*** 20th Anniversary: 2004 to 2024 ***

Manchester United winning UCL 2008

by Abhinav Rai
(Varanasi, U.P., India)

On the great night of May 21st 2008 the course of sports was changed by the Red devils as there fans calls them. It was no regular night as one of the most anticipated finals of any sports event ever played was occurring at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. It was Manchester United Vs Chelsea. Fight of the top two teams in Barclays Premiere League.

The game turned out to be a nervous, goose bumping, wrenching affair. It was not by any means a match for faint hearts as it had more strange occurrences than a mystery novel.

The game started as a strange affair with both the teams obliterating each other out in the midfield. But in the 26th Minute then world Player of the Year Christiano Ronaldo gave would-be winners Manchester United the lead by scoring a great header on a pin point cross from Wes Brown. But right at half time Frank Lampard brought things even for Chelsea taking benefit of a rare hole in United defense. Second half was increasingly tense and well fought then the first with timeless Ryan Giggs appearing as substitute made his 759th appearance for Man Utd. Star striker of Chelsea Didier Drpgba was sent off when he slept United Defender Nemanja Vidic directly in front of referee.

Game went into overtime and then into penalties as both the teams tried to score once more with Giggs seeing his shot cleared on the line by Chelsea skipper John Terry and Chelsea struck the wood work twice.

More drama unfolded by way of penalties as Tevez, Carrick, Hargraeves and Nani scored for Man Utd but surprizingly Ronaldo failed to score on the other hand Balack, Belletti, Lampard and Ashley Cole scored for Chelsea. When John Terry came up to take the last spot kick he had one hand on the trophy but then he missed the kick totally.

Then game proceeded on to sudden death where Anderson and Giggs scored for United and Kalou for Chelsea but United Goal Keeper Edwin van Der Sar made a superb save on Niklas Anelka's shot.

That was the moment with conflicting emotions, on one hand United players exploded into celebration and on the other hand Chelsea players burst into tears.

After nine long years Manchester United became crown champions of Europe and Chelsea, well they will have to keep waiting.

Barry's Response - A memory for sure. Thanks, Abhinav.

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