Every so often an will publish ‘an insight’. This means it is a post completely about one thing, but with lots of information, sort of like a newspaper article. This one is about Chelsea Football Club.
On Saturday, 19th May 2012, Chelsea played Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final. It was a huge occasion for both sides. Bayern took the lead late in the second half through Thomas Müller, but Didier Drogba equalised for Chelsea five minutes later to take the game to extra time, in which Arjen Robben missed a penalty, Petr Cech saving it. The teams stayed level at 1–1 and the match went to a penalty shoot-out, which Chelsea won 4–3 to clinch their first Champions League title. In doing so, they became the first London club to win the tournament!
On that day, their manager was Roberto Di Matteo, who had taken over from Andres Villas Boas just a few months earlier. Chelsea were high in confidence and ready start the new Barclays Premier League season. They showed it too, top of the league from the second or third game. But a few months later they drew 1-1 with Swansea, starting a slip down the table. They were in third when, in midweek, they played Juventus in the champions league. They lost 3-0. This, according to owner Roman Abramovich, was the last straw. He sacked Di Matteo, much to the dislike of Chelsea fans.
The search was on for a new manager. The favourite was former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. Much to the confusion of the Chelsea fans, a new boss was found in the form of former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. There wasn’t a direct change in fortune after the appointment, drawing 0-0 with champions Manchester City. But that was only game 1 for Rafa, so we’ll see how it goes for him and the European Champions.