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On This Betting Day in 2012: A depleted Chelsea defy the odds and win the Champions League

Chelsea shocked everyone when they beat Bayern in their own backyard back in 2012
Chelsea shocked everyone when they beat Bayern in their own backyard back in 2012

12/1 shots Chelsea win their first ever Champions League title

On this day eight years ago, Chelsea stunned the football world by winning their first (and so far only) Champions League title. It was the moment that owner Roman Abramovich had longed for since taking over the club in 2004; European dominance had finally been achieved after several years of trying.

The Blues faced a strong Bayern Munich side in the final, in the Bavarians' own backyard, without several key members of their first-team squad available. Influential captain John Terry was suspended after picking up a red card in the semi-final clash against Barcelona, while the likes of Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires were also missing through suspension after picking up bookings against the Catalans. 

This left Chelsea, who were already firm underdogs for the clash - priced at 7/2 just to win in normal time - with a huge job on their hands. Not only did they have to travel to Germany to take on the country's most successful club in their own stadium, but they'd have to do it with an extremely depleted team.

Indeed, manager Roberto Di Matteo was forced into making wholesale changes - notably handing a European debut to bit-part player Ryan Bertrand just ahead of Ashley Cole in left-midfield. The Englishman, then aged 22, had only started six league games for Chelsea that season and had not featured at all in the Champions League prior to the final, but put in a magnificent display during an incredibly hard-fought battle in southern Germany. 

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Of the team who faced Manchester United in the 2008 final, only four lined up against Bayern at the Allianz Arena four years later. Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba had all suffered heartbreak in the pouring rain of Moscow and were determined not to let the trophy slip through their fingertips again. 

Chelsea's journey to the final was not easy, either.

The Blues had to navigate their way past Barcelona in the semi-final's, before they could book their spot at the Allianz Arena and were heavy underdogs to do so, with the betting odds pricing them up at 4/1 to beat Pep Guardiola's reigning champions in the first-leg at Stamford Bridge, and 10/1 to beat them in the return leg at the Nou Camp.

Two incredibly spirited performances from Chelsea saw them edge past the Spaniards 3-2 on aggregate, however, in turn setting them up for a blockbuster clash against Bayern in the final. 

Bayern to beat

What happened next was sensational. The game itself was a cagey affair, Bayern kept much of the ball in the first-half and continued to probe Chelsea but ultimately to no avail. The match opened up after half-time as the hosts started to gain momentum, taking a number of shots on goal but were continuously met with an assertive response from the Blues' talismanic shot-stopper Petr Cech. 

In the 83rd minute, though, Thomas Muller's headed goal looked to have sealed Chelsea's fate. The game was heading into the dying stages with the scoreline reading 1-0 to the hosts; a gut-wrenching repeat of 2008 seemed imminent for the west Londoners on foreign soil. 

That was until Didier Drogba's cunning riposte just five minutes later took the game into extra-time. However, the Ivorian quickly went from hero to zero after conceding a penalty soon after the restart, but was saved by his trustworthy teammate between the sticks as Cech denied Arjen Robben from the spot. 

With no more goals to report at the end of 120 minutes, penalties were required to decide who would be crowned champions of Europe. Bayern started strongly and even found themselves 3-1 in front at one point, before the German's faltered as the shootout wore on.

Drogba was tasked with converting the final spot kick to clinch the tie for his club and he did just that, dispatching his effort in typically ice-cool fashion to ensure the Blues would be handed the trophy in what is still widely known as the biggest shock in the final of the Champions League.

Chelsea were given just a 33% chance of winning the Champions League prior to kick-off against Bayern, while the German's odds to go the distance and be crowned European champions were as short as 2/5 - an implied probability of 71%.

The Blues were priced at 12/1 to win the competition at the start of the 2011-12 season, and drifted to as high as 33/1 to go the distance after qualifying from the group stages - making them the Champions League's biggest priced winner since Porto in 2003-04.

Funny old game, football.

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