Chelsea have beaten Manchester City 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League final at Estadio do Dragao.
Blues midfielder Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute to send Thomas Tuchel’s side on their way to their second Champions League title.
Havertz scored his first ever goal in the competition by rounding Ederson and sliding the ball into an empty net after a superb through ball from Mason Mount.
City, who lost talismanic midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to a head injury after an hour, were unable to breakthrough a resolute and incredibly disciplined Chelsea defence in Portugal.
Pep Guardiola opted to start the game without any recognised holding midfielder, with Rodri and Fernandinho both named on the bench, and this left plenty of space for Chelsea to exploit.
It was the Premier League champions who carved out the first opportunity of the game, but Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy blocked Raheem Sterling’s effort after the English winger’s poor control allowed Reece James to force him wide.
Timo Werner then had two big chances to give Chelsea the lead, but failed to connect with Havertz’ cross before shooting a tame low effort straight at Mendy from 12 yards in the 14th minute.
In the 27th minute, Antonio Rudiger made an excellent diving block to deny Phil Foden after clever link up play between Sterling and De Bruyne down City’s left.
Chelsea were then dealt a significant injury blow in the 39th minute when veteran defender Thiago Silva was forced off with a groin injury, with Tuchel sending on Andreas Christensen to replace the Brazilian.
The Blues took the lead three minutes later, with Havertz keeping his cool to round Ederson and finish into an empty net after Mount’s pass split the City defence.
Chelsea led at the interval, and things got worse for City 10 minutes into the second half when De Bruyne suffered a head injury after a heavy collision in midfield. The Belgian playmaker was forced off moments later, with Gabriel Jesus coming on to replace him.
Christian Pulisic could have doubled Chelsea’s lead after a sharp counter, but his chipped effort drifted wide of the post.
Guardiola sent on Sergio Aguero for the final quarter of the game, hoping the Argentinian could inspire another famous City comeback in his final appearance for the Manchester club, but Aguero was unable to carve out a chance against the well-marshalled Chelsea rearguard.
The English champions’ best chance to equalise came in the dying seconds, but Riyad Mahrez’ volley sailed just inches over Mendy’s crossbar.
The final whistle sounded seconds later, sparking jubilant scenes on the pitch and on the Chelsea sideline before captain Cesar Azpilicueta lifted the trophy.
“To share it with everybody is incredible,” Tuchel said.
“We made it. Wow. I don’t know what to feel.
“I was so grateful to arrive a second time [in the final]. I felt different. 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.”
- Euro 2020 | England and Scotland share the spoils at Wembley - June 18, 2021
- Euro 2020 | Belgium beat Denmark 2-1 to reach last 16 - June 17, 2021
- Euro 2020 | Netherlands defeat Austria to reach knockout stages - June 17, 2021