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Moscow memories can inspire Chelsea: Lampard
Published : 18 May 2012 19:17:01
Chelsea are hoping the bitter memory of defeat in the 2008 Champions League final will inspire them to victory over Bayern Munich here on Saturday.
Four years ago, Chelsea suffered a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out loss to Manchester United at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium that left several members of their shattered squad in tears.
However, the Premier League side now stand just 90 minutes away from redemption after an unlikely march into this year's final against Bayern at the German club's Allianz Arena.
For veteran members of Chelsea's squad such as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, Saturday almost certainly represents their last shot at victory in club football's most prestigious competition.
"We're very pleased to be back in the final," Lampard said. "You wouldn't have believed we would have been two or three months ago.
"We've good and bad memories of Moscow but the main memory is defeat as it is in any final. It took us a long time to get back here but we always believed we had the ability in the dressing room to get to this stage.
"As a footballer, you know you can't win everything. We've been very lucky to win leagues and cups in England. But sometimes you lose and with experience you realise you have to take the positives out of every defeat.
"There's nothing more from Moscow than remembering that feeling and remembering the disappointment and using it to inspire us tomorrow."
Drogba, who could well be playing his final game for Chelsea on Saturday with his contract due to expire later this summer, has particularly grim memories of the defeat in Moscow.
The Ivory Coast international was sent off deep into extra time after a petulant clash with Nemanja Vidic, depriving Chelsea of one of their best penalty-takers in the ill-fated shoot-out.
"I think it was a disappointing moment for me and for the club as well," Drogba said.
"I think now it's one memory I can't forget but at the same time it's the past and I'm looking ahead to tomorrow (Saturday) and I'm very happy to play in the Champions League final.
"But (Moscow) was a good experience -- first Champions League final for Chelsea; it was an experience and I think we learned from it."
Meanwhile, Lampard said Chelsea were relishing the challenge of taking on Bayern at their home ground.
"It gives them an advantage to play on your home pitch, to change in your home dressing room, to play in your home city with your home fans. But you know what? That's brilliant.
"I think the determination amongst us, to be an underdog for whatever reason, as long as you believe in yourself and have a quiet focus and determination, and believe you can win the game -- bring it on."