Chelsea has beaten Manchester City by a goal to nil to win the Champions League.
A first-half finish from Kai Havertz proved to be the difference between the sides in an all-English affair and handing Chelsea their second Champions League triumph in almost ten years.
14,110 fans were in attendance at the Estadio do Dragao to witness a tantalising affair between the two Premier League sides.
Manchester City started a game without either Fernandinho or Rodri for only the second time this season. Another surprise inclusion was Raheem Sterling, and the England international got in behind City’s defence in the sixth minute. He was, however, unable to round Chelsea’s towering goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.
With both sides looking dangerous every time they bypassed the other’s midfield, Chelsea also began to ruffle the feathers of City’s backline. The ball fell invitingly for Timo Werner twice in the City penalty area but the German forward was unable to convert on both occasions — miskicking the first chance and firing straight at Ederson on the second opportunity.
City began to find their tempo but were unable to break down a resolute Chelsea defence. A moment of concern arose, however, when Thiago Silva went down wincing and holding his groin after challenging for an aerial ball with Phil Foden. Despite attempting to carry on, Andreas Christensen replaced a distraught Silva moments later.
The deadlock was finally broken when Mason Mount played a defence-splitting ball in behind the City defence. Havertz picked up the ball and kept his composure to round Ederson and place the ball into an empty net.
City started the second half on a brighter note but had the wind taken out of their sails when captain Kevin De Bruyne became the second player in the game to be forced off with an injury. De Bruyne collided with Antonio Rudiger, which left the Belgium international with a black eye and substituted after being assessed by the club’s physios.
There was a slight moment of controversy on the hour mark when the ball appeared to come off Reece James’ arm in the Chelsea box. Despite animated appeals from the City players, referee Antonio Lahoz adamantly waved play on. He insisted it hit James’s chest.
In a pulsating affair, City continued to push for an equaliser while Tuchel’s side countered at pace. Substitute Christian Pulisic, who became the first American to play in a men’s Champions League final, missed the target from yards out.
Yet, Chelsea held on as Thomas Tuchel found redemption after losing last year’s final with Paris-Saint Germain.
What has been said?
After the match, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta told BT Sport: “Sport: “(Kai Havertz) was so calm. Not only that. He runs like crazy! That’s why he deserves this.
“I came here in 2012 after that Champions League win. I wanted to repeat that Champions League success. It is amazing. My family are here. It is a special, special day.”
How did both sides reach the Champions League final?
Both clubs have relied on their stellar defences in the competition to help them reach the final.
City shipped just one goal in the group stages — the competition’s best defensive record this season — while Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy did not concede in eight out of 11 encounters in the current campaign, a Champions League record by a goalkeeper playing for an English team.
In the knock-out stages, City posted comfortable wins against both Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund before outclassing last year’s finalists Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-finals.
Similarly, Chelsea were seldom threatened against Atletico Madrid, before overcoming Porto in the following round and displayed valiant maturity to beat European stalwarts Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
What were the starting lineups?
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden.
Chelsea: Mendy, James, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Werner.