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Chelsea’s Unexpected Victory – OpEd


By Anastasiya Pershkina and Yulia Ashcheulova

The London football club Chelsea has won the League of Champions – for the first time in its history.

On Sunday, Chelsea beat the Munich team Bavaria.

The London team competed for this victory for nearly 10 years. Many times within this period, Chelsea seemed to be one step from winning the cup of the League of Champions. However, each time, for this or that reason, they missed it.

The match that brought Chelsea the victory was no less spectacular than a Hollywood movie.

Before this match, and even at its first minutes, nothing seemed to speak in favor of Chelsea’s victory. Bavaria was playing in its best composition. Besides, it was playing at home. In the beginning of the match, Bavaria practically pressed its rivals from its part of the field. The first goal in this match was scored at the 83rd minute by Bavaria. However, in football, there is always room for surprise.

Sports commentator Andrey Malygin says, “Bavaria has a convincing list of victories. In the beginning of this match, it was Bavaria that dominated. Its fans practically had no doubts that it would win. But it looks like God was supporting Chelsea.”

At the 88th minute of the mach, Chelsea scored a goal, thus equaling the score. At the 95th minute, Chelsea’s goalkeeper Petr Cech, nearly by miracle, managed to repel the rivals’ penalty kick.

After the match, the time of penalty shoot-outs came.

4 years ago, in a similar situation at the finals of the League of Champions, which at that time was held in Moscow, Chelsea was beaten by Manchester United.

This time, the first penalty scored by Chelsea was unsuccessful. However, later, the score was equaled. The idol of Bavaria’s fans Bastian Schweinsteiger was probably too laborious with his kick, and the ball hit the goalpost. Chelsea’s forward Didier Drogba was calmer, and that is probably why his result was better.

It looks like Chelsea’s coach Roberto Di Matteo still cannot believe himself that his team has won. After all, Mr. Di Matteo is only an interim trainer of Chelsea. He started to coach Chelsea in March this year, after the former coach, Portuguese Andre Villas-Boas, left the club. Some people even look upon Mr. Di Matteo as upon an accidental person in Chelsea. There were rumors that he might leave the club in summer. However, even if Mr. Di Matteo has really had such plans, he will probably change his mind after this victory of Chelsea.

Football commentator Ilya Kazakov says, “Many people were sure that Chelsea needed an experienced coach, who would make the team not only win, but also perform very beautifully. In fact, few people believed that Mr. Matteo was fully fit for this role. However, now, Mr. Matteo – probably, unexpectedly for himself – has proven that he is a coach who can make his team win. A good coach should motivate his team to win, and Mr. Mattteo turned out to be a good motivator.”

Chelsea’s players were so glad about their unexpected victory that for some time, they played with the cup of the League of Champions like children. However, then, they gave the cup over to Chelsea’s owner, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. In 2003, Mr. Abramovich became the owner of the Chelsea club, and he’s been regularly investing big sums in this club since then. The club’s players believe that, to a big extent, they owe their victory to Mr. Abramovich. For all the skill of the players and the coach, a football team can hardly win without good financing, can it?

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VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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