It had seemed for so long that this season's Champions League final would be an El Clasico, even after first-leg losses, it still looked as if a Real Madrid-Barcelona showdown on May 19 was still on the cards.
However, Bayern Munich and Chelsea
had other ideas, as they both saw off the Spanish giants over two legs to set up a Bayern-Chelsea final.
With the game to be played at the Allianz Arena, Bayern will go into the match with the home advantage as they look to atone for 2010 when they lost to Inter Milan at the Bernabeu.
Chelsea will be making only their second Champions League final appearance, as they look to make amends for 2008 – when Chelsea lost against Manchester United on penalties – and finally lift the trophy that owner Roman Abramovich and the players so desperately crave.
The group stages kicked off in September with 32 teams, eight months and 12 Champions League matches later, the 32 teams have been whittled down to just two.
GMF takes a look back at Bayern Munich and Chelsea's route to the final.
The group stage
The German's were drawn into a group with Napoli, Manchester City
and Villarreal, while the Blue's were drawn into a group with Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia and Racing Genk.
Out of their six matches, Bayern won four, drew to Napoli and lost to City in the last group game, having already guaranteed top spot.
progression from the group stage wasn't as straightforward. They won three games, drew to Valencia and Genk and lost to Leverkusen. The Londoner's beat Valencia in the last group game to avoid crashing out of the tournament early.
Both sides topped their respective groups, which was essential as it meant that they were seeded for the draw for the round of 16.
Being seeded prevented the possibility of drawing each other, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, and for the Bavarian club Arsenal - teams they would have wanted to avoid facing so early in the tournament.
Round of 16
Chelsea were drawn against Napoli, who boast a forward trio of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik.
Napoli ran out 3-1 winners in Italy and it could have been worse for the Blues had Ashley Cole not blocked a shot on the line to prevent it ending 4-1.
boss Andre Villas-Boas had been sacked 10 days before the return leg at Stamford Bridge. However, interim manager Roberto Di Matteo watched as his side overturned the two-goal deficit to win 4-1 after extra time, with Branislav Ivanovic scoring in the 105th minute.
Meanwhile, Basel – whose 2-1 win against Manchester United in the last group game knocked out the Premier League champions - were Bayern's opponents in the first knockout round.
A late Valentin Stocker goal gave the Swiss side a one-goal advantage to take back to the Allianz Arena.
It took all of 11 minutes for Bayern to draw the tie level, before running out 7-0 winners on the night, with Mario Gomez netting four goals in 23 minutes of play.
Bayern Munich faced Marseille, with the winner of the tie to play either Real Madrid or APOEL.
Marseille saw off Inter Milan in the first knockout round, but were convincingly beaten over two legs by the German side.
Two goals for Ivica Olic in the second leg, coupled with strikes from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben meant Bayern ran out 4-0 aggregate winners.
faced a Benfica side, who had only lost one of their eight games in the tournament. However, a Salomon Kalou goal 15 minutes from time gave the London club their first away win of the tournament, leaving them in good position to progress.
The Blues ran out 2-1 winners at the Bridge, not before a nervy last eight minutes when Benfica scored in the 85th minute.
The goal meant that they needed another for the Portuguese outfit to go through on away goals. However, the more they pushed forward, the more space they left at the back and Raul Meireles sealed the tie, three minutes into injury time.
Real Madrid saw off APOEL to set up a semi-final tie against Bayern Munich, and Barcelona beat AC Milan to set up a tie against Chelsea.
Many had written off Chelsea before the second-leg against Napoli, however, few people thought they would be able to see off the team that is widely regarded as the best team in the world.
The Blues had played a defensive game at the Bridge, allowing Barca to have the ball and look to Didier Drogba
on the counter. And it worked, as Drogba gave a Chelsea a 1-0 lead on the stroke of half time, before holding on to take the one goal advantage back to the Nou Camp.
Chelsea were expecting a tough test in Spain, and it became harder after John Terry was sent off in the first half with Chelsea 1-0 down. Barcelona inevitably went 2-0 up, before Ramires pulled one back for the Blues.
As much as Barcelona attacked they were unable to breach the Chelsea
defence, with Lionel Messi crashing a penalty against the bar. The Blues held firm before Fernando Torres scored in the 90th minute to secure their place in the final.
Bayern Munich faced Jose Mourinho's Madrid who sat at the top of La Liga. Franck Ribery put Bayern ahead in the first half in Germany before Mesut Ozil cancelled out the goal in the second half.
The Germans then pressed for the second and it came in the 90th minute from their top scorer Mario Gomez.
Bayern went to the Bernabeu with a slender lead, which was wiped out inside 15 minutes following two Cristiano Ronaldo goals. Robben scored a penalty to take the tie to 3-3 on aggregate, which meant it would go to extra time, and penalties if the scoreline remained as it was.
Gomez fluffed a chance to end the tie five minutes from the end, meaning it stayed 3-3 until the end of extra time, taking the match to a penalty shootout.
Ronaldo and Kaka both saw their penalties saved, with David Alaba and Gomez dispatching theirs, to put Bayern 2-0 ahead.
Xabi Alonso scored his before Toni Kroos and Phillip Lahm both missed, leaving Sergio Ramos a chance to level the shootout at 2-2. However, he blazed over and Bastian Schweinsteiger kept his cool to earn Bayern their place in the final.
Both sides will be missing key players, as Bayern will lose Alaba at left back, Holger Badstuber at centre back and Luiz Gustavo sitting just in front of the defence.
Chelsea will be without Branislav Ivanovic at right back, Terry at centre back, Meireles sitting in front of the defence and Ramires at right midfield.
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