May 6 2012
Petr Cech declared Chelsea were in better shape to secure Champions League glory than four years ago following their FA Cup triumph.
The Blues beat Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley to set themselves up perfectly for their May 19 showdown with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Goalkeeper Cech, who produced one of the greatest saves in FA Cup final history to help Chelsea to victory, said: "When you win a cup and you go to the Champions League final, it gives you a lot of confidence and the mood is obviously different when you win a cup than when you lose a cup."
It will be Chelsea's second Champions League final after they lost on penalties by Manchester United in Moscow in 2008. They went into that game having been beaten to the Barclays Premier League title, as well as losing the Carling Cup final.
Cech added: "We have two weeks to prepare and we have another opportunity to have this same feeling again. We can concentrate on that full of confidence - it would have been completely different if we'd lost, but we didn't."
That they held on was down to Cech, who produced a simply extraordinary stop from Andy Carroll in an incident reminiscent of the 'ghost' goals both Liverpool and Chelsea had scored in matches over the last seven years.
Replays and computer graphics appeared to show Cech only just prevented the whole of the ball crossing the line.
The 29-year-old, who collected his fourth FA Cup winners' medal, was adamant he had kept it out but with Chelsea having been controversially awarded a goal in almost identical circumstances in the semi-final, Cech could not believe goalline technology was still not in place in football.
"It should've started 10 years ago," he said. "I understand the point people are making that not everybody would have the chance - or every league have the chance - to have the same possibilities to have the video linesman.
"But, in the end, you can't compare the Premier League even with the Czech league. If you look around, football is actually the only sport in the world at the highest level which doesn't have that help. There are people thinking about it. They haven't allowed it for I don't understand what reason."