100 million man Kai Havertz is worth his money in the final of the Champions League: He decides the game for Chelsea against Manchester City. In a duel that means ultra-rich against super-rich, tactical fox Tuchel also beats his opponent Guardiola.
What happened at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto?
In the final between Manchester City and Chelsea, which had been moved from Istanbul to Port, exciting questions were to be clarified: Will Manchester City win the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history? Does start coach Pep Guardiola get the handlebar pot with a different club than Barcelona (last title ten years ago), which he did not succeed with Bayern? Or is his counterpart Thomas Tuchel in his second CL final in a row for the Skyblues with Chelsea FC, which he only took over in winter?
The duel between City and Chelsea, sky blue against blue, also meant: ultra-rich against super-rich. Major shareholder Sheikh Mansour City has pumped around 1.5 billion euros into the Manchester club since 2008. Oligarch Roman Abramowitsch has been letting Londoners go on a shopping spree with similar sums for a while. Before this season alone, the Blues spent around 250 million euros (City around 170 million). As a reminder: In February 2020, Man City was actually already out of the premier class, banned by UEFA for violating financial fair play. But because the international sports court (CAS) lifted UEFA’s suspension last summer (among other things because of statute-barred cases), Pep Guardiola’s team was allowed to compete and march to the final.
One thing was clear: at least one German national player would leave the field as a beaming winner and join Jogi Löw’s EM team in Seefeld as champion. In the end, Chelsea had invested their millions better. İlkay Gündoğan on the side of the English champions had to experience another premier class final as a loser after 2013 with BVB; Antonio Rüdiger, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz were allowed to cheer with the blues and keep the pot on the handle high. 100 million man Havertz was the man of the day with his goal for the decisive 1-0.
Manchester: Ederson – Walker, Stones, Ruben, Sintschenko – Gündoğan – Bernardo Silva (64th Fernandinho), Foden – De Bruyne (59th Jesus) – Mahrez, Sterling (76th Agüero). – Trainer: Guardiola
Chelsea: Mendy – Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva (39th Christensen), Rüdiger – James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell – Havertz, Mount (80th Kovacic) – Timo Werner (66th Pulisic). – Trainer: Tuchel
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
Goal: 0: 1 Havertz (42nd)
Yellow cards: Gündogan, Jesus – Rüdiger
The Havertz show in a feature film
5th minute: The initial scanning is interrupted by Timo Werner, who starts deep on the right and places it on Kai Havertz. From his dribble in the sixteenth only a deflected ball jumps out on goalkeeper Ederson.
8th minute: Ederson long ball on Raheem Sterling. Chelsea keeper Édouard Mendy can barely clear the corner.
10th minute: Havertz plays the left penalty area perfectly flat back to the relatively free standing Werner. The international striker hits the ball with his left. In direct return, Chelsea can grate the city counterattack on the six-yard box. Cheerful game!
14th minute: Werner again! A speed attack from the left lands at the ex-Leipzig. In the full sprint, the striker cannot handle the ball perfectly and the big chance ends with a half-hearted shot in Ederson’s arms.
25th minute: The pace is a little slow, but Chelsea are making the game here. City hardly develops at all.
28th minute: Rüdiger’s hero tackle! After a strong pass from Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden is suddenly through for Man City. Rüdiger, who has jumped in, blocks his shot a few meters in front of goalkeeper Mendy at the very last moment.
37th minute: Energetic ball win from N’golo Kanté, who drives the counterattack directly. Havertz runs along on the right, but in a promising position the national player confuses the ball instead of shooting directly.
42nd minute Tooooooooooooor for Chelsea. Havertz 1-0.
What a ball from Mason Mount! From the left half-field he plays over 30 meters into the deep run of Havertz, while Timo Werner tears a gap in the city defense with a sprint. From Ederson alone, the ex-Leverkusen man curves around the keeper and pushes into empty goals. The first goal in the Champions League for the national player and the well-deserved leadership.
56th minute: Block from Rüdiger against De Bruyne after his one-two attempt. Both players go down and have to be treated for minutes. The German national defender can soon get up again and sees yellow, but the city captain has to leave the field in tears and with a black eye.
60th minute: Excitement in the Chelsea penalty area: Reece James jumps the ball after a shot at the hand. Because the playground equipment was previously on the chest and ricocheted from there, there is no penalty for Manchester.
66th minute: Another hapless, but committed Werner leaves the field for ex-Dortmund Christian Pulisic.
68th minute: Foden prevails against two Chelsea players on the edge of the penalty area and plays right out. The subsequent sharp cross can barely slip out of the London defense in the person of Cesar Azpilicueta.
73rd minute: Kai Havertz! Great run with speed and ball, then a fine pass to Pulisic. When falling, the attacker pushes the ball past keeper Ederson – but also just short of the left post. Huge opportunity. Thomas Tuchel goes to the ground on the sidelines with his hands over his head.
77th minute: The city legend Sergio Aguero is coming!
85th minute: Mendy fishes a Chip Agueros in the far corner without too much effort.
89th minute: The air is burning now, but City does not have any real opportunities. Chelsea always knows how to help themselves with cleverly picked fouls.
90th minute: Suddenly Chelsea must tremble: A low pass from the left baseline scurries through the entire penalty area of the Londoners. At first no player comes close, but then Riyad Mahrez can put down again on Foden. Its conclusion is just blocked.
90 + 6th minutes: Great chance: Mahrez hits the ball volley over the bar from 17 meters. Mendy can only look afterwards. That would almost have been the extension.
What was good?
Chelsea FC – especially in the first half. Again and again the blues overplayed the chains of Man City in the build-up of the game in order to avoid the aggressive pressing of the sky blues and ball losses. This is what happened with Mendy’s pass to Mount before the pass to make it 1-0. Werner, Havertz and Co. always went deep between the lines, for example with Werner’s second chance in the game and with Havertz’s leading goal.
City also did not get into the pressing because Tuchel positioned Havertz and Mount in their own build-up game right next to the full-backs of Manchester, who could not move forward as a result. In addition, the Londoners were extremely compact thanks to a midfield center reinforced by Tuchel and made no mistakes on the defensive. De Bruyne and Foden were usually so closely covered that they could hardly influence the game. The attacking machine Manchester City was efficiently pulled the tooth by Tuchel’s tactical tricks, first of all the Skyblues had remained without a goal in the premier class this season.
Chelsea convinced immediately after losing the ball with their own aggressive counter-pressing and thus dominated the first half. Except for the tackle rescue by Rüdiger, the Londoners hardly had any problems, but they did have some top-class chances on their own offensive. Havertz, Werner and Kanté were particularly noticeable. 100 million man Havertz, who has had a difficult season, convinced with technique, ball take, fine passes, running strength, often with defensive work – and the coolness in front of the goal that a 21-year-old in a Champions League final first have to bring them to the field.
The Manchester City Pressing. Guardiola seemed to have learned little from the mistakes of the two defeats in the league and cup, where the Londoners had beaten the Skyblues with similar chip balls over the chains. Key defensive player Rodri had to sit on the bench for 90 minutes and was therefore unable to stop the Chelsea attacks. After all, the Catalan coach corrected at halftime and made his team act much more courageously.
The coach surprised with a very offensive line-up without a nominal six. Gündoğan had to take on a slightly more defensive role and was therefore missing on the offensive. His goal risk (13 goals in 28 league games) was completely absent in the first half. The dynamic in Guardiola’s playing, which is otherwise admired by many, was perhaps also due to the exhibition. The fluid attack game hardly took place, deep runs behind the defense were in short supply, especially in the first half. If this time succeeded, a London defender was immediately on the spot. The otherwise dangerous chip balls from the half-field onto the long post did not take place in the city game this time. Choking football brand Guardiola? Nothing.
That’s what those involved say
Thomas Tuchel: “I’m walking through a movie. My children are here, my wife, my parents. My grandmother is watching at home and is over 90! It’s now for everyone. And for our fans. It was really hard. We also brought good luck today to go out with one. We felt it yesterday, we felt it the day before yesterday, we said: We are the stone in City’s shoe! We won’t give up, we wait for the chance, and if we can take the lead, then we will hopefully be in the heads. Then it will be a defensive battle. “
Kai Havertz: “For me a childhood dream is coming true. I thank my parents, my siblings, my grandma and my girlfriend. I don’t know what to say. It’s an incredible feeling.”
Antonio Rüdiger: “I never thought I would get this far. We suffered, we were ready to suffer. We had this one chance and we took it.”
Timo Werner: “Outstanding. At the beginning I gave an interview with Kai and we said that we are not here to finish second. We were bought for these games.”