If Chelsea did an ‘Inter 2010′ in the semi-final against Barcelona, they need to repeat the trick here – Inter went onto beat Bayern in the final that year.
Jose Mourinho’s side played extremely defensively in the final two years ago, essentially continuing the strategy they’d used at the Nou Camp a few weeks earlier, despite the fact they were playing a much more attacking game in Serie A at the time. Will Chelsea do the same?
Attacking threat of Bayern Fullbacks
When we think of Bayern Munich’s lethal attack that have scored 28 goals in the Champions League this season, we think of their top goal scorer Gomez and their two flying wingers Ribery and Robben. But with Bayern playing an attacking 4-2-3-1 with inverted wingers who like to cut into the center, it is their fullbacks — Alaba and Lahm — who provide the necessary width
There are only two real tactical options for Chelsea to choose from (yes, I total skip the whole introduction stating how important and historic this game is). Since di Matteo became the manager (notice how I didn’t say “interim”?), Chelsea has either played with a counter-attacking 4-2-3-1 or a defensive (thus, only attacking option is counter attack) 4-5-1. Both of these have been used successfully in the cup competitions. The 4-2-3-1 literally worked miracles in the second leg against Napoli, while the 4-5-1 pulled off equally impressive results against Barcelona.
To say Borussia Dortmund have Bayern’s number would be one of the biggest understatements of the season, they don’t have their number, they have their free will in a cage. Five matches, 12 goals scored and three goals conceded, none of which have been scored by Mario Gomez, who has amassed 80 goals in his other 91 games over the past two seasons. Borussia Dortmund, and Jurgen Klopp in particular, simply knows how to play against Bayern Munich and with Bayern Munich waltzing through to the Champions League final, their second in three seasons, it’s time other teams follow suit. Chelsea could do a lot worse than simply throwing all preconceived tactics of how to play and grab a tape of Dortmund’s previous five matches to copy.
He has changed countries, cities and clubs. He has changed coaches. Twice. He has changed culture and language. He has even changed his name. Or they have changed it for him. Johnny Kills has had a busy year. He won the European Under-21 Championships, joined Chelseafrom Valencia for £23.5m, scored on his debut, beat Barcelona and won the FA Cup at Wembley. This week he was named the fans’ player of the year and this summer he will play for the favourites at Euro 2012, looking to add to his World Cup winner’s medal. Then he will compete at the Olympics. In his new home city. And before that, a European Cup final.
Even if Chelsea wins the Champions League final Saturday, Roberto Di Matteo might not be the manager next season. The man in the opposite dugout at Munich’s Allianz Arena will sympathize; Jupp Heynckes won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 1998, then was promptly sacked for finishing only fourth in La Liga.
Di Matteo has done what the more accomplished quartet of Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink couldn’t by steering the Blues to within a game of European glory. Another unlikely figure, Avram Grant, was in charge in 2008, when a John Terry slip in the penalty shootout cost Chelsea the title against Manchester United in Moscow.
He was the hero of the hour as Bayern Munich secured their golden ticket to a Champions League final on home soil with a thrilling penalty shoot-out win against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, yet Manuel Neuer accepts the pressure will be on his side when they take on Chelsea this Saturday.