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Posted by Phil Lythell on 05/16/2012

Manchester City may have won the Premier League title in the most dramatic manner since Michael Thomas stole the championship for Arsenal in the dying seconds at Anfield in 1989 and England manager Roy Hodgson might have selected an attacking player without a single league goal or assist this season in his Euro 2012 squad in the shape of Stewart Downing, but if you are a Chelsea fan there is only one thing that dominates your thoughts – the Champions League final.

I’m not sure when the butterflies started. They were certainly there on Monday as the reality dawned on me that within a matter of days Chelsea may have achieved immortality; a member of one of the select few to have won club football’s most coveted trophy; a place amongst the world’s elite (and Aston Villa). In the aftermath of the semi-final euphoria, it almost felt as if we had had our final such was the catharsis afforded by the epic defeat of Barcelona. A berth in the biggest match of the season merely seemed like a bonus.

Though perhaps the nerves started a couple of weeks ago when I was still not entirely certain that I would be making the trip to Munich such was the delay in information from Chelsea FC regarding tickets and the loyalty points required to obtain one. Another source of concern were the extortionately high prices being charged for flights and accommodation. Scheduled direct flights that would arrive in time for kick off started at £450 and rose vertiginously thereof. An array of different travel arrangements were investigated including taking the train (more expensive than flying!) and changing planes at a variety of European destinations like Brussels, Paris and Amsterdam (impractical given my personal timetable).

Hotels were even less value for money with the cheapest in Munich offering rooms from £460. I even tried a hostel which offered me a bunk in a dormitory for £86 a night. Fair enough, I thought, expensive but affordable. That was until the small print stated that I had to book for a minimum stay of three nights making the total cost to stay for a single night in a room full of smelly strangers a whopping £258!

In the end I opted to go via the club’s official travel partners, Thomas Cook, who for £500 plus match ticket (a cool £135) will get me there and back including transfers within the space of 24 hours. I have since met supporters who have found more reasonable deals than I did – most involve staying a fair way outside Munich – but the fact that I am guaranteed to see the biggest game in Chelsea’s history is good enough for me after I achieved the requisite amount of loyalty points following the second round of ticket sales.

As for our chances of winning, I have been desperate to hang on to the mind-set that has served me so well over the past few months, namely abject pessimism. It is a departure from my usual approach with optimism being my natural state in all things football. My glass is always half full evidenced by the fact that I even attend major international tournaments genuinely believing England have a chance of going all the way such is my positive delusion. But I have found that an utterly sullen and miserable attitude can reap the happiest of outcomes. I thought the Napoli front three would scupper us in the second round, I was extremely cautious ahead of the second leg against Benfica citing the likes of Pablo Aimar and Nicolas Gaitan as major threats. Barcelona was obviously the final nail in the coffin. I even thought Tottenham would beat us in the FA Cup semi-final though, in hindsight, how could I have been so stupid?!

The same attempts at playing down Chelsea’s chances on Saturday have been made but this time I can’t help but have a chink of belief. Yes, we have four players suspended. Yes, we are hoping beyond hope that we are able to field one rookie Champions League centre-back (Gary Cahill) alongside an accident that frequently happens (David Luiz). Yes, we are playing the mighty Bayern Munich on their own patch. Yes, we will have to nullify not just the sensational Arjen Robben but the devastating (on his day) Franck Ribery and the goal machine that is Mario Gomez.

But then I remember that this vaunted Bavarian giant got thumped 5-2 on Saturday in the German Cup final by Borussia Dortmund. Without having to look too far for parallels, didn’t Barcelona lose a rather important match – the La Liga deciding El Clasico – in the fixture immediately preceding their elimination at the hands of Ramires, Torres and co? And in any case, Chelsea have already pulled off the implausible against Napoli and bent the laws of the physical universe to knock out Lionel Messi and his mates.

Only one more miracle is required and with living legends such as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba set to take the field who would bet against the Blues becoming London’s first ever European Cup winners?

Plenty, probably, but not me.


You can read more of Phil's opinions at or on Twitter @PhilLythell

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Posted by austin ifeanyi on 05/16/2012

i know dat dis year is our year(blue year).haterz can say wot dy feel,wish or think about ma darling chelsea,bt i wnt stop us 4rm humiliatin bayern,we crossd d red sea(barcelona),river jordan(bayern) cnt stop us 4rm bringing down d wall of jericho(becomin d first team 4rm london 2 win d uefa cl)chelsea al d way.drogba wl do it 4 us wt 2 gud goals.

Posted by Jason on 05/16/2012

Well written once more, Phil! Glad to see you could get tickets for the final, as I bought me and my wife tickets to see the huge game as well! Hopefully the Blues won't disappoint.

However, even after looking back at those sensational wins in the UCL this season with the likes of Napoli, Barcelona, Benfica, Valencia, etc., I'm still not confident at all that Chelsea will somehow come out on top. Bayern's defense may not be as strong, but looking at Chelsea's defense it's in far worse shape. In addition, the loss of Ramires, a possible candidate for Chelsea player of the year, means Chelsea lose some of that remarkable energy that he could provide. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to the game.

Go Blues!

Posted by Jon on 05/16/2012

I'm wowed... This is the best moment to be a Chelsea FC fan. Can't wait for saturday 19:45 pm! Breathtaking article you got there.

Posted by aLVin9800 on 05/17/2012

Every Chelsea fan is proud off this bunch of dedicated players, having traveled the yellow brick road of a very rocky season. The FA Cup was already in the cabinet and let us have the belief that the coveted and yet illusive Champions League trophy will find its way back to London!

However, there are still a few loose cannons in the team who wants to seek personal glory and again Daniel Sturridge sticks out as a sore thumb! He is talented but still possesses selfish deeds, very much exemplified by his last home match against Blackburn Rovers. He was poor in his decision as to, when to shoot or pass out the ball. Perhaps he was trying to impress the FA for a Euro 2012 selection. It came to nothing as he neither scored nor selected.

Every Chelsea player MUST play as a team and put the Club's interest first above self. Live your dreams, trust in your beliefs, be yourself and only better. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR PERSONAL GLORY AND THIS MESSAGE IS DEDICATED TO DANIEL STURRIDGE

Posted by kolade laoye on 05/17/2012

i jump and laugh and smile you have written well with precision. against Barcelona Chelsea defied the laws of premonition, prediction and even the most accurate of soothsayers would have bet against Chelsea in the home and away games they played against Barcelona. I am moved to believe football is predetermined by the Gods 100 Lionel messis or not.

Posted by honesty on 05/17/2012

what else need to be said,it will be a difficult game.we the die-hard fans a football miracle or precisely a motivated victory.from the look of things,i expect drogba to perform some magic as usual.

Posted by Chad Mitchell on 05/18/2012

Thank you for this blog, coming from the US where there are not many Chelsea fans in my area, it's great to get a personal touch to my love of Chelsea.

Also, if you want to keep those chills going, watch this video:

"Chelsea FC - The Road to Munich"

Posted by Rajan Acharya on 05/18/2012

Bayern will surely dominate Europe starting Saturday. They will beat Chelsea 2-1. As a Gooner, I want Arsenal to be the first team to lift the European Cup. Go Bayern Go.

Posted by john blissett on 05/18/2012

I'm not a Chelsea fan but I still want them to win on Saturday . For Mr. Roman Abramovich without him ...Chelsea would be invisible ...maybe not even in the Premiership. Money...or investment, has already paid dividends when you see Man City & what they have accomplished . I can only imagine a win at the Alliance Stadion on Saturday will bring back memories of England in 1966 against Germany at Wembley. A nice 4-2 Victory is what I'm hoping for and Fernando Torres to come on and score twice before the final whistle sounds ...I hope theve struck a medal for Roman too. In my opinion He deserves it... Never thought I would say Cumon Chelsea ... but I'm saying it now ...Cum on Chelsea... You beat Barca, now it's Bayerns' turn.
Blue for a day ...

Posted by patrick on 05/18/2012

what a masterpiece of an article that really ignites and rekindles my genuine love for prayers are vast and belief of a tomorrow triumph in munich against all odds as usual as seen all along this campaign are at the apex of elevation...go chelsea go this is surely our ultimate

Posted by eric p on 05/19/2012

Go get it Chelsea, there is no stopping you now. Bayern wont know what hit them. I will be reppin all the way from Denver Co USA

Posted by fidel on 05/19/2012

On to the next one..we started to beat napoli then benifica, then after we meet with barcelona and we cleared our way, today its our final lap to munich against bayern..we believe we gonna win this CL trophy, good luck chelsea tonight.

Posted by seraew on 05/19/2012

BAYERN ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jc okenwa on 05/19/2012

D best team dont always win that will be d case of of bayern after d final whistle they wil dominate d entire minutes of play but chealsea will have d last laugh God is with chealsea dis year

Posted by mota_nginya on 05/19/2012

Wonderful piece comrade. I thought I was the worst Chelsea die-hard fan out there until I read your piece. Although I may still be, it suffice to say I do feel a little better now that I know I am not alone in this dream of seeing my beloved Chelsea hoisting the cup high in the air.

I couldn't sleep last night and have been extremely nervous since dawn of yesterday. I have tried to go the pessimistic route, to no avail. I am doomed for a few more hours and hopefully Chelsea wins and get me out of this bondage.

Go blues, fly as high as you can so that we can shock the world once more and crown this season the best ever.

Posted by Ivan Fernandes on 05/19/2012

This is the day we all have waited for and thanks to Didier and Co ,Just 90 more minutesand we will surely be ther .Go Chelsea Go U have earned it ,Its yours for the taking.

Posted by Stephen on 05/19/2012

Congratulations from a Man City fan.
After the poor European performance that the rest of the Premier League teams provided this year (aside from Arsenal who did well considering their poor year in general) I was relieved and happy to see you pick the trophy up. England is still one of the top two leagues in Europe it is clear.
Considering you did it the hard way too I am even more impressed. As a City fan I was convinced that Napoli's attacking trio would be too much for you as they were for us but you beat them. You also bested Benfica (who advanced top of the group United were eliminated from) and then Barcelona (the consensus best team in the world) which took a fantastic effort. Then to go to Munich and win (we found the atmosphere overwhelming on the night of Tevez-gate) was spectacular.
I doubt you need to be told but enjoy this. I hope Matteo is given the chance to take things on long time for your sake and for the sake of the Premier League.

Posted by Jon on 05/20/2012

hey dude we won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you work for ESPN the supposed worldwide leader for sports why are you always a week late to write something for us?


Phil: Because I do this for free and I was at the match in Munich celebrating!!!! I will be putting up a new post soon, please be patient

Posted by Philip on 05/20/2012

Well you got your wish! It must have been an awesome night, full of roller-coaster emotions, highs and lows and with victory at the end of it, it really is the sort of night desired by every football fan. What a lucky bloke you are to have been there to witness it and i'm sure that now the 500 Euros or whatever you spent would seem small change given the lifetime's memory that you have bought yourself. Congratulations and for your sake, i am happy Chelsea won even though I am not a Chelsea fan myself! Well done Blues! Drogba is the man and Cole really put in a great shift. Many at the club I support, Arsenal, may dislike him but his choices have proven to be utterly correct as has Nasri's. Leagues, FA Cups and now the UCL. Good on him

Posted by Phaneth on 06/17/2012

Thanks for saying that Bayern don't need to treat this loss as the the end of the world and repnosd by making big changes. And it's nice to hear that someone else is ticked at Chelsea winning. That result has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Posted by Charles annan on 07/16/2012

It was a hectic road 2 de final @ munich but de boys worked really hard nd made it tru 2 de finals . On top of dat dey won de cup . Congrats to de players nd de management team 4 de success. Uve really made de fans veri happi.

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Phil Lythell Phil Lythell is a Chelsea season ticket holder and lifelong Blues supporter stretching back to the sepia-tinted days of Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin. Author of Chelsea-centric blog, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20 minute walk of Stamford Bridge which has cost him a fortune but has also kept him from those interminable queues outside Fulham Broadway Station giving him more time in the pub to discuss the latest glorious/calamitous/insipid match.

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