Leading article: Chelsea... the triumph of the underdog?


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The Independent Online

Judged one way, Chelsea's win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Saturday might be nothing more edifying than a victory for the deepest pockets. But for all those football fans who love to hate the west London club for being the first of the really big spenders, there is another story to consider. Looked at from a certain angle, in fact, the win at the Allianz stadium was the triumph of the underdog.

That is not to suggest that the £1bn invested by Roman Abramovich was not the key factor in his team's success. But it is worth noting, still, that the Russian oligarch's string of superstar managers with big ideas repeatedly failed to deliver the European silverware he wanted. Roberto di Matteo, however – a man who was never really meant to be the manager, and who was only ever a stopgap after the sacking of André Villas-Boas – got the job done. Money, it seems, may not be everything, after all.