Allow me to present you with a truly unbiased account of what happened on the night of 21 May 2008.
For some there was glory, for others there was a sense of relief, for a chosen few the damning thought that this would be their last game for the club and for one or two select individuals, shame that they would never be able to wash away from their past.
For the record, Drogba did not cost Chelsea the Champions League final. You play with what you have, and Chelsea missed two chances to score with Nicolas Anelka bottling a penalty kick after refusing to take one earlier on and John Terry slipping on the Moscow turf like an overweight ballet dancer whose choreography had gone horribly wrong and…well, and to think he was about to be remembered for spitting at a fellow footballer and getting away with it.
Drogba had no such luck. He didn’t slip, he didn’t miss a penalty. He wasn’t even on the pitch – courtesy of a petulant slap that had no other effect except to enrage the fearless Serb before running off to hide behind the ref as Terry and co intervened to protect their ‘goal monster’. Heart-warming stuff to see the Chelsea man run away from the Manchester United defender only to have justice served as he was given his marching orders soon after.
In his book (not to sound condescending but given his history should Drogba be allowed to write – or have ghostwritten – his life story?) Drogba says that given what happened in the aftermath of the slap, he felt that the reaction from the ref was inappropriate and would have made more sense if he had punched Vidic.
Now I don’t know about you but if there’s one man in the Manchester United lineup that I don’t want to go around punching, it’s Nemanja Vidic. United have a few fighters in the squad but no one compares to the Serb’s intensity, fearlessness and ability to take a battering without missing a step. Compare him to the whining, daydreaming, flopping Chelsea striker and the odds on Drogba surviving the aftermath of a punch, either during the match or post-season – are very, very long.
Let it be said – Didier Drogba did not have the balls to punch Vidic in Moscow. And yes, the better team won on the night, deal with it. Take it away Chris…