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Chel-sea of blue as 70,000 salute Champions League WAITING FOR EUROPE’S MOST IMPORTANT TROPHY TO ARRIVE AT STAMFORD BRIDGE HAS TESTED THE PATIENCE OF FANS, SO WINNING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE WAS THE CUE TO PARTY, writes NICK SKORIC

T

he newly-crowned kings of Europe were greeted like royalty as 70,000 fans cheered on the Chelsea players at a victory parade through Fulham after the club’s first Champions League victory. Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo led the team to a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich to become the first London club to win the trophy.

Four years ago, Chelsea were themselves on the wrong end of a penalty shoot-out defeat to rivals Manchester United in the final of the same competition. But the bad memories of that fateful night in Moscow were finally wiped after they lifted the coveted prize on May 19. The squad flew back from Germany the next day, and were greeted by a sea of blue shirts, banners and flags on their arrival back at Stamford Bridge to climb

on board the celebration open-top bus. Supporters cheered their heroes on the Sunday bus parade as the procession pulled out of the stadium and made its way down Fulham Road. You couldn’t move on the pavements with all the fans lining the route, and the roar of the crowd grew stronger as the team approached Eel Brook Common where the majority of supporters had gathered. Here the bus stopped and captain John Terry led the fans in a singalong. Fans called for Di Matteo to be given the manager’s role on a full-time basis after an amazing three-month tenure which also included an FA Cup win over Liverpool at Wembley. The Champions League was the piece of silverware owner Roman Abramovich has lusted

after since he bought the club, and he was also centre stage at the parade, enjoying the

Blue tide! Scenes of joy greeted the bus as it inched forward, with (inset) Frank Lampard raising the trophy PICTUREs BY LEIGH QUINNELL

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