Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chelsea shatter dream of Guardiola’s Man City to win Champions League final match



Chelsea shatter dream of Guardiola’s Man City to win Champions League final match

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cesar Azpilicueta (centre) and Chelsea’s players celebrate after winning the UEFA Champions League final football match on May 29. AFP

Chelsea shatter dream of Guardiola’s Man City to win Champions League final match

Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time as a Kai Havertz goal secured a tense 1-0 victory over Manchester City in Porto, shattering Pep Guardiola’s dream of lifting the trophy for the third time. on May 29.

Havertz rounded Ederson to score three minutes before half-time at the Estadio do Dragao and the Chelsea players ran to celebrate with the German.

Coach Thomas Tuchel, full of energy on the touchline just like his opposite number, punched the air in celebration, and later jumped with joy on the pitch after Chelsea held on for victory in the second half after City lost distraught skipper Kevin De Bruyne to injury.

The London club finished fourth in the Premier League, a huge 19 points behind champions City, but this, remarkably, was their third win over Guardiola’s side in six weeks.

They ended City’s hopes of a domestic treble when they triumphed in the FA Cup semi-finals in April and delayed their title celebrations with victory in Manchester.

Now, in a final watched by a limited crowd of just over 14,000 fans who created a raucous atmosphere, they have denied City the first Champions League crown they and Guardiola so crave.

“It was an incredibly tough fight, what a fight. Today they were determined to win this. We wanted to be the stone in their shoe,” Tuchel said.

“The effort was huge. We overcame some difficult moments and had a fantastic attitude to defending.”

Second European Cup

City had to wait 13 years after being taken over by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour just to get to the Champions League final.

They are now the eighth consecutive team to lose in their first appearance at this stage. The same misfortune befell Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain last year as well as Tottenham Hotspur when they were beaten by Liverpool in the last all-English final in 2019.

“It is the first time we’re here, we’ll learn, we’ll come back,” Guardiola said.

“The players did everything, they wanted to do well, to win this competition, sometimes you perform well, sometimes not.”

Chelsea also lost when they first got to the final, on penalties against Manchester United in Moscow in 2008.

They overcame the final hurdle by beating Bayern Munich in a shoot-out in 2012 and now they have their second European Cup to move level with Juventus, Benfica and Porto as well as another English side, Nottingham Forest.

Their transformation into one of Europe’s super clubs has been down to the riches of Roman Abramovich, their Russian oligarch owner who was in attendance in Portugal.

“It’s such a special occasion. At this moment in time, we’re the best team in the world. You can’t take that away from us,” said Mason Mount, who has been outstanding for the Stamford Bridge side this season.

Chelsea have been transformed since the appointment as coach in January of Tuchel, but City were still the favourites after their third Premier League title triumph in four seasons.

Feeding off the energy of the crowd in a stadium filled to a third of its capacity – all fans required negative Covid-19 tests to gain entry – both teams played with a level of intensity rarely seen in the last year of football in empty grounds.

Havertz’s marquee moment

City pressed high but struggled to trouble Edouard Mendy in the Chelsea goal, while at the other end Timo Werner should have done better than shoot straight at Ederson in the 14th minute.

Chelsea then suffered an injury blow as an emotional Thiago Silva was forced off hurt, Andreas Christensen taking the Brazilian’s place in central defence.

Yet it was they who opened the scoring in the 42nd minute, Mason Mount’s ball splitting the City defence, allowing Havertz – their marquee £71-million ($100 million) signing last summer – to go around the lunging Ederson and convert into an empty net.

City now needed to break down a Chelsea defence that has been exceptional under Tuchel.

But they lost De Bruyne just before the hour mark, the Belgian taken out in a collision with Antonio Ruediger that appeared to leave him concussed.

He came off in tears, and Guardiola instead turned to Sergio Aguero for the latter stages, but there was to be no glorious send-off as a City player for the Argentine, as a Riyad Mahrez shot sailed just over in the sixth minute of injury time.

A decade on from his last European Cup triumph, there was to be no third for Guardiola. He remains one adrift of the record for the coaches with most wins in the competition, held jointly by Bob Paisley, Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the