Amazon’s new six-part documentary series “This Is Football” went live on Prime Video today, and as expected, Episode 3, entitled “Chance”, is in no small part about Chelsea’s miraculous 2012 Champions League final victory in Munich.
For those us well familiar with that night and that story, there’s little new here, though it’s always nice to see Robbie Di Matteo (whose own bad luck with the triple leg break defined a large part of his career, as it’s pointed out), and Juan Mata is way too lovely to be a footballer. They are the two talking heads for the Chelsea segments, which are interwoven with Bayern suffering other unlikely upsets, such as the 1999 Champions League final (the one with two Manchester United goals in three minutes of stoppage time) or the 2018 DFB Pokal final (where an Ante Rebić-inspired Eintracht Frankfurt beat Bayern 3-1).
A statistician, David Sumpter (of Soccermatics fame) talks briefly about Expected Goals (without calling it xG) as it related to that night in Munich, but the episode’s main theme is the unpredictability of football and how that helps it make the most popular sport in the world. Nice to see Chelsea credited with doing something good for the game, since we’re usually accused of killing it.
As one would expect for Peak TV, the episode has some very high production values, though it’s a bit overdramatic for my taste — sport is inherently dramatic already; no need to heighten it artificially. That said, there’s never not a good time to re-live May 19, 2012.
I have not seen any of the other episodes yet, but early reviews are pretty good. So give it a watch, if you’ve got Prime Video.