Chelsea Player Ratings VS Manchester City (UCL Final): Kante, Havertz, James, Azipicueta stand out in Blues victory

Edouard Mendy

City threatened his goal but didn’t really test him too much, one good block on Sterling was the sum of his first half. Not much after the break either but he caught crosses when he needed to and kept things calm. 8

Reece James

Incredibly competent defending when faced by Raheem Sterling, who he can match for pace. So solid up against Sterling that Guardiola took him off with City still behind. He’s had a superb end to the season. 9

Cesar Azpilicueta

Ran himself into the ground, just like he said he would in his pre-match press conference. Tremendous clearance from under his own crossbar midway through the second half. Played through the pain for the last 20 minutes. A true captain’s performance. 9

Thiago Silva

Was his usual commanding self at the back and wasn’t being troubled at all before suffering a devastating injury blow with five minutes of the first half to go. Leapt high to beat Foden in the air and came down awkwardly, unable to recover. 7

Antonio Rudiger

One outstanding block on Sterling who was clean through saved a certain goal. Booked after the break for a body check on De Bruyne. Kept up to his task all game and barely put a foot wrong. 9

Ben Chilwell

Superb tackle after City broke following Werner’s miss and for the most part, did a fine job on the tricky Mahrez. all game. One of his best performances of the season and what a time to do it. 9

Jorginho

Had a quiet first half but he kept things ticking over very nicely as the link between defence and attack. Likewise the second really, but he did absolutely nothing wrong in the game. 8

N’Golo Kante

Bustled around and busy as per usual, even had a towering header at the back post drift wide. Superb challenge on De Bruyne early in the second half summed up his class. Interception after interception all night. Man of the match and he’s just incredible. 10

Mason Mount

Did some brilliant tracking back but produced a moment of world class play when he thread the needle for Havertz to score the opening goal. Got through so much work and despite looking jaded in recent games, was at his best again here. 8

Kai Havertz

City’s defence couldn’t pick him up at all in the first half as his movement seemed to outfox Dias and Stones, who didn’t have any protection in front of them. Superb composure to net the opener having rounded Ederson. Ran the channels all night, held the ball up superbly, immense. 9

Timo Werner

Remarkable miss inside ten minutes with a complete airkick when just six yards and then could only find Ederson from the same range moments later. His movement though for Havertz goal, pulling Dias away, was class. Struggled again with offsides though and was yanked midway through the second half by Tuchel. 7

Substitutes

Andreas Christensen (for Thiago Silva, 40’)

Monumental block in added time after Chilwell’s slip. Saved the game. 8

Christian Pulisic (for Werner, 65′)

Should have made it 2-0 with 15 minutes to go. Plenty of energy. 6

Mateo Kovacic (for Pulisic, 80′)

Finally made a Champions League final appearance at the fourth time of asking. Shored things up, kept the ball relatively well. 6

(Watch Video) Havertz scores! 42’… Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea

They have had the best opportunities and finally take the lead.

It’s worked well from Mendy to Chilwell who finds Mount.

Werner’s run is superb to take the defender away and Mount splits open the defence with a pass.

Zinchenko shows his weakness defensively as Havertz is clean through, rounds the onrushing Ederson to roll home into an empty net.

Zinchenko just stopped as Havertz picked it up!

What a time to take the lead.

Photo Credit: ChampionsLeague/Twitter

Chelsea and Manchester City release their line-ups for Champions League final: Mendy, Werner, Kante, Gundogan, Sterling start, while Fernadinho, Kovacic are on bench

Thomas Tuchel has opted for Kai Havertz over Christian Pulisic and keeps a three at the back formation.

CHELSEA XI: Mendy, James, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Werner

Meawhile, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden BOTH start for Pep Guardiola’s men tonight.

Oleksandr Zinchenko gets the nod ahead of Joao Cancelo in defence too.

An interesting dynamic in midfield as Fernandinho and Rodri are both left out.

Ilkay Gundogan hobbled out of training yesterday but gets the nod to start tonight.

Remarkable really that he goes without Fernandinho or Rodri in there.

Chelsea go pretty much as expected and will hope to contain what seems to be a ridiculously attack-heavy City side.

But we know they can be a handful on the counter.

MAN CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, de Bruyne (c), Sterling, Foden, Mahrez

Manchester City goalkeeper rejects “favourites” tag

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson has dismissed the bookmakers’ conclusion that Pep Guardiola side are the favourites to win the Champions League trophy.

Chelsea and the Premier League winners are billed to lock horns in the final of the competition in Porto.

Ederson said ahead of the final: “I don’t think there is one favourite. In just one game, it’s 50/50.

“Both teams are very capable of winning it. I think is going to be a very tough game. Chelsea are a great team, very well managed and with fantastic players.

“I think is going to be a very competitive game and I hope it’s a great game to watch for the fans.

“I think Frank Lampard started their process and Thomas Tuchel continued it. Obviously, they have improved a lot since Tuchel took over.

Pep Guardiola admits Chelsea clash is not going to be easy, says “we are going to suffer”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims that facing moments of adversity in the Champions League knockout stages will have helped his team prepare mentally for Saturday’s final showdown with Chelsea.

Speaking ahead of the big match in Porto, Pep Guardiola stated that moments in which the players suffered against Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter and semi-finals were good experiences for the squad.

“Yeah absolutely, but it’s a final and it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen tomorrow. We suffered in the first-half against PSG and Dortmund. But we stuck together,” Guardiola said.

The boss was also quick to point out just how evenly matched his squad is with Thomas Tuchel’s resurgent Chelsea side. In Guardiola’s opinion, no one team will have a clear upper hand in Porto.

“Tomorrow we will not have 90 minutes one side dominate, we are going to suffer but when we get momentum we will have to use it,” Guardiola said.
“I’m the happiest man in the world to be here. It is a privilege. We will try our best and a good advertisement for football.”

Interestingly, Manchester City and Chelsea have faced off twice in recent months, with Chelsea coming out on top on both occasions.

“It’s going to be a really, really tough game”- Man City stars declare ahead of epic battle against Chelsea Champions League final

Manchester City defenders Kyle Walker and John Stones are looking forward to a very tough encounter against their Premier League rivals Chelsea as the two clubs slug it out in Porto in the Champions League final.

The two players are set to feature in European club football’s showpiece match for the first time, with Walker saying that tonight’s encounter will be a chess game.

The sides have faced each other three times already in 2021, with Chelsea winning two of those meetings in the last six weeks, and Walker thinks that makes for an intriguing encounter.

England international Walker said: “Knowing them and playing them as many times as we have played them, it’s going to be a little bit of a chess game.

“I think it comes down to big players in big moments and special moments, and hopefully we have enough of those players to go and grab those special moments.

“Chelsea are good opponents. They’ve had the upper hand on us a few times this season, so we do owe them one. It’s going to be a tough game that we need to come out on top (of).”

Walker is hoping to complete a set of medals having already won three Premier League titles, four League Cups and the FA Cup since joining City from Tottenham in 2017.

The 31-year-old said: “It’s the one trophy I’m missing. Since I’ve been here I’ve managed to pick up everything that I’ve been involved in bar the Champions League.

“I think it’s probably the pinnacle of club football. To play in a Champions League final is something that you dream about as a child.

“Just hearing that anthem and walking past the trophy is going to be a very, very special moment. I’ve never seen it so I’ll take a good look and, hopefully, I’ll be holding it come the end of the game.

“But I don’t want to sit here and sound cocky or anything like that. It’s going to be a really, really tough game.”
Fellow defender John Stones also admits he can barely contain himself as he prepares for the occasion.

The centre-back said: “I want the day to come fast. It’s just pure excitement. It is something that we have never experienced before and something so exciting for us and our families, and all the fans that are able to turn up now.

“It is something we really we want to go into in our best moment to try and make history for the club, make history as players and try to break this cycle of us not being there in the Champions League. Now we are and we have got that chance to win it.”

Stones has enjoyed a fine season having been rejuvenated playing alongside new signing Ruben Dias. He puts a lot of it down to the influence of manager Pep Guardiola and he now wants to repay the City boss.

The 27-year-old said: “What he has done for me and what he has taught me on the pitch has been something I hope I can only repay with my performances.

“For everyone in the club, what he has brought to Manchester City over these five years is incredible – the amount of trophies, the memories.

“He is important on and off the pitch and I am sure he is dying to get his hands on this one for sure.”

Kevin de Bruyne says Man City will ‘almost be failures’ if Chelsea beat them in Champions League final

Kevin de Bruyne has admitted that Manchester City will ‘almost be failures’ if they lose the Champions League final to Chelsea.

The Belgian, 29, said: “As players, we understand the magnitude of the game.

“If you win, you’re a hero and if you lose, you’re almost a failure, even if you’re not a failure because getting to this stage is incredibly well done by the team and an individual.

“But if you don’t win, it will be something you don’t really want to experience.”

Tottenham start transfer talks with PSG over Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham want to start official talks with Paris Saint-Germain on Monday about bringing Mauricio Pochettino back to North London.

PSG boss Poch is eyeing a return to Spurs after falling out with the French giants’ sporting director Leonardo.

And if Poch does make the move, he will ask Harry Kane to give him at least one more season at Tottenham.

The England captain, 27, made clear he wants to leave in his hunt for honours — but that was before Poch let on he was interested in going back.

Spurs chairman Levy hopes it will persuade the striker, who still has three years on his deal, to stay put.

But it is unlikely to stop Manchester giants City and United from trying to bag the Prem’s 23-goal Golden Boot winner.

Photo Credit: PSG_English/Twitter

Chelsea handed monumental Kante, Mendy boost ahead of Champions League final against Man City

N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy have been passed fit, handing Chelsea a monumental boost ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Manchester City.

Kante, 30, had been struggling with a hamstring injury in recent weeks and missed the visit to Villa Park last weekend.

In the penultimate game of the season against Aston Villa, summer signing Mendy collided with the post injuring his ribs just before half-time in an attempt to stop Bertrand Traore’s goal.

Mendy’s injury forced a change at half-time with Kepa emerging from the tunnel to take his place.

The pair returned to training just days before Saturday’s Champions League final, but it was unknown whether they would be passed fit to play.

Luckily for the Blues, it has been confirmed that both are fit and ready to take part in the final, just over nine years on from Chelsea’s only triumph in the competition against Bayern Munich.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter