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A Manchester City treble was not in the cards in Porto as Chelsea defeated the Sky Blues 1-0 to capture a second Champions League crown.
A first-half strike from Kai Havertz was all the Blues would need to win the championship.
It was no surprise to see a passive beginning for both sides facing each other for the fourth time this season in all competitions with so much at stake.
The first decent opportunity came Man City’s way in the eighth minute.
A brilliant long clearance by Ederson was placed perfectly over the top of the Chelsea defence into the path of Raheem Sterling.
Unfortunately, the Englishman’s first touch let him down, and he put himself in too deep on the byline, and Edouard Mendy closed down the angle and made the save.
That chance seemed to kickstart both sides as the match picked up in intensity on the pitch.
Timo Werner missed a glorious opportunity from point-blank range a minute later.
He fanned on his first-time effort from a Mason Mount pass.
Werner had another great chance a few minutes later as City were caught on the counter.
Kai Havertz picked up the ball in the City area, laying it into the box for Werner, who got his feet mixed up and fired a weak effort on goal that Ederson quickly stopped.
Werner was at it again a minute later but again couldn’t find his range.
The German did well to cut inside, firing a fierce drive at Ederson’s near post, which struck the side netting.
Kevin De Bruyne set up an excellent opportunity for the Sky Blues just before the half-hour mark.
The Belgian tore through the Chelsea defence feeding Phil Foden inside the box.
However, Antonio Rudiger made a remarkable recovery and played an important challenge to block Foden’s shot as Mendy easily covered up.
Chelsea had to make a change in the 36th minute as veteran Thiago Silva went down with a groin problem and was replaced by Andreas Christensen.
The London side drew first blood in the 42nd minute.
A brilliant through-ball by Mason Mount was placed perfectly into the path of Havertz.
Ederson rushed out to try and intercept it, but Havertz tapped it past him and then touched it into the open goal to give the Blues the lead.
City suffered a setback in the 56th minute as De Bruyne collided with Rudiger, with both players holding their heads.
De Bruyne got the worst of the collision and had to be taken off for Gabriel Jesus.
With the minutes passing, there was not much to talk about, as most of the play took place in the middle of the pitch.
Chelsea substitute Christian Pulisic has a glorious chance to double the lead in the 73rd minute.
The Blues caught City on the counter, with Havertz driving through the midfield before finding the American substitute free in space.
As he went one on one with Ederson, though, his shot went just wide, with City fans all holding their collective breath.
With less than 15 minutes to play, City turned to their record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero to try and rescue them one final time.
The presence of Kun did little to change City’s fortunes as Chelsea looked comfortable with the Sky Blues rarely threatening.
Chelsea hung out to win their second Champions League crown.
Man of the Match
Kai Havertz not only scored the winning goal but was sensational in attack for Chelsea on this night.
The German was dynamic, strong on the ball and had a variety of great opportunities to score.
Coming over from Bayer Leverkusen for £71m, Havertz earned every penny of that salary tonight with a fantastic match.
Three in a row
Chelsea continued their dominance of City over the past few weeks with another strong performance tonight.
Their shutdown midfield led by N’golo Kante gave City no space throughout the match and cut out numerous potential counters for the Sky Blues.
They have now beaten Man City three times in six weeks, quite a feat for a team underachieving at the start of the new year.
Chelsea become the third English side to win this competition twice, after Liverpool, and Manchester United.
It was City’s first appearance in the Champions League final, and like the last two first-timers’ things did not go the way they wanted.
City are the third straight team to lose in the final on their debut after PSG last season and Tottenham the season before that.
No first-time side has won this competition since Borussia Dortmund defeated Juventus in 1997.
America the beautiful
Christian Pulisic came on in the second half as a substitute and made a little history in the process.
He’s the first American-born player to play in the final of this tournament and the first to win it.
Coming through in the clutch
Chelsea showed once again tonight that when there’s a lot at stake, they can come through.
They have now lifted a European trophy in six of their seven major European finals.
This triumph is their fourth under owner Roman Abramovich.
Pep Guardiola will go down as an incredible manager regardless of this result.
However, the Spaniard has had his share of struggles against Chelsea as a manager.
He has now lost eight matches against the Blues, losing three straight.
The only other side he’s lost three in a row to are Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Thomas Tuchel got some retribution in the Champions League final after losing at this stage with PSG last season.
He becomes the third different German manager to win the Champions League in the past three seasons.
The others were Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp in 2019 and Hans-Dieter Flick with Bayern Munich in 2020.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has been a revelation since signing from Ligue 1 last summer.
He only had to make one stop today for another clean sheet.
In this season’s competition, the Frenchman had nine clean sheets in the 12 matches played.
Following the match Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel described what this victory means.
“To share it with everybody is incredible. We made it. Wow. I don’t know what to feel.
“I was so grateful to arrive a second time [in the final]. We were somehow… You could feel it getting closer.
“The [players] were determined to win this. We wanted to be a stone in their shoe. We encouraged everybody to step up and step out, to be more brave and create dangerous counter-attacks.”
Despite the loss, Man City’s Pep Guardiola says he’s proud of how his side performed.
“I think the game was exceptional being the first time we were here. I know the opponents.
“The way we kept going second half, they made one counter attack with Pulisic, the long balls to Havertz were so strong, the second balls they win and they run, they are a really good team but we competed perfectly.
“It was a tight game, in the second half we deserved to score one goal, we couldn’t do it. Congratulations to Chelsea.”
Man City will have to regoup knowing they were a step away from the ultimate goal.
Many members of this team will take part in the upcoming Euros for their respective nations.
City end the season as Carabao Cup champions and Premier League champions. (JSL).