CHELSEA - THE CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE - By Vighnesh Menon
A self-confessed admirer of Pep Guardiola, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel got the better of his mentor as the Blues kept Manchester City waiting for Champions League glory by winning Saturday's final 1-0. Victory in Porto rounded off a rollercoaster five months for the German, who was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve and handed the chance to revive Chelsea's fortunes less than a month later.
Chelsea were languishing ninth in the Premier League table at the time with owner Roman Abramovich seeing little return on his £220 million outlay on new players last summer under Frank Lampard. Kai Havertz was the most expensive purchase of that splurge after his £71 million move from Bayer Leverkusen. Getting the best out of Havertz was one of Tuchel's major tasks and the 21-year-old came good on the biggest stage of all with the only goal three minutes before half-time. Man city gave their all in the second half but to no use. Chelsea's defence was jus too good and that too without Thaigo Silva who had to be subbed off in the first half itself due to a injury. Speaking of injury even De bruyne suffered one in the second half due to a dash with Defender Rudiger and had to be subbed off. Maybe de bruyne would have stayed till the end something could have happened for Man city. It just didn't seemed to be Man city's day with nothing going their way. Also there can be questions raised over pep's decisions like giving sterling a start and not playing Fernandinho in the first half. This is Chelsea's second UCL title after winning it for the first time in 2012 against Bayern Munich. Man city on the other hand were playing their first final. The UCL final also marks the end of a rollercoster season. Now the players will don the national team jerseys for their international duty with the Euro's and Copa America coming up.