Kai Harvertz’s sublime first-half finish from Mason Mount’s through pass becomes the only goal that separated the two sides in the final as Chelsea are confirmed winners of Champions League for the first time since 2012. Manchester City waits to touch the holy grail continues as they become the second Manchester club to lose a European final this week.
Meanwhile, the Blues have enjoyed more successes since Roman Abramovich took over the club – they officially become the first club in football history to win all the three major European club competitions twice each (Champions League, Europa League and Cup Winners’ cup) and no English side has won more trophies than Chelsea since he came to the club in 2003 (5 FA Cups, 5 Premiership titles, 3 League Cups, 2 Europa League and 2 Champions League).
Massive credit to Thomas Tuchel for incredibly turning things around and exceeding expectations since taking charge of a poorly-run Lampard’s team in January earlier this year: “This is unbelievable. To share it with everybody is unbelievable. I don’t know what to feel. The players were determined to win this.”
How The Game Played Out
Pep set out his team all-attack to try to see if it would nullify Chelsea’s pragmatic approach to games under Tuchel. Chelsea were more intentional and vibrant with their counter-attack attempts, exposing City’s vulnerability at the back without a natural holding midfielder.
Havertz’s first-half goal was a reward for how good Chelsea have played to contain Pep’s team ball-playing possession style and how incredible they have also been for defeating the Cityzens for the third time in a row in less than two months.
Pep Guardiola defends his team selection despite the critics he got from football fans: “I did what is the best for the game. Exceptional season for us. It is an honour to be here. Today we are sad but when we analyse it was a successful season for us. It was a tough game. In the second half we were brilliant, we were brave but we could not convert the goals because they were so strong, so fast. We didn’t allow them to make the process to play, the players were exceptional, all of them, and we will come back again, maybe, one day.”
This Means More Competitions for Chelsea
Chelsea will travel to Japan later this year for the FIFA Club World Cup as they have qualified for this tournament as champions of Europe after defeating Manchester City to win the Champions League final.
They lost 1-0 to Brazilian side Corinthians the last time they played in the tournament after winning the UCL in 2012.
Before the FIFA Club World Cup happens, the blues will first have to face Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup on the 11th of August at the Windsor Park in Belfast.