Kai Havertz grabbing a first-half goal to secure a 1-0 win in Saturday’s all-English final denied Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City their first Champions League win.
Thomas Tuchel’s side had much the better of the first half. Timo Werner wasted a couple early chances, Antonio Rüdiger make a crucial block on Phil Foden, and Kai Havertz grab the lead just before half-time with a cool finish by way of a fantastic through ball from Mason Mount.
Chelsea went toe-to-toe with the favored opposition, and won the first 45.
City, who lost Kevin De Bruyne to injury midway through the second half, threw on Sergio Aguero for his final appearance but there was no fairytale ending for the club’s greatest goalscorer as Chelsea closed out the win.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante were very much among the bedrock of that Chelsea result tonight, but their manager is at pains to leave nobody out with his praise in his press conference.
“I’m not so sure if I feel now very confident to talk about single players because the effort was huge,” Thomas tuchel said. “We overcome some difficult and very dangerous moments, with a fantastic attitude to defending.
“We had an early change with Andreas Christensen for Thiago Silva so that did not make things easier, but we were brave even in moments when it was hard to escape the pressure.
“We kept the formation, we were brave in the formation, we were constantly active, and it was a relentless performance. Of course, Toni and N’Golo were fantastic, and they were so, so solid across the whole night.”
Guardiola in his post-match press conference looked to make further arguments for why he decided to break with a season’s worth of good results by playing a holding midfielder and is at pains to point out that his side had chances (which they did, if not as smart as they could have been).
“I did my best in the selection. Like last season against Olympique Lyon, like it was against PSG and Dortmund,” he says.
“I did the selection best to win the game, the players know it. I think Gundogan played good, was exceptional. We missed a lttle but in the first half to break the lines. In the second half it was much better.
“It was a tight game. We had enormous almost chances.”
MAN OF THE MATCH – N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Chelsea beats Manchester City to Win Its Second Champions League Title