Chelsea was the underdog, and played like it, too. Chelsea let the Germans come at them in waves, waiting for opportunities to counterattack. Jose Mourinho left Chelsea long ago, for Italy and now Real Madrid, but his tactics are alive and well in west London.
To be fair, Di Matteo had few alternatives. Suspensions had robbed him of Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires, the Brazilian whose speed and inventiveness was sorely missed.
Bayern seemed less affected by the loss of its three suspended players, David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Luiz Gustavo.
That Di Matteo was forced to field Ryan Bertrand, a 22-year-old neophyte in the Champions League, to help Ashley Cole defend against Robben's runs, showed just how much Chelsea's cupboard was bare.
So if the showcase of European club football wasn't the spectacle it could have been then the organizers, UEFA, are partly to blame. Keeping six players out of one of the biggest matches in their career because they picked up yellow cards earlier in the tournament was ultimately self-defeating.
The victory may well have been the last big European hurrah for the nucleus of the team upon which Chelsea built a remarkable decade of success, with three Premier League crowns, four FA Cups and now the Champions League in the Abramovich era.
At 34, Drogba's 75th Champions League appearance may have been his last in Chelsea blue.
Fernando Torres, 28, is in theory there to step into the vacuum that will be left by the Ivory Coast international who has scored 157 goals since he joined Chelsea in 2004 — few of them more important than his equalizer in the 88th minute that took the final into extra time.
But all that is in the future.
The here and now is that shiny trophy. Chelsea, champions of Europe.
John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at)ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester
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