Chelsea emerge as Champions League 2021 winners beating Manchester City 1-0
Chelsea pulled off the upset in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final, beating Manchester City 1-0 in a tense yet entertaining all-English matchup. It’s their second Champions League trophy and first since 2012.
Chelsea’s Kai Havertz picked a fine time to score his first-ever Champions League goal, running onto an inch-perfect pass into space from Mason Mount, rounding the ‘keeper and depositing into the back of the net three minutes before halftime.
It was the only goal Chelsea would need, frustrating Manchester City with strong defensive play in the second half, typical of their approach under head coach Thomas Tuchel. They would hold the defending English Premier League champions to just one shot on goal the entire match.
American Christian Pulisic became the first U.S. national team player to feature in a Champions League final when he came on in the 66th minute for Timo Werner. Just minutes after coming in, he narrowly missed a golden opportunity, hitting wide of the target.
Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola introduced a surprise lineup with central midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri starting on the bench. Whether it was the lineup or Chelsea’s play, the Citizens never looked settled in the first half and Chelsea had several looks at goal before the Havertz opening strike.
Man City were dealt a tough blow to start the second half when captain Kevin De Bruyne was forced out of the game with a head injury after a collision with Antonio Rudiger. It was an uphill battle without their best attacking player. Guardiola brought on Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, but they couldn’t help their goal-challenged team.
CHE – Havertz (Mount) – 42nd min