Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

21.58 29 May 2021


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Many were worried the 2021 Champions League final would be a cagey affair with few chances for Chelsea and Manchester City.

Thankfully, they were wrong and this was one of the most enjoyable finals in Europe's most elite competition in a number of years.

The two English sides played out an engaging, end-to-end game in front of 16,500 spectators at the Estádio do Dragão.

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City started particularly well, applying immense pressure at really quick pace and you couldn't help get the impression a Chelsea mistake would lead to a goal for Pep Guardiola's side.

Then, in the 42nd minute, Kai Havertz got the opening goal for Chelsea.

Timo Werner made a great run off the ball to draw Ruben Dias away from John Stones in the City defence with Kai Havertz able to get inside of Stones and collect the ball from Mason Mount as Ederson came out of his own box.

21-year-old Havertz kept his cool and rolled the ball around the City goalkeeper to tap it into the back of the net.

City needed a response after the break and just before the hour mark there was a game-changing moment, but not a welcome one.

Captain Kevin De Bruyne had to be replaced by Gabriel Jesus after getting a bang to the head during a collision with Antonio Rudiger.

The influential midfielder appeared to be suffering from a concussion, however, he did remain in the ground, nursing a black eye with ice as he watched on.

City felt they deserved a penalty in the 63rd minute when a Sterling shot appeared to hit the arm of Reece James.

Every City player appealed for handball but the referee waved play on with VAR agreeing with the on-field decision.

10 minutes later Chelsea had a massive chance to double their lead with Christian Pulisic only having Ederson to beat after a lovely piece of play by Tuchel's side on the break.

The American chipped it over the keeper but it went just wide.

With less than 15 minutes of normal time left to play, City's record goalscorer Sergio Agüero came on in what would be his last appearance for the club.

The Argentine was in the hunt for his 16th ever goal against Chelsea but a fairytale ending wasn't to be.

Chelsea held on for a nervy finish with seven minutes of ijury time to see out the 1-0.

The result means less than six months after being appointed as their manager Tuchel has won the greatest club competition of all, not bad.


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