2008 UEFA Champions League Final

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2008 UEFA Champions League Final
2008 UEFA Champions League Final logo.jpg
Match programme cover
Event 2007–08 UEFA Champions League
Manchester United won 6–5 on penalties
Date 21 May 2008
Venue Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
UEFA Man of the Match Edwin van der Sar
(Manchester United)
Fans' Man of the Match Cristiano Ronaldo
(Manchester United)
Referee Ľuboš Micheľ (Slovakia)
Attendance 67,310
Weather Cloudy
14 °C (57 °F)
96% humidity[1]

The 2008 UEFA Champions League Final was a football match that took place on Wednesday, 21 May 2008 at 20:45 CEST (22:45 MSD). The match was played at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, to determine the winner of the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League. The final was contested by Manchester United and Chelsea, making it an all-English club final for the first time in the history of the competition. This was only the third time that two clubs from the same country had contested the final; the others being the 2000 and 2003 finals. The game was won by Manchester United 6–5 on penalties, after a 1–1 draw following extra time.

This was the first European Cup final staged in Russia, and hence the easternmost final in the tournament's history.[2] It was also Chelsea's first European Cup final in their history.[3] The significance for United was that 2008 marked the 100th anniversary of their first league triumph, the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster, and the 40th anniversary of United's first European Cup triumph in 1968.[3]


The statue of Vladimir Lenin outside the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with the stadium in Champions League Final livery.

Manchester United and Chelsea had played each other 150 times prior to the Champions League final, including 18 meetings in domestic cup competitions (including the FA Community Shield), but due to various historical restrictions regarding the number of teams from the same country entering European competitions, they had never met in Europe before. Manchester United held the upper hand in the teams' 150 previous meetings, winning 65 times to Chelsea's 41, with 44 draws. Their cup record was equally good, winning 10 of their 18 cup meetings, with the remaining eight ties split equally between draws and Chelsea wins. However, honours were even in cup finals, with Manchester United having won the 1994 FA Cup Final 4–0, while Chelsea won the 2007 FA Cup Final 1–0, the last cup game between the two sides.[4] Manchester United got their own back for defeat in the 2007 FA Cup Final by beating Chelsea in the 2007 FA Community Shield the following August, winning 3–0 on penalties after a 1–1 draw in normal time.[3] They on to claim their 17th league title at the end of the 2007–08 Premier League season, finishing two points ahead of Chelsea. In the two sides' league meetings that season, United won 2–0 at Old Trafford in Avram Grant's first game in charge of Chelsea on 23 September 2007, while Chelsea won 2–1 at Stamford Bridge in the return game on 26 April 2008.[3]

Because of the aforementioned entry restrictions, Manchester United had only met English opposition in Europe twice before. The first meeting was in the second round of the 1963–64 European Cup Winners' Cup against defending champions Tottenham Hotspur, played over two legs in December 1963; Tottenham won the first leg at White Hart Lane 2–0, but Manchester United won the second leg at Old Trafford 4–1 to qualify for the third round. The second meeting was against Everton in the third round of the non-UEFA 1964–65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup; Everton held Manchester United to a draw in the first leg at Old Trafford in January 1965, before United won the return leg 2–1 at Goodison Park in February 1965.[5] Meanwhile, Chelsea had far more experience against English opposition, having played 12 matches against compatriot clubs, winning five, drawing five and losing just two. Their first all-English European tie came in the semi-finals of the 1970–71 European Cup Winners' Cup against defending champions Manchester City, in which they won 1–0 in both legs of the tie, before going on to beat Real Madrid 2–1 in the final replay. Chelsea's most recent European tie against English opposition came in the semi-finals of the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, in which they lost to Liverpool on penalties after a 1–1 draw on aggregate.[6]

Both sides had an established pedigree in European football, Chelsea having been invited to take part in the inaugural European Cup in 1955–56 as champions of England, only to be denied entry by The Football League, allowing Manchester United to become the first English entrants in the competition the following season. In February 1958, Manchester United suffered one of the greatest tragedies in football history when the aeroplane carrying their team back from a match in Belgrade crashed while attempting to take off from a refuelling stop in Munich. The crash killed many of the plane's passengers, including eight players, and almost claimed the life of manager Matt Busby. Busby rebuilt the team, and in May 1968, his team became the first English winners of the European Cup, beating Benfica 4–1 in the 1968 European Cup Final. Chelsea won their first European trophy three years later with the aforementioned Cup Winners' Cup victory over Real Madrid. Both clubs won that same competition during the 1990s – first Manchester United beat Barcelona 2–1 in the 1991 final (followed by victory over Red Star Belgrade in the 1991 Super Cup), and then Chelsea beat VfB Stuttgart in the 1998 final (followed by victory over Real Madrid in the 1998 Super Cup, their most recent European success). Manchester United then won their second European Cup the following year, beating Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.

Route to the final[edit]

For more details on this topic, see 2007–08 UEFA Champions League.
Manchester United Round Chelsea
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
England Manchester United 6 5 1 0 13 4 +9 16
Italy Roma 6 3 2 1 11 6 +5 11
Portugal Sporting CP 6 2 1 3 9 8 +1 7
Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv 6 0 0 6 4 19 −15 0
Group stage
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
England Chelsea 6 3 3 0 9 2 +7 12
Germany Schalke 04 6 2 2 2 5 4 +1 8
Norway Rosenborg 6 2 1 3 6 10 −4 7
Spain Valencia 6 1 2 3 2 6 −4 5
Opponent Result Legs Knockout phase Opponent Result Legs
France Lyon 2–1 1–1 away; 1–0 home First knockout round Greece Olympiacos 3–0 0–0 away; 3–0 home
Italy Roma 3–0 2–0 away; 1–0 home Quarter-finals Turkey Fenerbahçe 3–2 1–2 away; 2–0 home
Spain Barcelona 1–0 0–0 away; 1–0 home Semi-finals England Liverpool 4–3 1–1 away; 3–2 home (aet)

Manchester United[edit]

Manchester United vs Lyon, First knockout round second leg at Old Trafford

Manchester United were drawn in Group F along with Roma, Sporting and Dynamo Kyiv. United won their first five group games before securing a 1–1 draw away against Roma, in a game where both teams were already guaranteed to progress from the group, United as group winners and with the most number of points out of all the group winners, 16.

In the first knockout round, United were drawn against Lyon, against whom they drew the away leg 1–1, thanks to a late equaliser from Carlos Tevez. The Red Devils then won the second leg 1–0 – Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the only goal – to ensure a 2–1 aggregate win and a place in the quarter-finals, where they were again drawn against Roma.

The quarter-final matches represented the fifth and sixth times these two clubs had met in Europe in just over 12 months. United went to Rome and secured a very creditable 2–0 win with a first-half header from Cristiano Ronaldo and a second-half goal tapped in by Wayne Rooney. United went on to secure the tie with a record 11th consecutive home Champions League win, winning 1–0.

The semi-final pitted United against Barcelona; the teams had not met since the group stage of the 1998–99 tournament, the last time United won it. The teams also had identical records going into the semi-final, each having won eight and drawn two of their ten games, scoring 18 goals and conceding just five. The first leg at the Nou Camp was a drab affair, with United spending most of the game defending, whilst Barcelona tried to pass the ball around them. United were awarded a penalty in the first minute, but Cristiano Ronaldo sent the ball wide, hitting the stanchion behind the goal. That was about as exciting as the first leg got for either team and it ended 0–0. The second leg at Old Trafford was a game of higher tempo, which United won 1–0 thanks to a goal from Paul Scholes after 14 minutes. This result increased United's consecutive home win record in the Champions League to 12 and ensured that United reached the final unbeaten.

En route to the final 2008, United won nine and drew three of their 12 matches, dwarfing their record of four wins and six draws in the ten games they took to reach the final in 1999 (in 1999 there was no first knockout round and teams advanced from the group stage directly into the quarter-finals). United scored 19 goals en route to the final, Cristiano Ronaldo scoring seven of them, more than any other player.


Liverpool vs Chelsea, Semi-final first leg at Anfield

Chelsea were placed in Group B, along with Schalke 04, Rosenborg and Valencia. Chelsea's first match in the group was against Rosenborg at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's home ground, where they were held to a 1–1 draw. Two days later manager José Mourinho left Chelsea by mutual consent. Mourinho's replacement was former Israeli national team coach Avram Grant. Chelsea's second match was against Spanish club Valencia, whom they beat 2–1, leaving Chelsea with four points from their two matches. Chelsea's next two matches were against Schalke 04 of Germany. The first match was played at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won the match 2–0. The return match against Schalke 04 ended in a 0–0 draw. Chelsea's final two matches in their group resulted in a 4–0 demolition of Rosenborg and a 0–0 draw with Valencia. Chelsea progressed as group winners with 12 points out of six games.

Chelsea faced Olympiacos in the first knockout round. The first leg in Athens ended in a 0–0 draw. The second leg saw Chelsea run out 3–0 winners with goals from Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard and Salomon Kalou to send Chelsea into the quarter-finals.

Chelsea were drawn against Fenerbahçe of Turkey in the quarter-finals. The first leg was held at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, and ended in a 2–1 loss. Chelsea had opened the scoring when Deivid deflected the ball into his own net, but Fenerbahçe equalised on 65 minutes, when Colin Kazim-Richards scored. Deivid won the match for Fenerbahçe with a strike from outside the penalty area in the 81st minute. The second leg at Stamford Bridge was won 2–0 by Chelsea, to claim a 3–2 aggregate victory over the Turkish side.

Chelsea faced fellow English club Liverpool in the semi-final. This was the fourth year in succession that these teams had met in the Champions League. The first leg at Anfield was drawn 1–1. The game looked to be heading for a Liverpool win but an own goal by John Arne Riise in the 95th minute gave Chelsea advantage. Chelsea won the second leg 3–2 after extra time, with goals from Drogba on 33 minutes, Lampard on 98 minutes and Drogba again on 105 minutes sending the Blues through to the first Champions League final in their history.



The entrance to the UEFA Champions Festival in Red Square, Moscow

The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow was selected as the venue for the match at a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 4 October 2006. The committee – who decided the venue for the 2009 final and the 2008 and 2009 UEFA Cup Finals at the same meeting – based their decision on a number of factors, including stadium capacity, safety and security facilities, and accessibility.[7] The other venues in contention were the Estadio Olímpico in Sevilla, the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Wembley Stadium in London, and the Stadio Olimpico in Rome,[8] which was chosen to host the 2009 final.[7]

The European Cup final had never before been played in Russia, making this match the easternmost final in the tournament's history; however, the Luzhniki Stadium had previously played host to the 1999 UEFA Cup Final, in which Italian club Parma beat French side Marseille 3–0.

Originally known as the Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium, the ground opened in 1956 as a new national stadium for the Soviet Union national football team. In 1973, it served as the principle venue for the seventh Summer Universiade, before going on to perform the same function at the 1980 Summer Olympics. By this point, the stadium's capacity was 103,000; however, renovations in the mid-1990s reduced the capacity to just under 85,000. The stadium was given five-star status by UEFA in 1998, before hosting the UEFA Cup final the following year. To help the stadium cope with the cold Russian winters, the grass pitch was replaced by an artificial FieldTurf surface in 2002.[9]

Although UEFA allowed matches in earlier rounds to be played on the synthetic surface, they mandated that the final should be played on natural grass. Turf was shipped in from Slovakia especially for the final at a cost of £160,000, and laid on top of the existing playing surface, resulting in the pitch being 35 cm (14 in) higher than normal. There were originally concerns over the players' safety on the new field, which had to be relaid twice after patches died in transit.[10]

In recent years, the Champions League final has been given an identity of its own with a unique logo, a design concept, and an overall theme. The objective is to help promote the final and enhance the prestige of one of the world's biggest sporting events. The initial idea that inspired the creation of a new identity for each final was to develop a design with a distinctive flavour of the host city. On 31 October, in Moscow, the Final's new design was presented to public. The ceremony was held in the press conference room at the Luzhniki Stadium and the design was unveiled in presence of the ambassador for the final, former Russian goalkeeper Rinat Dasayev.[11]

As for every Champions League final since 1997, a ceremonial handover of the UEFA Champions League trophy took place at the GUM Centre in Moscow's Red Square on 3 April 2008. On behalf of 2007 champions Milan, former player and current technical operations director Leonardo and club director Umberto Gandini presented the trophy back to UEFA president Michel Platini, who passed it on to the Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, for it to be displayed in five cities around the country – Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, Saint Petersburg and Samara – before returning to Moscow ahead of the final. Also in attendance at the ceremony were final ambassador Rinat Dasayev and Russian Football Union president Vitaly Mutko.[12][13]


A ticket from the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final

Although the Luzhniki Stadium had a usual capacity of almost 85,000 spectators, that was reduced to 69,500 for the final. Of those tickets, approximately 21,000 were reserved for each finalist club, with a further 10,500 available for purchase by the general public via the UEFA website. Recipients of those tickets were determined by a random ballot following an online application process that ran from 28 February to 19 March 2008. Tickets were priced at between €80 and €200 depending on their location in the stadium.[14] UEFA received around 125,000 applications for tickets from the general public over the course of the three-week application process.[15]

The clubs were able to distribute their tickets however they wished; Manchester United chose to make their allocation available to all Executive Seat Holders and any Season Ticket Holders who had successfully applied for a ticket to at least one of the club's five Champions League away matches between the group stage and the quarter-finals,[16] while Chelsea opened up applications to all club members and season ticket holders.[17]

Manchester United chief executive David Gill expressed disappointment that his club had only been allocated 21,000 tickets for their supporters, claiming that they could have potentially sold up to 100,000.[18] While Manchester United managed to sell out their entire allocation, UEFA director of communications William Gaillard indicated that Chelsea still had "up to a couple of thousand" tickets unsold the day before the game, despite claims by Chelsea's chief operations officer, Ron Gourlay, to the contrary.[19]

One of the major concerns for English fans attending the final was the acquisition of visas for entry into Russia. However, after a period of negotiations between representatives of Russia, the United Kingdom, UEFA and the two clubs, it was agreed that fans with tickets for the match would not require a visa, provided they were also able to produce a passport with at least six months before expiry and a completed immigration card on entry into Russia.[20] The visa-free period was initially supposed to run for 72 hours between 19 May and 23 May, but this was later extended to an eight-day period lasting from 17 May to 25 May.[21] Because of the difficulty and expense of acquiring a ticket and visa, fans who had not already got tickets were advised against travelling to Moscow by UEFA's William Gaillard, who also warned fans about Russia's strict laws regarding the consumption of alcohol.[22]

Match ball[edit]

A ball from the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final on display at the 2011 UEFA Champions Festival in Hyde Park, London

The match ball for the final was the Adidas Finale Moscow, the eighth in the Adidas Finale range. The ball's design was based around the "starball" pattern, inspired by the UEFA Champions League logo; the stars are dark red with gold detailing, reminiscent of the predominant colours of Red Square, the Kremlin and the gold domes of Moscow's cathedrals.[23] Technically, the ball is based on the Adidas Europass, which was used at UEFA Euro 2008 later that summer; it has the same 14-panel configuration as the Adidas Teamgeist, but with the PSC-Texture surface innovated for the Europass. The ball was unveiled at a special ceremony in Moscow's Manezhnaya Square, attended by UEFA General Secretary David Taylor, former Germany player and coach Franz Beckenbauer, final ambassador Rinat Dasayev and Russian Football Union president Vitaly Mutko.[23]


Ľuboš Micheľ refereed the final.

The referee for the final was 40-year-old Slovakian referee Ľuboš Micheľ, the first Slovak to take charge of a European Cup final. Having presided over the 2003 UEFA Cup Final, he was also the second man to referee the finals of both the Champions League and UEFA Cup since the latter changed to a single-legged affair in 1998; the other was Pierluigi Collina.[24] He began refereeing in 1987 at the age of 19, and took charge of his first top-flight game in 1993. That same year, he was promoted to the FIFA list of international referees, and in November 1993, he refereed his first international match – a UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying match between San Marino and England.[25] His first UEFA Champions League matches came in the 1998–99 season, including Manchester United's 5–0 win over Brøndby in the group stage.[26] Since then, he has refereed 55 Champions League matches (including qualifying), notably the second leg of the semi-final between Chelsea and Liverpool in 2005 in which he gave a controversial goal to Liverpool's Luis García.[27] He was also selected to referee at the 2000 Summer Olympics, the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, and the European Championships in 2004 and 2008.[26]

As per tradition, the referee was supported by assistant referees and a fourth official from the same country; Micheľ's refereeing team was completed by assistants Roman Slysko and Martin Balko, and fourth official Vladimír Hriňák.[25]


Team selection[edit]

Manchester United fans display a card mosaic reading "Believe".

Sir Alex Ferguson guaranteed a place in the starting line-up for Paul Scholes, after the midfielder had missed the 1999 final through suspension.[28] He stuck with his regular formation that had won the team the league title a week earlier, with his only real decision being whether to play Park Ji-sung or Owen Hargreaves in midfield. He decided to start Hargreaves on the right wing instead of his regular role as a defensive midfielder, and played Cristiano Ronaldo on the left wing, pitting him against Michael Essien. Ferguson predicted that his substitutes might have a big impact on the match, just as Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær did in 1999.[29]

The day before the match, Avram Grant predicted that the game would throw up few tactical surprises due to the two teams' knowledge of each other from the domestic league.[30] Nevertheless, he decided to start with Florent Malouda on the left-wing instead of Salomon Kalou, and also chose to deploy Michael Essien at right-back ahead of Paulo Ferreira and Juliano Belletti, rather than in his preferred midfield position. The rest of Chelsea's team was fairly predictable, with their spine of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba being the key players. Ashley Cole also started despite hurting his right ankle in training the day before the game under a heavy challenge from Claude Makélélé. His replacement would have likely been Wayne Bridge, but he recovered sufficiently that Bridge was not even included in the matchday squad.[31]

Match summary[edit]

First half[edit]

Manchester United and Chelsea players shake hands ahead of the match.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after a fairly cagey 26 minutes. An interchange of passes between Paul Scholes and Wes Brown after a throw-in on the right flank gave Brown time to pick out a cross for Ronaldo, who directed his header past Petr Čech. Chelsea almost equalised in the 33rd minute when Frank Lampard's cross was headed back into the six-yard box by Didier Drogba. United's Rio Ferdinand, under pressure from Michael Ballack, was forced to head the ball towards his own goal and Edwin van der Sar pulled off a save to deny Chelsea a goal. United spent the rest of the first half pressing for a second goal, and had two good opportunities to extend their lead, but were denied by a double-save from Čech. Wayne Rooney delivered a long ball into the path of Ronaldo and the United goalscorer placed his cross on the head of the diving Tevez, only for Čech to deny him. Chelsea's failure to clear the loose ball gave Michael Carrick the chance to extend their lead but again Čech was equal to the task with yet another save.

Manchester United in possession

Chelsea survived the pressure and equalised in the dying minutes of the first half. The goal followed from a long range shot by Michael Essien, being deflected first off Nemanja Vidić and then Rio Ferdinand. The ball's change in direction caused Edwin van der Sar to lose his footing, leaving Lampard, who had made the run from deep, with a simple finish. At the end of the first half Manchester Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson confronted match referee Ľuboš Micheľ, "jabbing out an angry finger and spitting out a few choice words".[32][33]

Second half[edit]

Manchester United go on the attack.

Lampard's equaliser coming at the end of the first half led to a transformed Chelsea in the second half. Chelsea kept United on the back foot for long periods. Nevertheless, the Red Devils managed to contain most of Chelsea's attacks. Chelsea had a few opportunities to take the lead, with Essien breaking free of United's defence in the 54th minute, only to blast his shot too high. Michael Ballack also sent a long shot just off target. Chelsea's closest opportunity to take the lead came in the 77th minute when a Didier Drogba shot struck the post from 20 yards (18 m) out. Drogba came very close to turning Joe Cole's low cross home for the winner four minutes from time, but fired wide. Ryan Giggs was then introduced in place of Scholes, making a record 759th appearance for Manchester United. Ryan Giggs was presented with a chance to win the game but opted to shoot with his right foot which allowed John Terry to make a game saving clearance.

Extra time[edit]

The game moved into extra time, and the thrilling pace was maintained throughout. Both teams had chances to score a vital second goal, with a Lampard left-footer hitting the underside of the crossbar and Ryan Giggs having a shot headed off the line by Terry. Following a fracas involving most of the 22 players and the match officials, Didier Drogba received a red card for a slap on Nemanja Vidić, becoming only the second player in history to be sent off in a European Cup Final – the first being Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in 2006.

Penalty shoot-out[edit]

The players prepare for the penalty shoot-out.

Rio Ferdinand won the toss of the coin, and opted for United to go first in the shoot-out. Carlos Tevez stepped up first and sent Čech the wrong way. Ballack was next up, shooting powerfully past Van der Sar. Carrick buried his spot-kick, as did Juliano Belletti with his first touch of the game. The first miss of the shoot-out came from Cristiano Ronaldo, who characteristically stuttered in his run-up in order to put Čech off, but the goalkeeper dived to his right to save. Lampard then put Chelsea 3–2 ahead. Owen Hargreaves levelled things up with a shot into the top corner. Ashley Cole was the next up, and Van der Sar got a strong hand to the ball but couldn't keep the ball out. Nani then knew that he had to score to keep United in it, and he did it just. Thus, it was all up to John Terry to win the cup for Chelsea. However, Terry lost his footing when planting his standing foot by the ball,[34] and, even though Edwin van der Sar was sent the wrong way, Terry's mis-hit effort hit the outside of the right post and went wide.

Anderson scored the first penalty in sudden death. Salomon Kalou then sent Van der Sar the wrong way to make it 5–5. Giggs was next up and he was also successful. Van der Sar then pulled off the crucial save for United by distracting Nicolas Anelka when he pointed to his left but correctly dived to his right to deny Anelka, securing United European football's top prize for the third time in their history.

Match details[edit]

Manchester United
GK 1 Netherlands Edwin van der Sar
RB 6 England Wes Brown Substituted off 120+5'
CB 5 England Rio Ferdinand (c) Booked 43'
CB 15 Serbia Nemanja Vidić Booked 111'
LB 3 France Patrice Evra
RM 4 England Owen Hargreaves
CM 18 England Paul Scholes Booked 21' Substituted off 87'
CM 16 England Michael Carrick
LM 7 Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo
CF 10 England Wayne Rooney Substituted off 101'
CF 32 Argentina Carlos Tevez Booked 116'
GK 29 Poland Tomasz Kuszczak
DF 22 Republic of Ireland John O'Shea
DF 27 France Mikaël Silvestre
MF 8 Brazil Anderson Substituted in 120+5'
MF 11 Wales Ryan Giggs Substituted in 87'
MF 17 Portugal Nani Substituted in 101'
MF 24 Scotland Darren Fletcher
Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson
Man Utd vs Chelsea 2008-05-21.svg
GK 1 Czech Republic Petr Čech
RB 5 Ghana Michael Essien Booked 118'
CB 6 Portugal Ricardo Carvalho Booked 45+2'
CB 26 England John Terry (c)
LB 3 England Ashley Cole
DM 4 France Claude Makélélé Booked 21' Substituted off 120+4'
CM 13 Germany Michael Ballack Booked 116'
CM 8 England Frank Lampard
RW 10 England Joe Cole Substituted off 99'
LW 15 France Florent Malouda Substituted off 92'
CF 11 Ivory Coast Didier Drogba Red card 116'
GK 23 Italy Carlo Cudicini
DF 33 Brazil Alex
DF 35 Brazil Juliano Belletti Substituted in 120+4'
MF 12 Nigeria Mikel John Obi
FW 7 Ukraine Andriy Shevchenko
FW 21 Ivory Coast Salomon Kalou Substituted in 92'
FW 39 France Nicolas Anelka Substituted in 99'
Israel Avram Grant

UEFA Man of the Match:
Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United)[36][37]
Fans' Man of the Match:
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)[38]

Assistant referees:
Roman Slyško (Slovakia)
Martin Balko (Slovakia)
Fourth official:
Vladimir Hriňák (Slovakia)


First half
Manchester United Chelsea
Goals scored 1 1
Total shots 5 6
Shots on target 3 1
Ball possession 59% 41%
Corner kicks 2 2
Fouls committed 5 9
Offsides 0 1
Yellow cards 2 2
Red cards 0 0
Second half
Manchester United Chelsea
Goals scored 0 0
Total shots 4 14
Shots on target 0 1
Ball possession
Corner kicks 2 4
Fouls committed 9 9
Offsides 0 1
Yellow cards 0 0
Red cards 0 0
Extra time
Manchester United Chelsea
Goals scored 0 0
Total shots 3 4
Shots on target 2 1
Ball possession
Corner kicks 1 2
Fouls committed 8 7
Offsides 1 0
Yellow cards 2 2
Red cards 0 1
Manchester United Chelsea
Goals scored 1 1
Total shots 12 24
Shots on target 5 3
Ball possession 58% 42%
Corner kicks 5 8
Fouls committed 22 25
Offsides 1 2
Yellow cards 4 4
Red cards 0 1


After the match[edit]

John Terry had to be consoled by his manager Avram Grant, who after receiving both his own medal and red-carded striker Didier Drogba's medal, tossed his own into the crowd.[39] The Manchester United players formed a guard of honour for Chelsea, lining up in two opposite rows and applauding as the Chelsea team walked through. Munich air disaster survivor Bobby Charlton, who had captained United to the European Cup title in 1968, led the team up to collect their medals. Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs lifted the trophy together.

Following the match, riots escalated outside of Fulham Broadway Station.[40]


United manager Sir Alex Ferguson later apologised to Park Ji-Sung for not including him in the matchday squad,[41] while Cristiano Ronaldo attempted to quash further speculation about his future, telling press after the game, "I stay."[42]

Ricardo Carvalho, Frank Lampard and Avram Grant all refused to point the finger of blame at Terry, but assistant manager Henk Ten Cate showed annoyance both with Drogba's sending-off (if Drogba had not been sent off, he would have taken the fifth penalty) and Terry's miss.[43] Nicolas Anelka, who took the decisive penalty, already branded "Le Sulk",[44] revealed he did not actually want to take a penalty, citing lack of warm-up time as the reason.[45] Chelsea FC offered Terry counselling as a result of his devastation following the miss of his penalty, and subsequently, the loss of the final.[46][47] Terry was later accused of spitting at Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez, but a UEFA report into the video evidence cleared him of any wrongdoing.[48] Terry also wrote an open letter, published on Chelsea's official website, apologising for missing the penalty and costing Chelsea the trophy.[49]

As a result of the loss, Chelsea quartet Didier Drogba (who was sent off for slapping United defender Nemanja Vidić), Andriy Shevchenko, Alex and Petr Čech were linked with moves away from Stamford Bridge,[50] before eventually remaining with the club (Shevchenko spent the 2008–09 season with former club Milan before returning to Chelsea for the 2009–10 season under Carlo Ancelotti who had joined from Milan in July 2009). The question over Avram Grant's future also remained unsure, with owner Roman Abramovich (who witnessed the penalty shoot-out heartbreak), chief executive Peter Kenyon, director Eugene Tenenbaum and chairman Bruce Buck reportedly deciding over Grant's job within four days after the final.[51] Grant was officially sacked three days after the match.[52]


Having won the rights in 2005 to broadcast UEFA Champions League matches in the United Kingdom for three seasons from 2006–07 to 2008–09,[53] the match was shown simultaneously by free-to-air channel ITV 1 and subscription channel Sky Sports 1. ITV's viewing figures peaked at 14.6 million in the five minutes from 22:30, during the penalty shoot-out. During the match (from 19:45 to 22:35), the number of viewers averaged at 11.1 million (46% of the total audience), while the average over the entire broadcast from 19:00 to 23:15 was 9.6 million (43% of the total). Meanwhile, Sky Sports' peak was 2 million viewers in a five-minute period near the end of extra time; their average for the match was 1.8 million, and 1.3 million for the full broadcast.[54] In Ireland, RTÉ Two's coverage of the match reached a one-minute peak of 998,000 (62% share), with an average over their four-hour broadcast of 653,000 (44% share).[55]


In addition to the €3 million participation bonus, €5.7 million won from the group stages and €7.7 million from the three rounds prior to the final, Manchester United also received €7 million for winning the final and becoming champions. Chelsea also received €3 million for participation and €7.7 million for the first three knockout rounds, but received only €5.1 million from the group stage, having drawn two more games and won two less than Manchester United. Chelsea also received €4 million for becoming the runners-up.

The two clubs benefited greatly from reaching the final. In addition to the €23.4 million and €19.8 million earned respectively by the champions and runners-up as prize money, the clubs received money from the UEFA market pool share. The market pool share is estimated to have a total value of €280 million, shared between the 32 clubs who qualified for the group stage. The pool was split in proportion to each national association's strength in the television market, with the Premier League receiving around €50 million from the pool. The money is then split in a 4:3:2:1 ratio to the four teams who qualified for the Champions League from the 2007–08 Premier League. This means that Manchester United received around €20 million and Chelsea around €15 million. The strong presence of the English clubs in the final stages of the competition – three of the four clubs in the semi-final were English – will undoubtedly increase the league's pool share, with possibly more than €50 million being distributed among the clubs.[56]

In addition, Manchester United qualified for two further competitions:

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]