By Paul Lagan
Chelsea 1 – Manchester City 0
They have only gone and done it – Chelsea are Champions of Europe – again, they have won the cup with the big ears.
Forget London is Blue, Europe is Blue and Kai Havertz is the new king of the Kings Road.
Three minutes before the break, German Havertz latched onto a wonder through ball from Mason Mount, goalkeeper Ederson could only touch it, Havertz took one more touch and plonked the ball into the back of the net.
He said: “I don’t know what to say, we deserved it.
“I waited a long time to score in the Champions League, I just want to say thanks to my family.”
The 21-year-old will go down in Chelsea folklore but this was a team effort, a massive tactical victory for head coach Thomas Tuchel.
City had one effort on goal. Pep Guardiola changed his tactics and formation to thwart the west Londoners – he failed.
This was an immense defensive display by the boys from SW6, with N’Golo Kante in imperious form, the outstanding performer, nicking the ball off the toes of the City players, tapping the ball to a fellow midfielder, supporting the lone striker Timo Werner, it was of a level, rarely seen in world football.
The reality is that Chelsea could and should have put the game to bed earlier rather than put the fans through the mill with the added seven minutes feeling like an eternity.
Ben Chilwell said: “We worked so hard. We knew it would be tough, we fought for our lives in the second half.
“It’s what I came to Chelsea for.”
Last ditch challenges and tackles from skipper Cesar Azpilicueta and Andres Christensen summed up the attitude, the determination not to lose. they won their individual battles – Reece James had Raheem Sterling in his back pocket, to the point the striker was substituted.
Head coach, Thomas Tuchel almost overcome with emotion, having lost last season’s final as boss of PSG said: “It’s incredible. I was grateful to arrive again in the final for a second time.
“They were determined to win this.”
I can’t put things into words, it’s impossible. I’ve played in two FA Cup finals and lost, that hurt.
It was. Tough game, we played some top teams.
‘At this moment in time, we are the best team in the world.
“City are a very hard team, they have top, top players. We got one goal on the break and then defended for our lives.”
Chelsea will face Europa League champions Villarreal in the Super Cup, in Belfast on August 11.
Teams: Chelsea, Mendy, Rudiger, Jorginho, Silva, Kante, Werner, Mount, Chilwell, James, Azpilicueta, Havertz
subs: Kepa, Caballero, Alonso, Christensen, Pulisic, Zouma, Kovacic, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Gilmour, Emerson
Man City, Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Sterling, Gundogan, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Silva, Mahrez, Foden
Subs: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Jesus, Aguero, Laporte, Rodri, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Garcia
Referee: Mateo Lahoz – Spain
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