Bayern pip Chelsea in exciting Super Cup penalties

Blog by: Ani
Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea - UEFA Super Cup

Bayern Munich exacted their revenge on Chelsea for their 2012 Champions League finals defeat with a tense victory on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup in Prague.

In a repeat of their dramatic final in Munich 15 months ago, the two sides needed spot kicks to separate them but it wasn’t to be for the 10-man Blues on this occasion, despite leading twice, including in extra-time.

Substitute Romelu Lukaku was the only man to miss as his final penalty of the night in Prague was saved by Manuel Neuer.

Chelsea took an early lead through Fernando Torres before Franck Ribery equalised in the second half.

But despite seeing Ramires sent off just before the end of the 90 minutes, Jose Mourinho’s side went in front again in the opening stages of extra time with an Eden Hazard strike.

The Blues looked to have held on for a 2-1 victory but were pegged back at the death through Javi Martinez.

The European champions made the more positive start in the opening stages and Franck Ribery had a chance to test Petr Cech after seven minutes, but dragged his shot well wide of the Czech’s goal.

It was Mourinho’s side who drew first blood through none other than Torres – giving the perfect riposte to being omitted from the Spain squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers – who rifled home a superb finish a minute later.

Hazard made a powerful run through the midfield, feeding a wide pass to Andre Schurrle and the German’s pinpoint cross was met with a fearsome shot from Torres, leaving Neuer with little chance.

In a style not dissimilar to Barcelona under Pep Guardiola, Bayern enjoyed the bulk of possession but Chelsea, with the pace of Hazard and Oscar, always looked a threat on the break and nearly caught the Bundesliga champions out a second time, but Torres’ effort dipped over the crossbar.

A neat Bayern move drew a fine save from Cech, as Ribery angled a low shot towards the bottom corner, but Guardiola’s side continued to press in search of an equaliser.

But it was again Torres – exuding a much more confident figure up front – who had a chance to extend the Blues’ lead, after the Spaniard collected a Schurrle cross before firing a sharp shot on the turn over Neuer’s goal.

For all Bayern’s first-half possession, they were often limited to long-range efforts or half-chances by the hard working Chelsea defence, although Gary Cahill was called upon to make an impressive block to send Thomas Muller’s shot into the side-netting.

The match continued with the same pace after half-time – and it took just two minutes for Bayern to find the equaliser.

Ribery – who looked dangerous throughout – skipped inside Ramires before unleashing a thunderbolt to beat Cech from 20 yards, but the goalkeeper will feel as if he could have done better at his near post.

For all Bayern’s attacking threat, they were nearly masters of their own downfall when Schurrle stole the ball from Dante in the left-back position and squared to an unmarked Oscar, but Neuer was alert to save the Brazilian’s shot with his feet, before Frank Lampard fired narrowly over from distance.

But the chance seemed to spark Chelsea into life and, after a superbly timed tackle from Ashley Cole to deny Muller a shooting opportunity, the Blues pushed forward and had efforts from Hazard and Oscar as they took a stronger hold of the game.

Branislav Ivanovic, whose header sealed the Europa League title in May, rattled the crossbar as he towered above the Bayern defence from a corner.

David Luiz nearly won the game for Mourinho’s side, but Neuer’s outstretched hand kept the ball out at point-blank range.

Chelsea were reduced to 10 when Ramires was shown a red card, after referee Jonas Eriksson deemed his challenge on Mario Gotze worthy of a second yellow with five minutes remaining.

But Hazard put the Blues back in front within minutes of extra time getting underway, as he danced his way around the Bayern back-line before unleashing a shot which beat Neuer all too easily.

Cech was forced to make two saves in quick succession from Mario Mandzukic and Martinez in the second half of extra time, before Cahill again made a timely challenge in his own six-yard box to deny Shaqiri.

And the Chelsea stopper was again called into action as he beat away a Ribery free-kick, but just when it looked as though the Blues had done enough, Martinez found a way through with the last kick of extra time to take another European final between the two sides to penalties.

It was all-square until the final kick, despite Ashley Cole seeing his effort going in off the inside of the post and Cech getting a hand to Xherdan Shaqiri’s spot kick, but youngster Lukaku saw his effort comfortably saved by Neuer to hand the trophy to Guardiola’s Bayern.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: