Chelsea go into the Champions League Final as the underdogs, not least because they are playing in Bayern Munich’s home stadium. But it may be premature to write-off Chelsea in what has been a dogged road to the final.
Home soil advantage does not guarantee success. Only two clubs have won in their own country – Borrusia Dormund in Munich 1997 and Juventus, 1996 in Rome. Manchester United lost at Wembley in 2011.
In old money – i.e. the original European Cup – five teams won on home soil, Real Madrid (1957), Inter Milan (1965), Manchester United (1968), Ajax (1972) and Liverpool (1978). Roma (1984), Stade de Reims (1956) and Barcelona (1986) were all beaten at “home”.
Bayern Munich finished runners-up in the Bundesliga in 2011-12, some eight points behind champions Borussia Dortmund. Bayern won 14 of their 17 home games, drawing one and losing two- both by a single goal to a couple of Borrusias – Moenchengladbach and Dortmund. They scored 49 goals and conceded six, so the Allianz has been something of a lion’s den for opponents.
In the Champions League, they’ve won all seven of their home games, including a 2-1 semi-final first leg victory over Real Madrid. Bordeaux, in 2009-10, were the last team to beat Bayern on their own ground in the competition.
Bayern ended their domestic campaign in disarray, losing the German Cup Final 5-2 to old enemies Dortmund. Chelsea, meanwhile, lifted the FA Cup at Wembley, beating Liverpool 2-1. You can discount anything that has happened since – at least that’s what John Terry probably hopes after his dreadful display at Anfield. It matters little, for Terry will be a spectator in Munich.
Bayern will undoubtedly have the added pressure of expectation from the Bavarian crowd. If Chelsea can turn the mute button on – after all, they did dispose of Barcelona in the Nou Camp and won away at Benfica – they could surprise a few people and silence the Bayern faithful.