UEFA Champions League 2020-21 final: Kai Havertz sole strike hands Chelsea 2nd title
This was Chelsea’s second UEFA Champions League title, winning the first in 2011-12 under Roberto Di Matteo. It was also the maiden UCL title for Thomas Tuchel, finishing as the runner-up last season with Paris Saint-Germain. Manchester City remains in the hunt for its maiden title.
In what turned out to be an intense encounter, English giant Chelsea tamed fellow English champion Manchester City 1-0 in the final of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto on Saturday. Kai Havertz sole strike was enough to hand The Blues its second UCL title.
The match began with all intensity, with six chances being produced until the 36th minute. It was eight minutes later when Havertz took note of a great pass from Mason Mount and did well just to slide it past City goalkeeper Ederson Moraes.
As Chelsea led at half-time, the second half was well defended by both sides, with seven promising chances being produced again, including some promising ones from The Blues at the closing stages. However, despite the City players giving their all out, the Chelsea defence failed to budge, as the referee blew the full-time whistle for The Blues to take the prize home.
- Thiago Silva became the oldest Chelsea player (36 years) to play a European final, going past Claude Makélélé (35).
- Silva is the fifth player to play consecutive UCL final with two different sides after Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa, Samuel Eto’o and Álvaro Morata.
- Havertz became the first player to score his maiden UCL goal in the final after İlkay Gündoğan.
- Havertz is the second youngest German (21) to score in a UCL final after Lars Ricken (20).
- Thomas Tuchel became the second manager after Jürgen Klopp to beat a Pep Guardiola side (excluding Barcelona) across competitions on three successive occasions.
- It was Guardiola’s first final loss as City manager while being his second in his managerial career after Copa del Rey (2010-11).
- Édouard Mendy maintained nine clean sheets in the tournament this season, which is the most by a debutant.
- It is the first time three consecutive UCL titles have been won by a manager of the same nationality (Jürgen Klopp, Hansi Flick and Tuchel - German) after Clough, Paisley and Barton (England) between 1980-82.
Mount: “I don’t know what to say. I really don’t know what to say. I waited a long time. Now, I want to thank my family, my parents, my grandmother and my girlfriend. I don’t know what to say. I’ve waited 15 years for this moment and now, it’s here.”
Guardiola: “I did what I thought was the best decision. It has been an exceptional season for us. It was a tight game. We had chances. We were brilliant in the second half, we were brave and we could not convert the chances as they were so strong. The players were exceptional. We come back maybe one day again!”
Tuchel: “I’m not even 100 per cent sure, but maybe, I have a new contract now. It can be, my manager said something about it, but I do not know. So, let’s check this first. I spoke to the owner right now on the pitch; this was the best moment for a first meeting. Or the worst, because from now on, it can only get worse! We will speak tomorrow, speak later, speak tomorrow, and looking forward to this.”
Cesar Azpilicueta: “In the dressing room, I know how tough it can be to be left out of the team when we have so much competition in the squad, but everyone kept their ego and put everything towards the team. To me, that’s the most satisfying thing about tonight. The guys up front, like Timo, Mason, Kai, Christian when he came on and the work they did for the team was incredible. They stepped up as a group and as a team, we want to build on that and make special things.”
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