Chelsea Beat Man City 1-0 to win 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League
Thomas Tuchel sent out a well-balanced, well-drilled, football team and saw Chelsea
deservedly crowned champions of Europe.
Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, crossed that precarious line between genius and insanity
and decided that a Champions League Final was the right time to conduct one of his
Manchester City’s great alchemist ended up concocting only a stink-bomb as a City team
without a defensive midfielder or a striker was thoroughly outplayed.
Tuchel has now defeated City three times in six weeks, in three different competitions.
In a totally dominating display by the Blues, Chelsea showed more quality on and off
the ball, showed more pace, panache, and perseverance as they inflicted a third straight
win this season on Pep Guardiola’s team.
A first-half goal from summer signing Kai Havertz, the most expensive player in Chelsea’s
history was enough to earn Thomas Tuchel’s side victory in front of thousands of fans
at Porto’s Estadio Dragao in Portugal even though the thrilling final was marred by
a knee injury to 36-year-old Chelsea defender Thiago Silva and a head injury to City’s
playmaker, Kevin De Bruyne.
What an impact Tuchel has had since replacing Frank Lampard in January.
And what a performance this was from Chelsea – there were heroic displays from Havertz,
Mount, the hyperactive N’Golo Kante, the granite Toni Rudiger and two outstanding
English full-backs, Reece James and Ben Chilwell.
James will have to empty out Raheem Sterling from his pocket before the pair meet up
for England duty next week.
But Chelsea’s second European Cup came courtesy of a serious assist from Guardiola.
The Catalan has been accused of over-thinking his line-ups so often in Champions
League knock-out matches that there was an element of sheer bloodymindedness in his
refusal to start with either Fernandinho or Rodri in midfield.
His ‘false nine’ ploy has often been successful for Guardiola but not here – Kevin De
Bruyne looking lost before he was forced off through injury early in the second half.
Guardiola was brought to the Etihad to conquer Europe and despite all his outstanding
achievements in other competitions, he has fallen short again.
City failed to ask a serious save of keeper Edouard Mendy.