Chelsea claim their second Champions League title with win over Manchester City

Chelsea won their second Champions League trophy and denied Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City their first in Saturday’s all-English final at the Estadio Do Dragao in Portugal. Kai Havertz scored in the 42nd minute to give Chelsea a 1-0 victory.

The Germany international, Chelsea’s record signing, maintained his cool as he raced past and around goalkeeper Ederson before sliding the ball into an empty net in the first half to settle a tense match in front of 16,500 spectators.

City, the reigning Premier League champions, were favourites heading into the final, but they had a disastrous night in their first Champions League showpiece event.

Guardiola, despite winning three of City’s last four Premier League titles, has yet to deliver the coveted European trophy he last won with Barcelona in 2011.

The victory for Chelsea’s German manager Thomas Tuchel comes just four months after he took over from Frank Lampard at the west London club after his Paris Saint-Germain side was defeated in last season’s final against Bayern Munich.

Thiago Silva, who also missed out on the UEFA Champions League last season at PSG, alongside the German coach, lifted his first UCL with the blues, but went down awkwardly following a header six minutes before halftime and had to go out in the game and was replaced by Andreas Christensen.

Guardiola’s line-up was unexpected, with Raheem Sterling on the left flank, with neither Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus and midfielder Fernandinho in the starting eleven, opting for Ilkay Gundogan to defend the back line, and Kevin De Bruyne as false nine. 

Christian Pulisic came on, after Jesus replaced Kevin de Bruyne, becoming the first American to participate in a Champions League final and almost scoring when he was slipped in by Havertz, but his shot went just wide of the post.

The final whistle sparked wild celebrations among Chelsea fans who had travelled in for the game, while City fans dejectedly went back to Manchester.

Many hit out at Pep Guardiola for putting out a wrong formation and the Spanish tactician can only blame himself for overthinking things in the biggest game of his Manchester City career. It marks yet another season where the Citizens came agonizingly close to the holy grail of the Champions League but missed out on the trophy in disappointing fashion. Regardless, Guardiola says he will continue as City manager.

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