Welcome to Sportstar's highlights/blog of the the Manchester City vs Chelsea Champions League final. The UCL final was played at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.
Thomas Tuchel wins his first Champions League title in his career, just six months after joining Chelsea. This is what dreams are made of. Guardiola's quest to win the greatest prize in Europe with City continues.
FULL-TIME!!!!! (MANCHESTER CITY 0 CHELSEA 1) CHELSEA IS THE CHAMPION OF EUROPE!!!
90+4' Fernandinho fouls again, which is given by referee Lahoz. Tuchel is animated as ever on the touchline. He is moments away from winning his first Champions League title in his managerial career.
90+2' Kante tries to surge up the field but meets his match in Fernandinho. Chelsea minutes away from European glory.
SEVEN ADDITIONAL MINUTES!!! Still time for City to turn this around.
90' Great block by Christensen as Mahrez tries to set up Foden. That was such a crucial anticipation by Christensen- goal saving.
88' CHANGE!!! Gabriel Jesus is booked for his challenge on Havertz.
87' An electric atmosphere inside the Estadio do Dragao. Chelsea fans can taste victory but its not over yet.
86' Full marks to City for the effort but the crucial end product is lacking for Guardiola's men.
84' Fernandinho has been busy since coming on. His foul on Rudiger is deemed unfair by Lahoz and the fouls is given.
80' CHANGE!!! Three-time Champions League winner Mateo Kovacic replaces Mason Mount. Despite winning three titles with Madrid, this is Kovacic's first appearance in a Champions League final.
78' City coming on to Chelsea with all-guns blazing but not getting a clear chance to equalise.
76' CHANGE!! Its Aguero time. City's record goalscorer replaces Sterling in what would be his last appearance for the club. Can he impact the game?
73' HUGE CHANCE!! Pulisic should have put Chelsea ahead by two goals. In a move that began with Kante, and ended with Pulisic being one-on-one with Ederson, his dink is wide. That miss can come back to haunt Chelsea.
71' Azpilicueta's injury scare seems to have dissipated as he looks fit enough to carry on.
70' If Sterling is the iron, James has been the magnet. The fullback has not allowed a moment's peace to the City winger.
68' Tremendous anticipation by Cesar Azpilicueta as he prevents a certain goal with a last-second intervention.
66' CHANGE!! Timo Werner replaced by Christian Pulisic. No compromise on pace by Tuchel.
64' CHANGE!!! Bernardo Silva is replaced by Fernandinho. Finally some midfield stability for City? In De Bruyne's absence, this change will allow Gundogan to push higher up the field.
62' Christian Pulisic seen warming up. If he plays today, he will be the first player from the USA to feature in a Champions League final.
60' PENALTY SHOUT!! City fans scream penalty after the ball struck James in the midriff. Referee checks with VAR and no penalty is given.
58 CHANGE!!! What a shame as the distressed Kevin De Bruyne comes off for Gabriel Jesus.
57' BOOKING!! Rudiger is booked after his body check on De Bruyne. Both down after an accidental collision.
53' Werner making a forward run whenever possible. Chelsea looking to him each time for a break. Its what Werner so well isnt it? It is his finishing that needs polishing.
51' What a game Kante is having. Be it covering ground, passing or tackling- he has been top-notch in every department so far. He has totally negated the threat posed by Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian has been quiet.
48' City has started the second half like the first- extensive pressing inside Chelsea's box but not posing significant attacking threat till now.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY!!!
Its advantage Tuchel at the end of the first 45 minutes as Chelsea leads 1-0 courtesy of Kai Havertz's first ever goal in the Champions League. Thiago Silva, who has been taken off due to injury was the captain of the PSG side that lost in the Champions League final last season and is the only Chelsea player to have played in a Champions League final.
Guardiola has a big 15 minutes ahead him as he needs to reassess things and figure out the loophole. Maybe adding a defensive midfielder? Or a proper striker like Aguero? Only time will tell.
HALF-TIME!!! (Manchester City 0 Chelsea 1)
45+3' Mahrez complains to the ref about Chilwell's time-wasting from a throw-in just before half-time.
45+1' Chelsea has played more forward balls than City. De Bruyne has been fairly quiet and City's threat from the flanks is being neutralised by James and Chilwell. Lot of things for Guardiola to ponder on.
THREE ADDITIONAL MINUTES!!!
42' GOOOALLLL!!!! ITS HAVERTZ FOR CHELSEA!! (Man City 0 Chelsea 1) Ederson was off his line and Kai Havertz had no problem putting the ball into an empty net. Great ball by Mason Mount. As of the moment, City losing to Chelsea again.
42' Chelsea has two holding midfielders compared to City's none. Kante and Jorginho have done a fair job in keeping De Bruyne quiet.
40' The absence of a holding midfielder in City's lineup is evident as Guardiola's men are being countered too easily by Chelsea. Something to think about for Guardiola as half time approaches.
39' CHANGE!!! Thiago Silva cannot continue. Big defensive blow for Chelsea as Andres Christensen replaces an emotional Silva.
38' End-to-end play by Chelsea and City as both Havertz and Mahrez get chances at either end of the field.
37' Thiago Silva seems okay to carry on for the time being. He has the most Champions League apperances among any of the players on the pitch- 87.
36' Injury worry for Chelsea. It seems Thiago Silva has taken a knock. Tuchel has sent Kurt Zouma and Andres Christensen to warm up.
35' BOOKING!! Ilkay Gundogan goes into the referee's book.
32' City, with almost 60% of the possession is trying its best to exploit the space behind Chelsea's backline.
30' Most of City's attacks are being initiated from the flanks by City wingers Sterling and Mahrez. Chesea's defence coping with it fairly easily till now.
28' Great block by Rudiger!!! Foden thought he had a clear shot at goal but the German lunged in at full-stretch and blocked Foden's shot. Mendy collected the loose ball.
27' Sterling vs James has been the battle of the match. James edging it so far.
26' James swings one in towards Havertz but Dias clears with ease.
24' James and Chilwell guarding the flanks with great efficiency as both Sterling and Mahrez haven't posed any significant threat as of now.
21' Great block by Azpilicueta!! Brilliant play by City as Sterling releases De Bruyne on the left flank. The Belgian's cross is blocked by the Spaniard.
19' City dominating the overall play in the opening 20 minutes but Chelsea with the two best chances of the match so far.
17' Chilwell pings in a brilliant ball towards Kante at the far-post but the Frenchman cannot find a decent contact wth the ball and Dias deals with it easily.
15' Chelsea committing all its bodies back in defence to deal with City's threat as Guardiola's men tries to find an opening.
13' HUGE CHANCE!!! Brilliant play by Chelsea as Werner is threaded through with a beautiful pass. The German fluffs his shot as his body shape was all wrong.
9' There is a great tempo to the match in the early stages. Both teams enjoying possession in the opponent's box but City slowly starting to capitalise on the ball as it so often does.
6' Ederson showing his passing range again as he tore through the Chelsea defence with a long ball to City winger Raheem Sterling. The Englishman could not capitalise and the ball goes out for a corner.
4' First significant attack by Chelsea. City gets a taste of the threat posed by Werner's pace as he progressed into City's box from the right flank and tried to square the ball across goal. Ederson gathers it without fuss.
2' City with the press right from the start. Chelsea pegged back into its own box.
12.30am: AND WE ARE UNDERWAY!!!
12:25am: Five minutes to go! Will Chelsea go the distance or will City pick up its third title of the season? Sit back and savour this game for it promises to be a cracker of a contest!
12:20am: Quick fact box ahead of kickoff -
12:10am : In case you're wondering, English fans are indeed allowed to travel to Porto to attend the Champions League final. The locals, though, are not too happy with it, especially considering the current coronavirus scares. Portugal's government initially said English fans must fly in only on the day of the match, stay in a "bubble", and fly home straight after the game. But on Thursday, authorities dropped the requirement for fans to stay in bubbles and lifted restrictions on movement.
12:00am: Pre-match talk, the stats, the road to the final - here's everything you need to know ahead of the Manchester City vs Chelsea Champions League final -
How do you think this evening's Champions League final is going to play out? Let us know here:
11:45pm: Manchester City's Phil Foden and Chelsea's Mason Mount into the Champions League final after seasons in which they moved from the 'promising youngster' category into fully-fledged game-changers. Foden, dubbed the “Stockport Iniesta”, has positioned himself as one of the most versatile midfielders in the Premier League and recently picked up his third domestic crown with the club. Mount, on the other hand, was named Chelsea’s player of the season and has nine goals and eight assists across competitions. More on that here -
11:35pm: Interesting line-ups here - both team feature only one forward! Sterling for City and Werner for Chelsea. Aguero starts the final game of his Manchester City career on the bench. Guardiola has also chosen to leave Rodrigo and Fernandinho on the bench while Ilkay Gundogan starts after recovering from a minor injury he sustained during a training session yesterday. Oleksandr Zinchenko also finds a sport in the starting XI.
Good news for Chelsea as the powerhouse Kante starts, while Ben Chilwell gets the nod ahead of Marcos Alonso. Alonso had scored a stoppage-time when the two side's last faced on May 8.
11:25pm: TEAM NEWS!
Manchester City starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden | Subs: Steffen, Jesus, Aguero, Rodrigo, Cancelo, Mendy, Laporte, Torres, Ake, Fernandinho, Carson, Garcia
Chelseastarting XI : Mendy, Azpilicueta (C), Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Werner, Havertz | Subs: Kepa, Alonso, Christensen, Pulisic, Caballero, Zouma, Kovacic, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Gilmour, Emerson
11:15pm: Thomas Tuchel got a taste of a Champions League final last season with Paris Saint-Germain but unfortunately, could not relish the dish as his team lost to Bayern Munich by a solitary goal.
After being sacked by the French club mid-season few would have predicted Tuchel to reach the grandest stage in Europe this year, but as fate would have it, Chelsea came calling and he has led the English club to its third Champions League final.
11pm: From the Guardiola vs Tuchel battle (the Chelsea boss has denied having a contest with this City counterpart) to the solid defences of both teams and the possibility of a penalty shoot-out, here are the talking points ahead of the Manchester City vs Chelsea Champions League final -
10:45pm: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will look to win the third Champions League trophy of his managerial career when his side takes on Chelsea in Saturday's UCL final. The Spaniard had won two Champions League trophies with La Liga giant Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 and has now led City to its first final. He had, in fact, become the youngest manager to win the Champions League, at the age of 38, when he led Barcelona to the title in 2009.
10:30pm: Here's the preview for this evening's Manchester City vs Chelsea Champions League final clash -
After a season in which Europe's traditional powerhouses stumbled, Saturday's Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea is a showcase for the contemporary dominance of England's Premier League.
Neither club can boast a rich pedigree at this level -- City is making its debut on this stage while Chelsea will be featuring in its third Champions League final, having won the competition in 2012.
It is an 'all-English' final but both teams highlight the Premier League's ability to recruit the finest coaching and playing talent from across the continent and beyond.
READ| Manchester City remodels attack without Sterling, Aguero
City is coached by Spaniard Pep Guardiola, who won the competition twice when guiding Barcelona, while Chelsea's German boss Thomas Tuchel led Paris St Germain to the final last season, where it was beaten by Bayern Munich.
Both have benefited from its foreign owners' willingness to invest in top international talent with City's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan from Abu Dhabi and Chelsea's Russian backer Roman Abramovich constantly providing the millions needed.
It is the second all-English Champions League final in three years, confirming the long-standing fears of debt-ridden Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona that the unmatched global commercial success of the Premier League will eventually be replicated on the field.
READ| Champions League final: No COVID-19 bubbles for English fans in Porto
Indeed, a recent UEFA report showed that English clubs were responsible for 43% of all global transfer activity in last summer's trading window.
There is of course, as Manchester United continue to prove, no guarantee that financial power delivers success on the field.
City's success, in winning three of the last four Premier League titles, owes much to Guardiola's brilliance as a coach and tactician and the club's excellent record in recruitment.
Under the Spaniard, City has produced some magnificent passing football but this year, largely thanks to the signing of Portuguese defender Ruben Dias, it has added steel at the back to the flair in the final third.
In previous European campaigns, City has exited after poor defensive displays where it fell apart at the back in crucial periods.
This season though, City did not concede for 790 minutes of Champions League football, a run stretching from its opening group game against Porto until the 84th minute of the quarter-final, first leg against Borussia Dortmund.
Chelsea, with Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva at the heart of its defence, has also tightened up at the back and indeed the two finalists have conceded just four goals each in Europe this season.
That is the lowest total for the two finalists since Barcelona (four goals against) took on Arsenal (two) in the 2006 decider. Neither side has conceded more than once in a Champions League game this season.
But thankfully there will be no shortage of attacking talent aiming to exploit any lingering weaknesses in the two defences.
City has an abundance of attacking options, so much so that Guardiola has often been so confident in the goal-threat of his wide players and attacking midfielders that he has played without either of his centre forwards -- Argentine Sergio Aguero or Brazilian Gabriel Jesus.
On the right, Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez has scored 14 goals and claimed nine assists in all competitions with Phil Foden on the left producing 16 goals and creating 10 this season.
The attacking contributions from midfield are equally impressive with German Ilkay Gundogan claiming 17 goals and Belgian Kevin De Bruyne 18 assists.
Yet despite those numbers, Chelsea has shown that it can get the better of Guardiola's side -- the Londoners have won the last two encounters, at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final and the Etihad in the league earlier this month.
READ| City learnt lessons from Champions League setbacks says Gundogan
Englishman Mason Mount and American Christian Pulisic bring speed and precision to Chelsea's attack and while Germans Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have yet to fully deliver on their promise, they present a threat.
After a season in which games were played behind closed doors, up to 16,500 fans will be present at the Estadio do Dragao, the bulk of them having travelled from England.
They could be in for a treat.
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