Drogba lauds Chelsea spirit

Drogba lauds Chelsea spirit

Didier Drogba hailed his side's never-say-die spirit tonight after helping Chelsea claim the Champions League for the first time in their history.

The Blues beat Bayern Munich 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after tonight's final at the Allianz Arena had finished 1-1 after extra-time.

Drogba struck the winning penalty having also headed home an 88th-minute equaliser to cancel out Thomas Muller's opener for Bayern five minutes previously.

Drogba said of his team-mates: "The never give up until the end. This team is amazing."

The Ivory Coast international added of the victory on ITV: "It was written, I think, a long time ago.

"I want to dedicate this cup to all the managers we've had before, all the players I've played with before."

Drogba also hailed the performance of goalkeeper Petr Cech, who saved a penalty from Arjen Robben in extra-time and then also played a key part as Bayern missed twice in the shoot-out.

"When we have this guy in goal you have to believe," Drogba said.

Frank Lampard hit one of Chelsea's four successful penalties and the 33-year-old, who joined from West Ham in 2001 and captained them tonight in John Terry's absence, savoured the club's glory night.

He said: "I can't believe it. The determination we've shown... we didn't play fantastic but the main man Didier dug us out of trouble there.

"He's a hero. Without him we're not here.

"He scores the goals in the big games."

Lampard said of Drogba, who is out of contract this summer: "I'd love him to stay. What he did tonight he's been doing all his career."

Of the club's triumph, Lampard said: "It means everything.

"We've been so many years trying to do this.

"This is the one we really wanted and we've got it."

Asked whether the win should lead to interim manager Roberto Di Matteo being given the job permanently, Lampard said: "It's not a question for this moment.

"He took us from a struggling team maybe going out of the Champions League and we won it, so look at that."

Ashley Cole, who scored one of his side's penalties in the shoot-out, admits Chelsea rode their luck in the final as Bayern spurned a number of good chances but felt they were deserving winners in the end.

He said on Sky Sports 1: “I’m lost for words. We should have probably lost the game with the amount of chances they had.

“We rode our luck, you need luck in this competition if you’re going to win it. Today we rode our luck but we deserved it today.”

Asked if he thought their luck might have run out when Bayern won a penalty five minutes into extra-time, the England international added: “Not really, with the players we’ve got here we thought, ’ok it’s a penalty but we still have time had time left’, and when Petr’s making great saves like that we always believe.”

The victory means it was third time lucky for Cole in the Champions League final having been on the losing side with Arsenal in 2006 and Chelsea in 2008.

The 31-year-old said: “This is the reason I came here.”

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