Didier Drogba has revealed how he and his Chelsea teammates managed to ruffle Arjen Robben's concentration which made him miss a penalty and led the Blues to their first Champions League title in 2012. Chelsea came from behind to take the game into penalties where they prevailed.
Robben had earned a penalty in extra time for Bayern Munich to put the game beyond doubt but he was unsettled by the barrage of comments directed at him and managed only a tame shot which was saved easily by Chelsea custodian Petr Cech. Drogba made the two most telling contributions in the game, scoring a towering header for the equaliser and converting the final penalty, which ended Chelsea's European drought.
"Arjen, you're a Chelsea player, you can't do this! Don't do it! Anyway, we'll know where you're going to shoot," Drogba and Frank Lampard told Robben, as quoted by Goal from the Ivorian's autobiography. "We got inside his head, definitely, because his kick was weak – definitely weaker than it would normally have been – and Petr saved it," he added.
Roberto di Matteo was in charge of the team at that point and made way for Rafa Benitez in the following season. Drogba revealed that the players made their own decisions during his reign, which worked out for them in the long run. He shared anecdotes on how the manager wanted Branislav Ivanovic to slot into centre-back but was overruled by Jose Bosingwa, who stressed that he is capable of doing a job in that position.
"The players really stepped up to take responsibility," Drogba continues."The manager was telling Branislav Ivanovic to play centre-back but Jose Bosingwa said, 'No, no, I will play centre-back', and carried on to say where he thought others should play. I remember saying. 'I can play left-back if necessary. We don't need a striker. I'll play striker and left-back, whatever it takes'."