I was at the Crab Shack in the City to watch the first all-English Champions League final between my favourite club Manchester United and Chelsea. Reached there at 2am and the chairs were mostly taken or reserved.
We were shocked that the number 13 Park Ji Sung is not in the team list. Maybe he talked too much to the press about Asian footballer making big in the final or whether he is not match fit, we still do not know.
As I expected, Manchester United played the 4-4-2 formation with Owen Hargreaves playing on the right midfield. Maybe Sir Alex Ferguson decided to use him there to minimise the danger of Ashley Cole.
We cheered and roared when Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 26th minute with a wonderful header and claimed his 42nd goal of the season. Carlos Tevez should has sealed the game but Manchester United backline went to sleep and allowed a stupid error to award Frank Lampard an easy goal in the 44th minute.
Second half saw Chelsea dominated with Didier Drogba left-foot shot was saved by the Van der Sar’s left-hand post. It was a nerve shredding moment to see Manchester United keep on defending for the next 45 minutes. Ryan Giggs broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time appearance record with his 759th match appearance before the extra-time.
John Terry saved Ryan Giggs’ shot off the line in the 1st half extra-time while Frank Lampard’s shot hit the crossbar earlier in the game. In the 2nd half, Didier Drogba received a red card for slapping Nemanja Vidic in the face. Extra-time ended with the score line still 1-1.
As usual Cristiano Ronaldo did his expected trick by stopping before he kicks the ball but was saved by Petr Cech. I feel that this time he took longer time to kick the ball since Petr Cech did not make any move before he actually kick the ball. He should had just blast it toward the goal instead of risking the team. Luckily John Terry slipped and saw his shot went wide.
Sudden death, 4-4, Anderson Luis de Abreu Oliveira put United back in front, firing straight and hard. Salomon Kalou, Ryan Giggs scored to give the score line 6-5. It is Nicolas Anelka turn to take the last final decisive spot-kick. All pressure goes to Nicolas Anelka and Van der Sar guessed it correctly and Manchester United is once again the Kings of Europe! (1968 1999, 2008)
I reached home at 6.30am thanks to Jalibhoy who fetch and sent me home.
Manchester United (4-4-2): Van der Sar, Brown (Anderson 120), Ferdinand (c), Vidic, Evra, Hargreaves, Carrick, Scholes (Giggs 87), Ronaldo, Rooney (Nani 100), Tevez.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech, Essien, Carvalho, Terry (c), A Cole, Ballack, Makelele (Belletti 120), Lampard, J Cole (Anelka 98), Drogba, Malouda (Kalou 91).