The Blues stun the Citizens to ride to glory for the second time in Europe’s premier club competition
Chelsea are the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League winners after Kai Havertz’s brilliant first-half goal guided the Londoners to victory over Manchester City in the competition’s final played at the Estadio Do Dragao on Saturday evening.
City were looking to make history in Portugal, with Pep Guardiola’s charges the clear favourites to lift the club’s first major European trophy.
UCL final debutants City had never been closer to landing the trophy they have craved the most. But with Guardiola in charge, many didn’t give Chelsea, 2012 UCL champions, a chance to beat the Citizens.
But inside Porto’s stadium, Guardiola did what only he could have tried: benching Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, and Fernandinho to set up his team without a traditional striker and defensive midfielder.
The tactical setup backfired as Chelsea defenders kept City’s attackers quiet.
At the same time, a simple Mason Mount through-pass carved open the defence, allowing Havertz to stroll in, dribble past the goalkeeper and pass the ball into an empty net. That effort, moments before the interval, proved to be the winning goal.
A large section of Nigerian football lovers, Chelsea fans since the days of Celestine Babayaro and John Obi Mikel, have taken to the streets to celebrate the massive win.
Some others who, however, backed Guardiola’s men to win are heaping the blame for the defeat on the highly-decorated coach.
Pep is a fraud….forget it
— AUDUSTADU LAKADU (@Feyi_kris) May 29, 2021
I wonder what Pep Guardiola was thinking in his head. Why would you have a lineup without a DM against a strong Chelsea midfield in the Champions League final?
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) May 29, 2021
Made my peace with the game. Arsenal are a 2nd tier club it is what it is. And I will never respect Pep ever again
— Chiddy (@chiddyafc) May 29, 2021
If ever there was a game to start Aguero, it was this one sha. Pep reminds me of Mr Eguavoen, my math teacher from high school.
An overthinker who mistakes overthinking for being cerebral. Imagine bringing in the club's greatest ever player with 20 minutes to go.
— David Hundeyin (@DavidHundeyin) May 29, 2021
Tuchel played Pep with his billion team without a shot on target in a Champions League final
— POOJA… (@PoojaMedia) May 29, 2021
From a tactical POV, this was probably Tuchel's easiest match. City offered nothing. Mendy could have stayed on his phone all through the game and the scoreline would be the same. But of course, genius tactics by Guardiola who invented football because his players pass quickly.
— Babanla (@biolakazeem) May 29, 2021
Guardiola na idiot.
Playing a champions league final without a Defensive midfielder and a striker. Him think say na Crystal Palace him dey play
— $Hydra (@TheBriDen) May 29, 2021
Pep at Bayern in 3yrs:
Flick at Bayern in 7months:
6 trophies including the champions league
Pep at Man City in 5 years after spending more than 1 billion pounds:
Tuchel at Chelsea in 5 months:
There’s a reason why some people call Pep ‘fraudiola’
— Olaleye Dada (@olaleyedada) May 29, 2021
Pep Guadiola is an Arteta with big budget.
— Distinguished N.T [SayNoTo97%Agenda 2.0] (@idmann_mit) May 29, 2021
Hundreds of millions later, still can't win a Champions League without Messi #UCL
— Colin NOT Collins (@ColinUdoh) May 29, 2021
Before Saturday’s loss to Chelsea, Guardiola had triumphed in a staggering 14 of his 15 major finals and had won the Champions League twice with Barcelona.