Chelsea secure second Champions League with historic win

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Thomas Tuchel the head coach / manager of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on January 27, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images)

Chelsea pick up second Champions League

Chelsea won a thoroughly deserved second Champions League title as they edged out Manchester City 1-0 at the Estadio de Dragao in Portugal.

Heading into the game, Manchester City were probably viewed as the favourites, but that became more clouded upon the release of the team sheets an hour before kick-off.

For Manchester City, Olexander Zinchenko was preferred to Joao Cancelo at left-back, whilst Fernandinho and Rodri were both left on the bench, with the Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola opting for an attacking midfield trio.

Whilst the teamsheets suggested goals, it was in fact goalless until deep into the first half. Timo Werner missed two glorious chances when well-placed in front of goal, whilst only a brilliant Antonio Rudiger block prevented Phil Foden from finishing off a slick Manchester City move.

Despite his misses, it was a brilliant run from Werner that created Chelsea’s opener, and what turned out to be the only goal of the game. Drawing Ruben Dias out of position, The German’s movement allowed Mason Mount to find Kai Havertz running into the space left in between Dias and Zinchenko. Slipping the ball under the onrushing Ederson, Havertz was left with an empty net to tap into, and celebrated in front of the jubilant Chelsea supporters.

Manchester City emerged for the second half in much the same way that they ended the first, lacking ideas to break down a stubborn Chelsea defence, and were dealt a further blow when midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne was forced off following a cynical foul by Rudiger.

The Premier League Champions continued to pile on the pressure late into the game, but failed to provide any cutting edge, with balls across the box meeting either empty space or Chelsea defenders. Even though the introductions of Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho encouraged more attacking verve from the Citizens, they were ultimately forced into long balls and long throws, demonstrating the effectiveness of Tuchel’s side defensively.

Tuchel gets another one over Guardiola:

Three times now the two sides have faced each other since the German manager took over Chelsea, and this was the third and most important victory of the three. Tactically out-thought, either by Tuchel or himself, Guardiola now has serious questions to answer about his Manchester City side.

Pep Guardiola

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

His gamble not to play a defensive midfielder backfired spectacularly, while Sterling flattered to deceive upon his return to the side. Phil Foden and Kyle Walker looked bright, but they lacked support, and ultimately were not able to change the course of the game.

It proves to be a bitter blow for Manchester City, who remain unable to claim a Champions League trophy despite dominating English football.

For Chelsea, however, it is dreamland once again.


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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 38 51 86
2 Manchester United FC 38 29 74
3 Liverpool FC 38 26 69
4 Chelsea FC 38 22 67
5 Leicester City FC 38 18 66
6 West Ham United FC 38 15 65
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 38 23 62
8 Arsenal FC 38 16 61
9 Leeds United 38 8 59
10 Everton FC 38 -1 59
11 Aston Villa FC 38 9 55
12 Newcastle United FC 38 -16 45
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 38 -16 45
14 Crystal Palace FC 38 -25 44
15 Southampton FC 38 -21 43
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 38 -6 41
17 Burnley FC 38 -22 39
18 Fulham FC 38 -26 28
19 West Bromwich Albion 38 -41 26
20 Sheffield United FC 38 -43 23
Player Team Goals
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 23
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 22
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 17
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 17
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 17
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 16
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 15
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 14
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 13
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 12
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 12
Wood, Chris Burnley FC 12
Iheanacho, Kelechi Leicester City FC 12
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 11
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 11
Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 11
Bale, Gareth Tottenham Hotspur FC 11
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 11
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 10

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