The holy grail is ours once again! The nerve-racking anticipation is finally over as Chelsea were successfully crowned European Champions for the second time in the club’s history. The last few weeks have been heartbreaking with some poor form which dampened the mood around the club before this huge clash. As a consequence, it caused fans significant distress before the biggest game for the club in almost a decade. That said, the other side of the fanbase knew that despite the turbulent form, this was a one-off game and that anything could happen. And that it did. The starting lineup surprised some as it included the young German star Kai Havertz who hasn’t had the most fruitful seasons since joining this season. However, his high price tag was seemingly paid off all in one hugely important goal as the young German skillfully took Mount’s precise pass to round Ederson and roll the ball into an unguarded net. The Blues from South West London held their ground and managed to detain City’s waves of attacks with relative ease. Their resolute desire to defend was in full effect for the football world to see and exemplified how much Chelsea wanted to win. Our fellow writers from The Chelsea Social give their takes and reactions on the unbelievable 1-0 win for the Blues during the Champions League Final involving Chelsea v Man City.
Chelsea v Man City: Quick Recap
The game started off very much how most anticipated. City were keen to establish a foothold in possession with Chelsea looking to absorb pressure and apply their press strategically in search for gaps in City’s defence. Despite Manchester City’s willingness to press the Blues and get forward, admittedly Chelsea found themselves in dangerous situations more often than their more fancied opponents. These threatening chances unfortunately were not capitalised upon, with the main one being scuffed by Timo Werner, who has been plagued with low confidence all year.
Guardiola’s surprising changes to the side indicated a change of approach as neither the seasoned Fernandinho or Rodri featured in the starting XI. That different approach was believed to be as a result of City trying to claim stronger possession and penetration in midfield with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Îlkay Gündogan and Bernardo Silva who are all experts on the ball. However, this game plan was ineffective and allowed Chelsea to hurt them in transition as there was no one natural in place to help thwart Chelsea on the break. This theme continued in the first half as City having no holding midfielder allowed the Blues’ attackers to exploit the space between the lines whenever City lost possession which signalled danger signs for Pep’s Premier League Champions. This new approach for City eventually backfired as a wonderfully precise ball from Chelsea academy graduate, Mason Mount, found Kai Havertz who made a beautiful run between two City defenders to find himself one on one vs Ederson who he expertly rounded to slot it into an empty net to give the Blues a deserved 1-0 lead. It’s worth noting it was Timo Werner’s run on the left-wing which pulled Stones and Dias apart which enabled to Kai to get the free pass through to Ederson as Zinchenko could not effectively keep up with Kai.
Given the predicament the Citizens were in, it was no surprise to see the second-half consisting of City possessing the majority of the ball, but it was surprising that it contained no real attacking edge given the superior defending and organisation from Tuchel’s troops. Their desperate efforts came down to long balls inside the Chelsea box which was a tell tale sign that Pep was devoid of ideas on how to effectively penetrate the Blues.
Guardiola made changes in an attempt to shake things up but it was to no avail as Chelsea were able to hold their line with vigor, purpose and bravery. Interestingly, the best chance for a goal fell to substitute Christian Pulisic who was played in beautifully by Havertz but unfortunately Captain America chipped his effort just wide of the far post.
Huge interceptions from the whole Blues backline gave Chelsea the cutting edge to ensure victory, and with that, their second Champions League win in the club’s history. With all the exciting emotions, let us share our thoughts and reactions to the unbelievable Champions League victory against Manchester City in Lisbon.
WE’VE WON IT! It’s the second time in history where Chelsea has had Champions League Glory! I just can’t believe it. It’s so surreal. The feeling is just unexplainable. Every player on the pitch deserves credit for their performance. No one disappointed. Maybe Timo Werner for his finishing but his run opened up the opportunity for Kai Havertz to score the decisive champions league winning goal. N’Golo dominated the midfield once again showing he is one of the best midfielders in the world. I don’t know when the actualisation will kick in that we’re champions, but we’re champions! It is time to celebrate and go wild! But of course, we need to give respect to Frank Lampard. Without him, we will not be in this situation due to the recruiting he has done for the club.
UP THE CHELS! EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS! We know who we are!
Dan Hill (@idanknow05)
Two-time Champions of Europe. It feels surreal to contemplate that. It is otherworldly. It is totally unexpected. It is bonkers, but that’s Chelsea Football Club. And we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we? From minute one, the players were at it. Facing arguably the finest team in Europe (not anymore) in Manchester City with the finest manager (again, not anymore) in Pep Guardiola, Chelsea were classed as underdogs. But such is the nature of the Blues that that is a moniker that augurs so well. Like a lion backed into a corner, Chelsea’s predatory instincts came to the forefront in the most important stage of them all.
The doggedness of Antonio Rudiger, the determination of Reece James, the indefatigable and world-class ability of N’Golo Kanté, the speed of Timo Werner, the temperament of Jorginho, the resolve of Andreas Christensen, the leadership of Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta, the calm of Edouard Mendy, the poise of Ben Chilwell, the measurement and magnificence of Mason Mount and the quality of Kai Havertz – all of these things combined in one complete 97-minute performance to deliver one of the crowning moments in the history of this great football club.
And, all of it came about due to the tactical mastery of Thomas Tuchel, a man who has fit into the club ethos like a foot into a football boot. The age of this side means that this could very well be the start of something special. After what transpired in Portugal, one can only hope that is true. But for now, it doesn’t get better than this: Champions of Europe, we know we are. We know who we are, we know who we are, Champions of Europe, we know who we are.
‘Campione! Campione! Ole ole ole!’
Chelsea v Man City in a Champions League Final! It was the Blues v the Sky Blues, the battle of the Billionaires and the two of the glamour clubs in the Premier League over the better part of the past two decades. On one hand, there was a team that had won just about everything in recent seasons, but the one thing that eluded them was the holy grail of football – the Champions League. On the other, was a young team full of talent, blended in with some seasoned warriors, who were at a crossroads in terms of knowing their proper place amongst Europe’s elite.
The form and confidence levels of the two teams leading up to the big dance couldn’t be further apart. City not only won their last game of the Premier League season, but they did so in style, thumping Everton 5-0 and with that, sent a message to Chelsea – we’re coming for you and we’re going to win the only piece of silverware that separates us from you. Whereas the Blues, their Premier League season ended in meaningless despair as they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa but were Bale’d out as Tottenham’s win over Leicester ensured Tuchel’s troops would qualify for next season’s Champions League regardless of what unfolded in Portugal. A David v Goliath proposition was on the cards, and we all recall who won that match.
To Chelsea’s credit, they saved their best performance for their most important game in almost a decade. Timing is everything. From the moment Captain courageous Cesar Azpilicueta led the team out, their was a certain aura I could see, and it was this moment that I had a gut feeling that this was going to be our day. It was our destiny, it was our fate to win the Champions League that night, especially after the dramatic rollercoaster ride us Blues fans had been on this season. Short of being at the game, I was privileged to celebrate the game with hundreds of my fellow Blues from ‘down under’ (Sydney, Australia) at a local hotel. The atmosphere throughout pre, during and post-match, including the pure pandemonium at the final whistle, was something I will cherish forever.
Rather than dissect the game, as I will be re-watching it many times to study all the little details, I will be choosing to focus on celebrating the fact that we are (again) CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE! Good bye to the tag ‘one time wonders’ or those that try to downplay our incredible achievement as a fluke. In this season’s Champions League campaign, we dominated from start to finish, and with that, were deserving winners and fully justify being labelled Europe’s best.
My sincerest thanks to Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel, Roman Abramovich and the Board, all of the staff, and of course, the players who gave their all to ensure that their magnificent performance allowed us to realise a dream of seeing our club win the holy grail yet again. Still pinching myself to ensure it’s real!
‘We’ve done it again. We’ve done it again. Champions of Europe, we’ve done it again!’
Still the only team in London with a European Cup.
Chelsea v Man City was always going to be a tight and tense affair. A lot of it was going to rely on the midfield battle being won.
Step forward N’Golo Kante, who produced a performance for the ages. He singlehandedly shut down any attacking impetus from Manchester City. The Blues were helped somewhat by Pep’s bizarre tactical choice. Not starting Rodri or Fernandinho immediately left them very exposed.
However, despite this poor choice, Chelsea still should be praised to the rafters. We dominated every single individual battle in Chelsea v Man City and rightly came out as winners. If we’d have been a bit more clinical *cough cough Timo Werner cough cough* it could have been 3-0 and Goodnight Vienna by the half-time whistle.
But regardless, we won the battle, we won the war and we’ve won it twice.
Don’t look back in anger.
Edited by Ross-John (RJ) Bonaccorsi (@RJ_Goodthings)
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