Wednesday, May 21, 2014

21 May 2008 - Chelsea's Trophy Slipped Away

On 21 May 2008, Manchester United defeated Chelsea in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow before a crowd of over 67,000. The match was the first all-English European Cup/Champions League final as well as the first one held in Russia.

The two teams entered the Final having finished the English Premier League season in the top two spots. United won the league, only two points ahead of the Blues.

United winger Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a header in the 26th minute. Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard then equalized in the 45th minute.

Chelsea carried the momentum into the second half, in which they continually pressured United. Michael Essien, Michael Ballack, and Didier Drogba all had good chances to put Chelsea ahead, but their shots just missed the goal. The teams ended the second half still tied at 1-1 and went into extra time, where Drogba received a red card in the 116th minute for hitting United defender Nemanja Vidić. The teams finished extra time still at 1-1 and advanced to penalty kicks.

United went first and, through nine kicks, the teams were tied at 4-4, with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech having made a diving save to keep Ronaldo's shot out. Chelsea defender and captain John Terry then stepped up to take what would have been the winning kick, but he slipped and sent his shot wide.

On the fourth kick of sudden death, United keeper Edwin Van der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka's kick, giving United a 6-5 win on penalties and the club's third European Cup trophy.

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