May 19th, 2012. It was a good day, and I suspect the more time you spend thinking about it, the happier you become. So, in the interest of our collective mental health, let's take a quick minute to close our eyes and remember that game...
... I bet there was a whole lot of Petr Cech and Didier Drogba and celebrating, right? I'd also bet that there probably wasn't very much John Obi Mikel.
The funny thing is that before Thomas Mueller scored in the 82nd minute, Mikel was probably our best outfield player. he put a masterful display on in midfield, broke up countless Bayern attacks, and seemed like the only one who could actually keep possession. He's not the most popular chap in the Chelsea supporting community, but without him we'd have been blown off the pitch.
I've always wondered if he knew that. Few people ever speak about just how good Mikel was that night, which is a shame, but it would be even more of a shame if he didn't recognise that his best performance came during the club's finest hour.
Fortunately, he knows. Speaking to ChelseaFC.com in an extended interview commemorating his 300th appearance with the club, the midfielder called the match at the Allianz Arena 'without a shadow of a doubt' his finest game, and the resultant trophy the pinnacle of his Chelsea career.
So the next time you cast your mind back to May 19th... add some Mikel to those memories of bullet headers and penalty saves. Without him, none of that matters.
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