Chelsea secured their second Champions League title, as a first-half goal from Kai Havertz helped the London club defeat Manchester City 1-0 at the Estadio do Dragao stadium in Porto on Saturday. The win further delays European glory for City and Pep Guardiola, who was principally brought to the Etihad to replicate the continental success he enjoyed in his formative years with Barcelona.
Thomas Tuchel, who was axed as Paris Saint-Germain boss after losing the final against Bayern Munich last year, maintained his perfect record over Guardiola this seaon, outwitting the Spaniard for a third time to lift his maiden European crown.
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The German has been lauded for his transformation of the London club from mid-table uncertainty to the pinnacle of European football, as newfound defensive solifity has helped Chelsea beat the likes of Atletico Madrid, Porto and Real Madrid in their run to the title.
began as a cagey affair, with both sides measuring up their opponents in the
first half. City had an early chance to take the lead, with goalkeeper Ederson picking
out Raheem Sterling’s run beyond the Chelsea defence with a pin-point long-ball,
although the Englishman was eventually thwarted by Edouard Mendy in goal.
responded immediately, with Timo Werner brilliantly picked out by Mason Mount
in a great position inside the box. However, the German scuffed his effort to
send it straight at Ederson.
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dominated the rest of the half, with Ben Chilwell and Mount the chief threats
for Guardiola’s men, with the Cityzens struggling to pick apart an organised low block. The only drawback for The Blues was the injury to veteran defender Thiago Silva, who was replaced by Andreas Christiansen at the 39th-minute.
breakthrough came just before the half-time interval, with Mount splitting apart City’s
defence with a threaded pass to send Kai Havertz through on goal, who rounded
Ederson to pass the ball into an empty net.
That goal, which was the 21-year-old’s first in 20 Champions League appearances, ended up being the match-winner as Chelsea preserved their lead for the remainder of the match to secure a second their second Champions League title.
City suffered a mjor setback at the hour-mark when Belgian playmaker Kevin de Bruyne was forced off following a head injury after colliding with Antonio Rudiger.
There was no fairy-tale send-off for Sergio Aguero, whose transfer to Barcelona as a free agent is all but official, as he failed to inspire City to an equaliser following his introduction in the 77th minute.
City came close to forcing extra time during the seven minutes of injury time, but Chelsea players collapsed in jubilation when referee Antonio Matheu Lahoz blew the final whistle.