The Blues were excellent in an entertaining final at the Estadio do Dragao, thoroughly deserving of a hard-fought 1-0 victory secured courtesy of a cool first-half strike from £71million record signing Kai Havertz that came after a superb, defence-splitting Mason Mount pass.
Major trophies in the last 20 seasons:
Manchester city 13
Manchester united 13
No English side has won more trophies than Chelsea since Roman Abramovich took over the club:
Is chelsea the current best club in premier league?
The triumph – Chelsea’s first in the Champions League since that famous 2012 night in Munich – represents an incredible turnaround from Thomas Tuchel, who has far exceeded expectations since replacing Frank Lampard in January and is now set to be handed a long-term contract after positive talks with owner Roman Abramovich on Sunday morning.
As for domestic champions Manchester City, their frustrating wait for a first taste of Champions League glory continues after a chastening evening in Portugal.
Chelsea won the 2021 UEFA Champions League title on Saturday, beating fellow English club Manchester City in the final, 1-0. The Blues got a goal in the first half from Kai Havertz, and City couldn’t respond as superstar Kevin De Bruyne left in the second half due to injury. The Blues controlled the match from the beginning and used their patient, organized defense to hold City’s attack at bay for the majority of the match as Pep Guardiola’s men rarely looked like a threat going forward.
Guardiola brought on Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, but the tinkering with his starting XI did not work out as his surprise inclusion of Raheem Sterling resulted in very little. Thee Londoners claimed their second ever UCL crown, and their first since 2012. Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic made history as the first USMNT player to appear in the Champions League final, though he was unable to convert on a goal-scoring chance off the bench.
Thomas Tuchel, appointed Chelsea manager in the deep midwinter, emerges into summer having taken his place among the greats of English football management. He has won the second Champions League trophy for Chelsea in nine years, and he won it four months into the job. Not only that but it was prised from the grasp of what was assumed to be the perfect football machine. The great Guardiola plan was cut-off, blocked, turned back against itself and ultimately defeated in a final in the warm Porto evening.
The dynasty of English football that was supposed to conclude its sweep of the European game was halted, and now 2021-2022 feels like it has some new themes. For Guardiola it is the second straight season when there are awkward questions about his team selection in the big European games. This time he picked neither Fernandinho nor Rodri in the defensive midfield position, and it was through the ghosts of City’s defensive midfielders that Chelsea passed for the winning goal for Kai Havertz late in the first half.