On 21st May 2008, the 53rd Champions League competition was an English affair. Manchester United and Chelsea were battling it out at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow Russia.
It was the first Chelsea final in this competition. On the other hand, Manchester United was familiar with UCL finals after winning 1998-1999 finals against Bayern Munich in Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain.
The match started with both teams showing a lot of determination to score. On 26th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a spectacular goal against Chelsea’s keeper, Peter Cech. At the last minute of the first half, Frank Lampard equalised to make it a draw.
Second half ended up without any goal despite sharp attempts by Ronaldo and Drogba. Manchester’s Giggs substituted Scholes in 87th minute whereas Chelsea’s Kalou replaced Malouda (92nd minute).
Extra time was not fruitful either since none of the team scored. However, 4 minutes to the end of extra time, Didier Drogba, Chelsea’s most lethal striker, was show a red card after slapping Nemaja Vidic. This was a big blow to the Chelsea team.
Both teams capitalised on substituting several players in preparation for a possible penalty shootout since there were no signs of a goal during extra time.
For Manchester, Nani replaced Rooney (101th minute) while Anderson replaced Brown (120+5 minute). Chelsea substitutes included Cole paving way for Anelka (99th minute) and Belletti replacing Makelele (120+4th minute).
Each team boasted of an excellent goalkeeper; Edwin Van Sir (Manchester) and Chelsea’s Peter Cech. Thus, both teams were optimistic in winning the penalty shootout.
Penalty shootout involved 7 rounds of penalty shootout. Manchester United won 6 out of 7 penalties. Cristiano Ronaldo was the only united player to miss the third penalty. Tevez, Carrick, Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson, and Giggs scored their penalties in that order.
Chelsea only managed 5 out of the 7 rounds. Ballack, Belletti, Lampard, and Cole scored the first four penalties putting Chelsea in winning hopes.
Terry, Chelsea captain, missed the fifth penalty the reason why Chelsea fans blames Terry for losing the league. Kalou scored 6th penalty to make it 5 goals.
Anelka was taking the 6th penalty. He had a chance to save Terry if he scored. However, Anelka missed the sixth penalty after Van dar Sir dived to save his shootout.
Anelka’s miss was a big relieve for Manchester especially Ronaldo who had missed his penalty. Manchester won on 6-5 aggregate to lift the second Champions League trophy.