What a trip. What a trip! I am exhausted. But a brilliant few days. A great build up. A rollercoaster of emotions during the game – but finally a positive result. I have loads to say on it all, but will just summarise as quick as I can.
Basically, we had an absolute ball! But the end of the game was so emotional. It was. When Drog slotted that pen home I leapt 3 times, holding those around me, then I dropped to my knees and cried.
Back to pre-game, on Friday we got quite merry in the marienplatz square, including a few swift ones in Ratskeller bar area. The we went to that Augustin beerhaus just south of the station. Food was good but it was mayhem. Then back to marienplatz and around the the Irish bar area adjacent. Then at about midnight we ended up back up near our hotel at another bar on Leopoldstrasse ‘til 3am, which turfed us out an hour after their 2am closing, so we got into the hotel at 3.10 and the night reception guy started pouring more beers! I was slaughtered.
Tried to get to breakfast at 10am. No chance of eating anything. Hair of the dog at 12.30pm and we were away again, but not so heavy as I didn’t want to ruin the game in the evening. But the Saturday build up was good. 28 of us for afternoon dinner in Ratskeller on the afternoon of the game was hilarious – plus good food and much beer, of course. Off to the stadium at 6pm to get the flags up. Trains were not so clever getting to the stadium, though, but we got there ok. Flags went up about 2 hours before kickoff (and my own flag is in the background of the official presentation photo of the team with the trophy on the pitch – club champions wallpaper! Look above Sam Hutchinson’s head!)
On to the game – and what a game. Some of the backs against the wall we had at Barca, but not as bad as it was at Barca – but I thought we defended very well; blocking everything and committed ’til the end. Think back – we were blocking and causing them to make wayward shots. We kept them at bay, really.
And we could’ve won with that final kick of normal time, had drog not launched it in to the upper tier. Mata with his left foot would’ve been better, but hindsight is always better. I was behind the goal and we said it was a Mata free kick. Never mind. And Cech was outstanding – a great game.
On to the penalties. I, like everyone else, feared the worst when Mata’s kick was saved. But then we saw those two last Bayern pens saved by Cech, with the pigfarmer’s getting pushed on to the post. I was praying out loud when Drog was walking up to the penalty spot. He slotted it home. I lost control when he scored. Then I dropped to my knees and cried. It was wonderful.
Some decent celebrations in the ground for about an hour, it seemed, then the walk to the station. Word came from marienplatz that it was all shutting up, so we got off near our hotel, 3 stops short of marienplatz, and went back into that bar near the hotel for about 1am. They stayed open and it went on and on. We got back to the hotel at 5am and the night shift guy poured us beers again as we gave him a T-shirt. Then the girls were setting up for breakfast so we ended up having some breakfast straight after the beers. It was 6.30am. We were slaughtered again. The girls working at the hotel couldn’t believe it.
Anyway, we’ve finally done it. European Champions.
* The hurt of Moscow – Evra getting the Drog sent off and Terry having to take that 5th pen instead of The Drog.
* The hurt of the bent Norwegian ref the following year at the Bridge against Barca, with 4 penalties not given, including a goal-bound shot blatantly blocked by a Barca arm in injury time.
* The hurt of the ball that didn’t cross the line at the Anfield semi final in ’05, when Gallas had white boots on.
* The Drog going off at the Nou Camp for that challenge at the keeper, who was not even touched but went down like a sack of spuds.
* Even Ranieri’s mess up in Monaco those years ago.
BUT – we can now move on – we are Champions of Europe.
We are in the away scheme, and each year we enjoy all the Euro away games, of course, but this year has been special. The way the season turned round. Munich – what a trip. And what a fantastic whole weekend. What a fantastic end to the season.
Up the Chels’.