Chelsea beat Man City to take UEFA Champions League trophy
BBC Sports – Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time with a fully deserved victory over Manchester City in an all-Premier League confrontation in Porto.
Thomas Tuchel got the better of his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola for the third time, since succeeding sacked Frank Lampard in January, to bring European club football’s biggest prize back to Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2012.
Kai Havertz, blossoming after a slow start to his Chelsea career, got the winner three minutes before half-time when he collected a defence-splitting pass from Mason Mount to round City goalkeeper Ederson and score.
It leaves City still searching for the Champions League, the trophy that has always eluded them, and Guardiola cannot escape scrutiny for his part in this defeat after taking a tactical gamble which backfired.
Guardiola surprisingly decided against utilising either Rodri or Fernandinho as a defensive midfielder, leaving City with a muddled game plan that reduced their effectiveness and rarely presented Chelsea with any problems.
Chelsea had the better opportunities throughout; Timo Werner wasting two good chances before Havertz struck, and substitute Christian Pulisic squandering another in the second half.
City, who lost Kevin De Bruyne to injury midway through the second half, threw on Sergio Aguero for his final appearance. But there was no fairytale ending for the club’s greatest goalscorer as Chelsea closed out the win.
And, for Tuchel, it was elation after the disappointment of losing last year’s final as manager of Paris St-Germain.
Tuchel made it three out of three against Guardiola by producing a fiercely disciplined, positive Chelsea performance that has brought a season that was shrouded in uncertainty to the most glorious conclusion.
The German has transformed Chelsea since his arrival in January, making significant changes by restoring the towering Antonio Rudiger in central defence and playing the magnificent man-of-the-match N’golo Kante in the position in which he is quite simply a world-class operator.
Kante controlled everything from his position in midfield, the complete player giving a breathtaking performance.
Chelsea needed to be defensively perfect, but this was no smash-and-grab result. It was a front-foot display to take the initiative away from City in the first half.
They then held firm in the second with very few anxious moments.