MUNICH -- Didier Drogba tied the match Saturday with a header in the 88th minute, and then scored the decisive goal in the shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League final, 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw.
The unlikely storyline of an English team beating a German team on penalties in a high-profile match provided a fitting end to a dramatic night, as Chelsea became Europe's champion club for the first time.
The often theatrical 34-year-old Drogba, playing possibly his last game for the club as his Chelsea contract expires next month, was at the heart of the show.
Drogba sent goalkeeper Manuel Neuer the wrong way on the final kick of the shootout in front of massed Bayern fans in their home Allianz Arena. Bayern's Bastian Schweinsteiger missed the previous penalty, hitting the goalpost.
"It was written, I think, a long time ago," Drogba said to British broadcaster ITV of Chelsea's turnaround since its turmoil in March. "This team is amazing. They never give up until the end."
The shootout was needed after Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech saved Arjen Robben's spot-kick early in extra time.
It was awarded for a foul by Drogba, who earned Chelsea an unlikely reprieve.
After 83 minutes of Bayern domination, Thomas Mueller broke dogged Chelsea resistance with a header past Cech.
Chelsea's first Champions League title came four years after losing in a shootout to Manchester United.