Final score - after penalties - 130'
(6)1 - 1(5)
18:45 +00:00, May 21, 2008
Referee: Lubos Michel
Manchester United win on Penalty Kicks.
And there it is, United hoist the famous trophy aloft to crown their double-winning season. Thanks for your company. We'll see you back here for more live commentary when the Euro 2008 tournament kicks off in June. Bye for now..
Sir Bobby Charlton leads ther players up the stairs, 50 years on from the Munich air disaster; how fitting that United should win the Champions League in the 50th anniversary year of the tragedy.
United head up the stairs to receive their prize.
In the end it was a very tough one to call. United bossed the first half and were unfortunate to go in level at half time, but after that Chelsea dominated the game. They had 24 shots on goal and hit the woodwork twice. Then their captain, who had been magnificent all match, had the chance to win it from 12 yards but slips at the crucial moment and misses. When something like that happens you can only say, it just wasn't meant to be.
John Terry and Avram Grant are locked in an embrace as the rain hammers down. Terry shoulders are trembling and he is clearly absolutely heartbroken. United of course, are jubilant; Ronaldo, Anderson and Nani are dancing a jig of delight.
Sir Alex Ferguson has just revealed that is the first penalty shoot out he has won as a manager! Amazing!
It's usually very hard to feel sorry for John Terry but one has to on this occasion. He had the chance to win the Champions League for Chelsea, he sent the keeper the wrong way but his footing went and his penalty agonisingly hit the post.
Ronaldo is sobbing, Anelka looks stunned and John Terry must feel as sick as a parrott.
Anelka misses. United are the Champions!
Anelka has to score! Its teeming with rain now in Moscow.
Giggs scores! Great pen. United 6-5 Chelsea!
Ryan Giggs to take the next one. What drama.
Kalou scores! United 5-5 Chelsea! Sudden death!
Kalou has to score to keep the Blues alive!
Anderson smashes it down the middle and it is United 5-4 Chelsea! My word! Its too much!
It's like Beckham's in Turkey! His foot gave way and he's hit the post. Amazing!
John Terry slips and United are still alive!
JT to win the Champions League!
Nani scores! United 4-4 Chelsea.
Nani has to score to keep United alive.
Ashley Cole scores - just! United 3-4 Chelsea.
It's still advantage Chelsea though. Here comes Ashley Cole.
Hargreaves scores. United 3-3 Chelsea.
Lampard scores! United 2-3 Chelsea.
Ronaldo misses! United 2-2 Chelsea.
Ronaldo is next!
Beletti scores. United 2-2 Chelsea.
Carrick has made it United 2-1 Chelsea! Apologies.
Carrick scores. United 1-1 Chelsea.
Ballack scores. United 1-1 Chelsea.
Tevez scores! United 1-0 Chelsea.
So, here we go. United, and Carlos Tevez to take first.
Rio Ferdinand wins the toss of the coin but has to consult with his manager before deciding whether to go first or not. It looks like it'll be staged at the United end and they will go first too.
There is the whistle! The Champions League final 2008 will be settled by spot kicks.
Some late changes, Makelele makes way for Beletti and Anderson is on for Wes Brown. Substitutions with penalties in mind.
Cech will boot this down field and the Champions League final is looking like it will be decided from 12 yards, like the last time an English side won it. Remember that one?!
Ashley Cole wins a great, and brave, header as Giggs crossed looking for Nani. He's got a bang on his head for his efforts too. Maybe that'll knock some sense in to him. I mean, who cheats on Cheryl Cole if she's your missus?!
Two minutes of added time to be played.
How fitting perhaps that the Champions League final between two English sides should end in a pathetic bout of chest-bumping and disrespect. It's been a big issue all year in England and now it's two best sides have betrayed the Premier League with their self-indulgent griping and petulance. Crazy.
Essien has been booked for a foul on Ronaldo as the Blues look to wind down the clock.
Chelsea are holding out for penalties now, unsurprisingly.
Tevez got a yellow for starting the melee, but why oh why ten players from either side felt the need to get involved is beyond me.
And what a shame that the final between two English teams may well be remembered for a big session of handbags and a sending off for one if its biggest stars.
Drogba aimed a tiny little slap at Vidic right under the nose of the referee and has been dismissed. That could be his last involvement in a Chelsea shirt and if it is it sums up his time there. A fantastic player but far too petulant, and arrogant for his won good.
A big shoving match ensues after Chelsea failed to give the ball back to United after the Reds had booted it out. Tevez is in the think of it, Vidic goes nuts and Drogba gets a red card! what?! My word! Where did that come from?!
United build in front of Chelsea's back four as Nani feeds a ball into the area, then Carrick feeds Tevez before Cech claims a poor Nani cross. Oh, and everyone is doing rather ugly stretches to try and beat off cramp.
Drogba hits it straight to Ronaldo but Essien gets his team-mate out of trouble by winning the ball back.
Drogba smashes it but his radar is off and it flashes wide.
Anelka wins a free kick as he outwits Vidic. The Serbian gets a yellow card and Ballack and Drogba can fight over this place kick. Its about 30 yards out, to the left of the area.
Kalou is penalised for high feet when Wes Brown dived down to knee height to head the ball. A tad unfair I feel.
So, this is the last 10 minutes of the European season and it's biggest prize is yet to find a home. Please, someone save us from penalties...
United have a spell of possession but it goes nowhere, as the rain begins to lash down in the Luzhniki Stadium. That might make things interesting.
Ballack is at it again - his shot is blocked by Brown though as Van der Sar set off to his right.
So, the second period of extra time will run from minute 111 to minute 126. Sorted? We're underway again...
An immense tackle from Vidic as Kalou looked to streak clear. Vidic was the last line of defence and had to make that challenge. He did, and that is half time.
Carvalho rises to meet the corner and Kalou can't react quick enough as the ball bounces past him.
Chelsea free kick, as the fourth official announces two added minutes in half one of extra time. Corner for Chelsea now.
As good as Terry's block was, Ryan Giggs will be kicking himself at not slotting that one home. He went at it with his left when perhaps his right was a better option. He still doesn't trust it tough, after all these years.
There are a few mistakes creeping in from both sides now. Ronaldo even, gives the ball away very cheaply there.
Tevez gets a telling off from Giggs for shooting from a tight angle when he had much better options.
That was incredible defending from John Terry. He was only a few yards away from Giggs - who had the whole of the goal to aim at - but he managed to get his head on the rising shot and divert it over the bar for a corner
Another change, Rooney is off and Nani is on.
What a clearance from John Terry! Evra gets round the back, commits the keeper and feeds Giggs who thought he had scored before JT somehow got a block in! Unbelievable!
Joe Cole is coming off and Nicolas Anelka is on.
A lovely turn from Kalou on the half way line sets him away. He feeds Essien, who had Drogba free at the back post, but he tries to shoot and wins a corner.
Cole is down now after he got a bump from Evra. Not sure if it is cramp or something a little more serious. He'll be awight the little geeza.
United break down field and Ronaldo pings in a cross that Tevez can't meet before Giggs gives away a free kick. A tasty start to extra time.
Lampard has hit the bar! Ballack fed him in the area, he spun and hit it left footed and the ball has smacked back of the underside of the bar!
Malouda is off and Kalou is on for Chelsea.
United press early on as Tevez, Rooney and Giggs combine on the edge of the box. Terry gets a vital foot in though and the move is over.
Right, I can't go backwards on my minute counter so let's start the first period of extra time at 105 and end at 120.
The full time whistle! We go into extra time...
Makelele hoofs clear a Ronaldo cross as United press. Then from the throw in Ronaldo whips in a superb cross but Giggs can't get in front of Ashley Cole to meet it.
Both sets of fans raise the roof as we prepare to head into extra-time...
Joe Cole has wasted a good opportunity in the box. He wins the ball from Ferdinand but shuns crossing in favour of shooting, but he doesn't do that particularly well. Two minutes added on...
We are nearing the last minute of what has been an excellent final. Is there still time for a last gasp hero to emerge?
Giggs heads straight up top as Chelsea sit in and soak up a spell of United possession. It ends with a poor ball from Evra right down Petr Cech's throat.
Giggs replaces Scholes and in doing so breaks Bobby Charlton's long standing appearance record for Manchester United. A bit of history in the Champions League final. Super stuff.
Joe Cole flashes in a fizzing ball which Drogba meets but it is a goal kick.
Malouda's free kick was floated into the near post for Drogba but his spin and shot presents Man United with a goal kick.
Chelsea have a free kick wide on the left. Danger for United.
Essien blocks a Tevez shot then Chelsea get a little too elaborate in their own box before they win a free kick.
Another poor effort from Ballack. He was well placed on the edge of the box but got his left footer all wrong. Looks like Ryan Giggs is going coming on..
Tevez fires in a shot from a difficult angle and although Cech scrambles across it went a good few yards wide.
Expect things to get increasingly cagey as we head towards the end of normal time. No-one will want to make the mistake that hands the Champions League trophy to their rivals.
Ferdinand loses his footing on the left, allowing Malouda to cross for Drogba but Vidic is there and does just enough to put the striker off. Chelsea are getting closer.
Tevez gives away a free kick after clattering into Ballack. It's been testy all evening, but did we expect anything else?
Drogba has hit the post! He hits a right foot curler which beats VDS all ends up but cannons back off the woodwork! What an effort!
Joe Cole goes down clutching his face after a little scuffle with Evra. It's something and nothing though, and we continue.
Chelsea are screaming for a penalty as Malouda goes past Ferdinand and falls down. It didn't look much but there was a little tap of heels. Not enough for a pen I don't think.
Fergie is gesticulating at Rooney to go wide right. I'll let you know how that one goes.
Ronaldo jinks past Essien again, with exactly the same move as in the first half. As he moved into the area he went to the left of Joe Cole, tried to fire in a shot. The ref gives a corner. Quite wrongly.
Cech is mown down as he comes out to claim and Chelsea have a free-kick. Essien had a big hold on Tevez's shirt the replay shows. Lucky.
Makelele is down after a little bout of wrestling with Carlos Tevez. He's made a right meal of that. Corner on its way now...
United force a corner in a rare counter attack. Rooney got into the area, checked, then fed Hargreaves who laid off to Carrick whose shot was blocked by Carvalho.
Rio is back on, hobbling a little, but back all the same.
Ferdinand is down in pain but it looks as if it is just cramp. United's fans will be hoping it isn't more serious. He stuck out a cramp-ridden leg to block a Lampard cross before he went down, which was vital because Chelsea had plenty of players filing into the box.
Another corner for Chelsea as Carrick gets a foot in the way of Cole's pass toward Drogba.
A far from convincing foray from Van der Sar there. He ran into traffic and JT's header flew over the bar.
Chelsea force another corner as Ferdinand gets his bonce in the way of a Frank Lampard shot.
A great hooked leg from Carrick prevents Malouda's free kick getting into the six yard box. That could have gone anywhere had he got it wrong.
Drogba finally wins a free-kick off Vidic and applauds the linesman who gave it. Chance to cross from the right for the Blues.
You just sense something big is about to happen in Moscow. The atmosphere is crackling, both sides are on the front foot and somthing has got to give.
Two more chances to cross for Chelsea. Ashley Cole breaks down the left but fails to clear Ferdinand, then Ballack looks for Drogba but Vidic stands firm. This is a cracking Champions League final.
A sequence of slips favours first Tevez, then Ashley Cole as a long ball from Ballack causes problems.
Chelsea win a corner and Drogba is beaten at the near post by Vidic, as the clock strikes midnight in Moscow!
Another incident involving Makelele - his arm strikes Hargreaves' nose but there was no intent. That doesn't stop both players having a shouting match at each other though.
The momentum has definitely shifted towards Chelsea in this half. They must have had a rocket from Avram Grant at the break.
Ballack is the latest to test Van der Sar's goal but his shot, not for the first time tonight, is wayward and poses no trouble for the lanky Dutchman.
Chelsea pour forward this time and a devilish Ashley Cole cross is superbly defended by Vidic who was facing his own goal but managed to direct his header behind for a corner.
This is better - chances at both ends.
Essien turns the tables on Ronaldo! He breaks down the right, sells Ronaldo a dummy and then shoots left-footed. The ball sails over which is a tragedy for Chelsea because Van der Sar had slipped and any shot on target would have beaten him!
A brief flash from the Reds as Evra and Ronaldo again pray on Essien. The French left back gets to the byline and delivers a chipped cross but it is too strong for Tevez at the back post.
Chelsea are a side reborn after their spawny equaliser. United are finding it hard to match the fluency of their first half performance.
It's much more even now; Chelsea just shading it in fact. Joe Cole is the latest in a long line to shout at the ref after he is denied a clear corner.
Joe Cole slides into Carrick as he lost his footing, then Ballack crashes into Ronaldo 20 seconds later provoking a high-pitched howl and wave of the arms from our Portuguese friend.
Chelsea have obviously been told to get far tighter on Ronaldo - surely they should have known to do that themselves in the first half? - and to give more support to the increasingly isolated Drogba.
Scholes gets hold of the ball in midfield and sprays a ball wide right looking for Hargreaves, but Ashley Cole does well to mop up the danger.
Let's hope the game kicks on now and doesn't settle back into the stilted stalemate it had become before the opening goal.
We're back on people, and as the teams came out of the tunnel Sir Alex Ferguson was wagging a finger at referee Lubos Michel and shouting something in Glasweigy at him! Wonder what that was about?
Half time! Crikey, hardly time to catch our breath towards the end! The story of the half is basically this: United have been by far the better side but Chelsea have got lucky right at the death. It should be a cracking second half..
Another flashpoint as Ronaldo goes down under a nasty challenge from Carvalho. The defender gets a deserved yellow card as players from both sides surround the referee yet again.
Two minutes of time added is announced before Ballack has a go from distance. VDS doesn't move but the ball goes wide.
Chelsea have floundered through this half, they've been dominated in every department but as they move downfield Essien smashes in a shot, it ricochets into Lampard's path and he lifts it over VDS and into the net. 1-1!
Ballack fires it in with pace but it sails two yards over the bar.
Ferdinand gets a booking as Frank Lampard flashed past him. Free kick to Chelsea, right on the edge of the box, ten yards to the left of goal. Big chance.
Sloppy play from Ballack and Cole hands United possession and as they break Rooney fires in a low cross which flies past both Makelele and Tevez, who was sliding in at the near post.
Malouda's tug on Brown hands United a free kick. A needless foul.
Ashley Cole falls over rather dramatically as he sprints for the ball with Wes Brown. No free kick given, much to Cashley's disgust. Ha ha.
This is better from the Blues - a decent spell of possession. It is hardly penetrating though as Malouda's poor touch allows Scholes to get in.
Chelsea just need a little composure and more of a bridge between midfield and attack. Malouda and Joe Cole need to get involved here. The sooner the better.
Chelsea were nearly dead and buried then. A second United goal at this stage would have been a crushing blow. Instead, they live to fight another day still just a solitary goal behind.
What a slice of action that was a minute ago. A slick United counter-attack, two golden opportunities for a goal and two stunning saves from the Chelsea keeper! The game has come alive!
Now Terry is shaky at the back, selling Cech a little short on a back pass that Rooney oh-so nearly hunted down. It's all United at present.
What a break from United! Rooney spins away from Carvalho in his own area before releasing a wonderful cross-field ball for Ronaldo. He crossed for Tevez whose diving header was superbly saved by Cech. Then the onrushing Carrick tried a placed side-footer which prompted Cech into another, fantastic save!
Chelsea chance! Drogba heads across goal, Ferdinand and VDS hesitate and Ballack nods goalwards forcing Van der Sar into a fine save!
Ferdinand beats Drogba to a long ball from Ballack, then the striker implores his team-mates to get further up in support of him.
By the way, Makelele was also booked during the earlier Scholes incident, even though he was most definitely sinned against, not sinner. Strange.
Drogba is down for Chelsea and appears to be clutching his back. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict he'll be fine in about two mintes.
That is the perfect tonic for the game, which was settling down into a pretty turgid pattern before the goal. Now Chelsea have to come out and go at them. Bring it on.
Well, Ronaldo does it yet again. Credit must go to Wes Brown for a superbly flighted cross but Ronaldo ghosted away from Essien before directing a clinical header well wide of Cech. Who said he doesn't turn it on in the big games?!
Chelsea try to hit back instantly as Drogba causes panic in the United area, Vidic clears but straight to Ballack who strikes one over the bar from 30 yards.
Wes Brown floats in a delicious ball to the back post, Ronaldo leaps unchallenged and finds the bottom left hand corner for his 42nd goal of the season. Game on!
More joy for United down the left as Evra and Ronaldo combine again, but the winger just can't collect the left back's ball and Chelsea have a throw.
Scholes is back on after receiving a thick smear of vasoline directly into his cut and a wedge of bog paper up his nose. Very attractive.
JT rises from the corner but fails to make contact before the ref gives a free-kick to United. He's having a little wobble here is Lubos Michel.
As the action resumes, Lampard drifts a ball into the box which was about to sail into Van der Sar's arms before Vidic flings a forehead at it and diverts the ball behind for a corner.
It looked like a fairly innocuous aerial challenge but Scholes did lead with his arm somewhat. He is bleeding from the face after being caught himself and the referee shows him a yellow card.
Hargreaves fails to deliver again, Lampard clearing at the near post. Then Scholes and Makelele collide which sets players from both sides off on a quite unnecessary chest-bumping session. Rooney and Cole the main protagonists.
Hargreaves' ball flies past everyone and is out for a throw-in on the far side. Then Drogba gives away a free kick and United can launch it into the box again.
Hargreaves wins United the first corner of the game.
A few players go tumbling after Makelele tries to take a quick free kick before Scholes gets in the way. Thankfully the ref has a little word and nothing more.
More cracking interplay down the left as Evra and Ronaldo combine. The former dinks in another cross but JT wins the aerial battle against the Roonatic.
First glimpse of Ronaldo's precocious talent. He fools Essien with a neat step-over but his cross is just a foot too high for Tevez who was hovering at the back post.
Then Vidic intervenes as a Lampard ball searched for Joe Cole. Both sides sussing each other out at the moment, neutral fans rapidly falling asleep.
Rooney snaps at Carvalho's heels and wins a throw in on the left hand side.
Midfield's are strangling the game at present. Despite the width of the field it is still pretty crowded in the middle.
Not much from Ronaldo so far. He's only touched the ball a few times and as such, has done nothing spectacular or devastating - which is clearly what we expect from him after the season he has had.
Pitchwatch: Not much to report as yet, apart from the sheer size of the field - it's huge! A few slips and divots here and there but it's holding up pretty well to date.
Drogba out-muscles Ferdinand and spreads the ball wide to Maluoda. Chelsea's patient build-up play eventually falls down with a stray Frank Lampard pass. Unlike him.
Another cross from Hargreaves, this time much more wicked than the first and just as Rooney was about to meet it John Terry nips in to clear the danger. A lively start from both sides.
Hargreaves charges down Chelsea's right and his mis-hit cross has Cech scrambling a little towards his near post but the big stopper gets there in the end.
How about this for a stat; neither Chelsea nor Manchester United's teams have ever featured in the same XI before. Hard to believe innit? But true.
More pressing down the left from Chelsea as Malouda swings in a cute cross that Ferdinand nods away from danger.
Lampard links with Drogba, whose flick looks for Malouda, but Wes Brown steps in quickly to snuff out the danger.
It looks as if Fergie has gone positive in his selection. Rooney and Tevez look more advanced, and more central, than usual in their support of Ronaldo.
There is a thunderous atmosphere in the stadium, as you'd expect for a game of such magnitude. It's very bitty to begin with...
Right. All set? Here we go then, Europe's most glittering club prize is just 90 minutes (or 120!) away for either Chelsea or Manchester United..
The atmosphere is building, fans from both sides are pouring into the ground and a thousand camera flashes punctuate the air at every turn. We are just ten minutes away from a football match of near biblical proportions. Let's just hope it's a fast-paced English classic not a dour, edgy stalemate. You are representing our great nation after all chaps; do us proud, what what.
The teams are out warming up on the most talked about pitch in football. It has only recently had turf laid on it as England's players are fully aware. They lost 2-1 here in October on an artificial pitch - a result which led to their failure to qualify for Euro 2008. It looks resplendent tonight, but may cut up as the game goes on.
Much has been made of the host city for this evening's hype-fest - Moscow. The word is that fewer English fans than anticipated have turned up, largely due to the sheer distance and expense involved. Prices for flights and accommodation have been ramped up in the extreme and a large proportion have decided to swerve the exorbitant prices and stop at home. Still, the Luzhniki Stadium won't be deserted. Oh no. They are thousands of UEFA nobody's to fill the seats where ordinary fans should be.
If I were to pick a few nuggets of interesting info out of those line-ups it would be these points, in no particular order of importance. 1) Ashley Cole is fit after Makelele tried to maim him in training last night, and they both start. 2) Paul Scholes plays, aiming to banish the memory of his 1999 final absence, but there is no place for Ryan Giggs. There, I think that just about covers it.
And Premier League runners-up, Chelsea: Cech, Essien, Terry, Carvalho, A Cole, Makelele, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda, J Cole and Drogba. Subs from: Cudicini, Shevchenko, Mikel, Kalou, Alex, Belletti and Anelka.
The teams are in. And here they are, starting with the Premier League champs, Manchester United: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Hargreaves, Scholes, Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez. Subs from: Kuszczak, Giggs, Anderson, Nani, O'Shea, Fletcher and Silvestre.
One has to be careful not to get too swept up in all the hype that surrounds this most-trumpeted of clashes. But ooh, it is hard, especially when you look at the figures involved. The game is expected to be seen in just about EVERY single country in the world, by a total of about 200 million people. The winners alone are predicted to sashay off into the sunset with a cool £85million tucked in their swag bag. Don't feel sorry for the losers though - they'll pocket about £30million. Poor them eh?
Well, here we are. A warm welcome one and all to without question, the biggest game in club football. It's an all-English affair as the Premier League's top two go head-to-head in Moscow for the ultimate prize - the Champions League trophy. It's set to be a fascinating, tumultuous, dramatic and feisty evening; every kick, tackle, shirt-tug, offside claim, swan dive, tear, punch and hug is live on ESPNsoccernet, with me Chris Murphy.
And to our users in the US why not check out the match live on ESPN360
Join us from 19.45 UK time for full commentary from the Champions League final, the pinnacle of European club football and the culmination of a season's endeavour.
Edwin van der Sar
John Mikel Obi