Manchester United have won the European Cup for the third time in their history. Extra time winners in '68 and victors in a last-second thriller in '99, the Red Devils never take the easy road. Today's Champions League Final was no exception, as ManU won a penalty kick shootout 6-5 over Chelsea following a nervy 1-1 draw.
I feel terrible for Chelsea captain John Terry. With Didier Drogba sent off for a foolish red card in extra time, Terry bravely stepped forward to take Chelsea's fifth penalty kick with a chance to clinch the Cup. Slipping on the rain-soaked grass, Terry's effort sailed wide right. Two rounds later, Nicolas Anelka was stopped by Edwin van der Sar, and Manchester had won the title. Instead of lifting the trophy, a disconsolate Terry was left to accept his second-place medal.
The match was a highly entertaining back-and-forth affair. Manchester United controlled play in the first half and could have easily put the match away early if not for some great saves by Petr Chech. When Frank Lampard drew Chelsea level just before the break, the Blues took control of the game.
Tied at 1-1, Chelsea had narrow misses in the second half and extra time. Drogba hit the left bar late in regulation and Lampard drilled the bottom of the crossbar in extra time. PKs seemed inevitable by the time Drogba was red carded for his silly slap to the face on Nemanja Vidic, so ManU saw little benefit from the man advantage. But who knows what might have been if it was he and not Terry taking the fifth PK for Chelsea.
While Manchester United's biggest stars didn't exactly shine tonight- Wayne Rooney was a non-factor, Carlos Tevez struggled mightily, and Cristinao Ronaldo was nearly the goat in the shootout- the quality of veteran players like Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Edwin van Der Sar and Ryan Giggs carried the team through. It was a classic ending to a memorable season in Europe; a night when Manchester United painted Moscow red.