So Chelsea have done it. Roman Abramovich’s millions finally bought him the trophy he so desired, the Champions League. The Blues did it the hard way though, scrapping through extra time before Didier Drogba sealed the victory in the shootout with his calm and collected effort. Many people believe a shootout is a cruel way to decide a game of football, but nothing beats it in terms of drama and excitement. In recognition of Chelsea adding their names to the list of masters from twelve yards, here are the Top 10 Trophies decided by penalty shootout:
10. Arsenal – FA Cup 2005 (Beat Manchester United 5-4)
This FA Cup Final will live long in the memory for Gunners fans, mainly because it’s the last piece of silverware they picked up. After both teams failed to find the net in normal time, extra time couldn’t separate them either and down to penalties it went. Decisively, Paul Scholes missed the second spot kick and it left Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira needing to score to send the trophy back to North London. With what turned out to be his last kick in a red and white shirt, the Frenchman slotted past Roy Carroll to win the cup.
9. Manchester United – League Cup 2009 (Beat Tottenham 4-1)
Another scoreless game in a Cup Final resulted in United and Spurs facing off in a shootout at Wembley in 2009. Sir Alex Ferguson had chosen to rest regular Number One Edwin Van der Sar, picking Ben Foster in his place. Foster turned in an impressive shift in normal time before he saved from Jamie O’Hara in the shootout. After David Bentley missed his, Anderson stepped up and completed the task. However, this shootout was memorable for Foster’s use of an I-Phone to research the spot kick takers moments before the penalties began. Modern technology eh!
8. Manchester United – Champions League 2008 (Beat Chelsea 6-5)
The two rivals went head-to-head in the first all English clash and 120 minutes of football couldn’t separate them after first half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard cancelled each other out. Interestingly for two English sides competing in a shootout, the spot kick quality was high until Ronaldo missed his effort, leaving John Terry the chance to win the game. His unfortunate slip saw him hit the post and after a round of sudden death, Van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka to ensure United were Champions of Europe.
7. Czechoslovakia – European Championship 1976 (Beat West Germany 5-3)
The 1976 Final went down to spot kicks after Czechoslovakia squandered a 2-0 lead against the Germans. The first seven penalties were all successful before West Germany’s Uli Hoeness blazed his effort over the crossbar. Midfielder Antonin Panenka then wrote himself into shootout folklore, cheekily chipping his effort straight down the middle to win the tournament. It was also the first and only time the Germans have lost on penalties, a remarkable record that now stretches back 36 years.
6. Liverpool – European Cup 1984 (Beat Roma 4-2)
English team winning the European Cup at the home ground of their opposition on penalties? Sound familiar? Well,Liverpool did it first, seeing off Italian opposition Roma on their home patch at the Stadio Olimpico. The game finished 1-1 and headed to the dreaded shootout and the Reds started badly after Steve Nicol skied his effort. However, Bruce Grobbelaar immortalised himself in shootout history after his wobbly legs tactics put off the Italian takers. Two of them subsequently missed and Alan Kennedy bagged the winning effort, sending the European Cup back to Anfield for the fourth time.
5. Italy – World Cup 2006 (Beat France 5-3)
Despite this clash finishing 1-1, the 2006 World Cup Final is remembered for one thing and one thing only. Zinedine Zidane’s astonishing behaviour that saw him sent off for head butting Marco Materazzi in the chest was one of the most reckless acts ever seen in the field of play. Unlike Zidane, Italy kept their nerve in the shootout, scoring all their penalties after David Trezeguet missed the second for France. Left back Fabio Grosso had the honour of delivering the match-winning strike and sending the nation into meltdown.
4. Zambia – African Cup of Nations 2012 (Beat Ivory Coast 8-7)
No one had expected Zambia to get beyond the group stage, never mind the final, but they defied all the odds to set up a clash with a strong-looking Ivory Coast side. The game was a disappointment, as the Zambians held on for a 0-0 draw, but they certainly showed everyone how to take penalty when the shootout came around. Both sides notched their first five and then the next two in sudden death before Kalaba missed to hand Manchester City’s Kolo Toure the chance to win the game. He missed though and Sunzu slotted home for Zambia, before Arsenal’s Gervinho also missed, ensuring Zambia defied all the odds to return home with the trophy.
3. Liverpool – Champions League 2005 (Beat AC Milan 3-2)
Liverpool’s truly astonishing comeback in normal time saw them recover from a three goal deficit at half time to snatch a draw and a shot at penalties. Jerzy Dudek decided he’d make up his own version of Grobbelaar’s wobbly legs and pranced around on his goal line distracting the opposition. It obviously worked. Serginho sent the ball into Heskey territory in row Z, before Dudek saved from Pirlo and Shevchenko, completing the most unlikely of victories.
2. Olympiacos – Greek Cup 2009 (Beat AEK Athens 15-14)
The Greeks certainly know how to do crazy and the 2009 Cup Final was certainly no different. The game itself was an absolute cracker as the sides drew 4-4, with Englishman Matt Derbyshire bagging twice for Olympiacos. The shootout was on another level though and after both sides scored their first five, they also both missed the decider. They both missed the ninth spot kick each as well and with the score locked at 14-14, Agustín Pelletieri stepped up for AEK. He failed though, leaving Olympiacos goalkeeper and Captain Antonios Nikopolidis the opportunity to win the cup. The Greek legend tucked home his second of the shootout and ended one of the all-time great penalty marathons.
1. Brazil – World Cup 1994 (Beat Italy 3-2)
A drab 0-0 affair in the final in Los Angeles saw Brazil and Italy face the first penalty shootout in the history of the World Cup Final. Defenders Marcio Santos and Franco Baresi traded misses first up, before both sides scored their next two each. However, Daniele Massaro missed his effort and after Brazilian skipper Dunga converted his, it left Roberto Baggio needing to score to keep the Italians in the game. The ‘Divine Ponytail’ had been the tournament’s star player, but he fired his penalty so far into space, NASA are still looking for it today.