Thanks to a goal by young German striker Kai Havertz (42nd), Chelsea won 1-0 against Manchester City in the 2021 Champions League final. This is the club’s second coronation, after that of 2012, and the first for Thomas Tuchel, who arrived during the season after being sacked from PSG at Christmas.
Outsider of this final, not guaranteed last week to qualify for the next edition of the Champions League, in bad shape at the start of the year, Chelsea managed to become European champion in 2021. With Thomas Tuchel on the bench, arrived at the start of the year, the London club won the Champions League final on Saturday evening against Manchester City of Pep Guardiola (1-0). This is the second time that the Blues have won the competition, after 2012. That year, the club had already experienced a change of coach in the middle of the season.
The match changed shortly before half-time, with a wonderful pass from Mason Mount to Kai Havertz. Launched in the back of the defense, full axis, the young 21-year-old striker offered the victory to Chelsea by scoring the first goal of his career in the Champions League (42nd minute).
The 16,500 lucky spectators, scattered around the 50,000-seat stands of the Estádio do Dragão, had the chance to attend one of the best matches of the season. Perhaps even one of the most thrilling finals in recent competition history.
The match was a treat, both in the first half and in the second. Without Rodri or Fernandinho as defensive midfielder for the first time this year, a tactical move from Guardiola that will cause much ink to flow, Manchester City unsurprisingly took possession and did not fail to obtain great opportunities. From the 8th minute, Sterling, a surprise guest at kick-off, almost took advantage of an incredible pass from goalkeeper Ederson. But the story of the Mancunian match is an accumulation of incredible saves from the London defense. Rudiger, Chilwell, Azpilicueta … In turn, the Chelsea rearguard gave body and soul to protect Mendy’s goal. And brilliantly, including when Silva had to go out with an injury in tears (38th).
Werner could have had nightmares about it
As unbelievable as it may sound, Chelsea still had the best chances of the game. During the first period which highlighted huge gaps in the Mancunian defensive line, Tuchel had to tear his hair out in the face of Werner’s failures. The German striker has again proven that he is as quick and elusive as he is clumsy in the finish. The action of the goal has nevertheless shown its valuable contribution in travel. But harvesting is not its prerogative. In the second half, it was his replacement Pulisic who missed the ball 2-0, which would have prevented Blues fans from living an absolutely unbearable last quarter of an hour.
Even without his captain De Bruyne, who also came out in tears after being destroyed by a buffer, Manchester City accumulated the chances until the last seconds of the seven minutes (!) Of added time. When it was not the genius Kanté who made exceptional interceptions in midfield, the Chelsea defense continued to show solidarity. She was also lucky, when Mahrez missed the target on her last attempt entering the box.
Finally the holy grail for Tuchel and Silva
This coronation is a colossal revenge for Thomas Tuchel, at the top for the first time in his career. Last season, he lost his first Champions League final, with Paris Saint-Germain against Bayern Munich. Despite everything, the Parisian club sacked him in December because of a series of mixed results and especially a bad relationship with the sporting director Leonardo. He then confided that he had spent a “shitty Christmas”. Hired by Chelsea just a few weeks later to replace legend Frank Lampard, the German turned a dying team into a formidable machine defensively and very hungry for opportunities.
The story is therefore teasing with Paris Saint-Germain. It started earlier in the week with Unai Emery’s fifth Europa League coronation. And beyond Thomas Tuchel, this title is also that of his former captain Thiago Silva, who finally registers this line on his palmares at 36 years old.