccer Tyson Chandler, right? Incredible defender surrounded by just complete incompetence?|
Cech saves yet another Bayern corner kick by coming far from home. The Bayern attack is picking up again after everything seemed to settle in for both sides.
Drogba wins a foul off Boateng as they vie for ball in the air. Can Chelsea generate anything lasting in attack? Do they want to?
|@ GrantWahl : 27' Bayern 0:0 Chelsea. Domination by Bayern, but Cech having the blinder he'll need for Chelsea to have a shot. Great save on Robben.|
Luiz and he are tangled and the German goes to ground. Robben and Kroos look over kick from about 25-28 yards to the right. Dangerous.
Robben wasteful with the kick and it's turned right around. And then again as Bayern regain control.
Ribery taken down by Boswinga with a kick to the back of his legs as he controls pass. Pointless foul as the ball was obscured and Ribery had his back to the goal and was far there.
Another sudden movement up the Bayern right ends with Robben bouncing a shot toward Cech that he handles.
Cahill wins a free kick in a very dangerous spot for Chelsea. Mata and Drogba standing over it as they look in from right edge of penalty area ata about 25 yards.
Drogba runs over it and then Mata fires it off.. high all the way.
Ribery turns the ball in from the left edge and gets a step and look but he pulls his shot well left of near post.
Another big chance for Bayern as Muller volleys a cross by Contento. Muller can't strike cleanly but that was something for sure.
The ball comes high and he's onside but the defense is able to crowd as the ball drifts down to him. He made the right run and gives Bayern something worry over.
A confident left-to-right sweeping movement is caped with a powerful near-post strike from Kalou. Neuer dives near post and stops it but the ball was well struck and the passing before incisive.
Gomez makes a mess of another chance to put a cross home. Ribery sends it across from the left and it sneaks through the crowd to Gomez, who is WIDE open, but he puts a terrible first touch on the ball and the chance is gone. That could have just been one-timed home.
Tymoschuk fires from long range but Gomez gets in the way and the effort is deflected wide.
Yet another chances goes wanting as Gomez fires high over the goal from close range. Dreadful from him so far.
|@ JoshElliottABC : Is Gomez wearing Blue Underoos...? You wonder what more could he do for #Chelsea....|
Ribery has drifted over to the right, perhaps to cut Gomez out of the equation, but Luiz nicks the ball off him as he tries to shimmy his way into the area.
There's just a minute of extra time. And it goes by without any action.
|@ 1stLadyOfFooty : #Bayern creating gifts for themselves like it's Christmas, but their finishing is worse than Kalou's hairstyle at the moment. 0-0|