That's it! The game is over, and Chelsea have won the Champions League again!
- 2nd Half
- De BruyneJesus60'
- 1st Half
Manchester City - Chelsea
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CLOSE! A long throw breaks to Mahrez on the edge of the area. He shanks a volley at goal, but it goes inches over the bar with Mendy rooted!
City try a long throw into the area, but it's cleared by Rudiger who is fouled as he does so.
Chelsea are so close now, and win yet another free kick to break up play.
Chelsea win a free kick to kill a bit of time. There fans are trying to roar them home, City's are imploring their team forward and there's some din. It's been quite an atmopshere; a minority of idiots tried to boo the taking of the knee earlier, but were swiftly drowned out by far, far louder applause.
Pinball causes havoc in the Chelsea box! The ball falls to Foden eight yards out but a superb block from Christensen clears the danger. We'll have seven additional minutes minimum, which are going to feel like an eternity for Chelsea.
Jesus is getting frustrated. He clatters Havertz, and it's a yellow card.
Aguero tries to nod a long ball down to Jesus, but Christensen gets a foot in and the ball rebounds behind off Jesus for a goal kick. City are running out of ideas here, and need a bit of magic from someone.
A long ball beats James for the first time tonight. Aguero brings it down, but can only stand his cross up straight into the hands of Mendy.
The free kick is cleared and eventually finds Jorginho, who shoots a long way wide.
A foul by Walker on Chilwell just outside the City area on the left gives Chelsea a free kick in a good position.
It's another change for Chelsea, as Kovacic replaces Mount.
A dangerous, inswinging cross from Gundogan is cleared well by Rudiger. City are moving the ball around and pinning Chelsea back, but they're running out of time.
- OffRaheem SterlingManchester City
- OnSergio AgüeroManchester City
Now then: Sergio Aguero replaces Sterling, for his last ever appearance for Manchester City. Could he?
Jorginho and Mount work a one-two, but Mount drags an ambitious shot wide from 30 yards out.
Sterling gets in behind Chelsea suddenly; he cuts the ball back to the penalty spot, but Chilwell rushes in to clear the ball.
OH WHAT A CHANCE! Kante, who has been outstanding, breaks up another City attack and Chelsea break. Havertz goes through the middle, and feeds Pulisic into the area on the right; he's one on one with Ederson, but drags his shot wide of the far post. What a huge moment that might be!
We've got another break in play as Azpilicueta goes down. City can't get a rhythm going here, and Chelsea are withstanding anything they do throw forwards.
Foden skips by a couple and releases Gundogan into the right of Chelsea's area. Gundogan squares it into the danger area but Azpilicueta gets in well to cut out the cross.
City win a free kick on the left touchline. Zinchenko fires it into the box, and Chelsea clear easily.
Pulisic replaces Werner for Chelsea.
Fernandinho replaces Bernardo Silva.
It sounds like Fernandinho will be joining us shortly, with Pep's avant garde formation lasting just over an hour. It hasn't worked; will City have enough time left to retrieve this?
A loose ball breaks to Sterling in the area; he has a wallop at goal, and it hits James right in the belly and appears to clip his arm thereafter. City are screaming for a penalty, but neither the referee or VAR are interested.
- OffKevin De BruyneManchester City
- OnGabriel JesusManchester City
De Bruyne is on his feet, but with a black eye; he looks really shaken up, and he's replaced by Gabriel Jesus.
- Yellow cardAntonio RüdigerChelsea
Rudiger takes De Bruyne out off the ball, and he goes into the book. They seemed to clash heads there, and De Bruyne is still down.
Chelsea win a free kick to the right of the City area. Chilwell whips it into the area, where Dias rises imperiously to nod it away.
Kante, who has been excellent tonight, nicks the ball off De Bruyne with a perfectly timed sliding tackle just as he was threatening to escape into the penalty area.
Some keepball from Chelsea now, until a one-two between Chilwell and Mount goes awry. It'll be interesting to see how they play it from here; they've been more than handy on the break tonight and should have ample opportunity to do so if this scoreline doesn't change.
City are now humming around the penalty area, before Walker's cross lands in the hands of Mendy. So far, this six-man carousel of passers up top hasn't made a significant dent in Chelsea's defence.
- 2nd Half
Peep! We're off again, no changes for either side.
- End of 1st Half
That's half-time, and it's advantage Chelsea.
Kante finds Werner with a chipped pass into the area on the right. Werner tries a chest trap and volley, but makes a hash of it and the ball dribbles behind for a goal kick. He really is struggling with that final part of his game.
We'll have a minimum of three additional minutes.
Ederson was actually lucky there, as the ball clipped his hand outside of the penalty area; had he stopped the goal scoring opportunity, he was off.
- GoalKai HavertzChelsea
GOAL! Manchester City 0 Chelsea 1 (Havertz 42)
Chelsea take the lead! Mount splits the City defence with a brilliant 30 yard pass and Havertz is through. He just about skips past Ederson, who gets a touch on the ball but not enough to divert it away, and Havertz hurdles him to tap the ball into an empty net!
Chelsea break well again, but Werner can't quite cushion an angled pass into the path of Havertz and City clear once more.
- OffThiago SilvaChelsea
- OnAndreas ChristensenChelsea
That's the end of the night for Thiago Silva, who is replaced by Andreas Christensen. He looks absolutely gutted, and no wonder. Christensen drops into the middle of the back three, and he'll need to get to the pace of this quickly.
GREAT TACKLE! Kante leads a quick break for Chelsea. He drives all the way to the Chelsea area and finds Havertz, who tries to cut onto his left and shoot but Zinchenko gets a foot in to dispossess him.
- Yellow cardIlkay GündoganManchester City
Gundogan goes in the book for a late challenge on Mount. It looks like Thiago Silva has a problem here, possibly a groin strain, and Chelsea are warming up Zouma.
Chelsea break menacingly again, this time through James, but they can work neither a crossing or shooting opportunity and are eventually forced backwards. They're having the better of this so far.
Walker piles forward down the right for City, and gets around Chilwell to cut a ball right through the penalty area but it misses Mahrez and runs away to safety.
GREAT BLOCK! De Bruyne picks out Foden with a square ball into the area and he's got a clean look at goal. Just as Foden puts his foot through it, Rudiger slides across to get in the way of the shot and Chelsea clear. That's superb defending.
Sterling tries to take James one-on-one down the left. He briefly looks to be past him and into the area, but James recovers well and wins a goal kick.
Kante wins a free kick as Dias bundles him over in the inside right channel. James whips it in to the box, but City clear comfortably.
More pressure from Chelsea, as both Chilwell and then James fire crosses into the City area. Both are cleared, but Chelsea are finding a lot of space in wide areas.
Sterling drives forward from the halfway line, beating two and laying in De Bruyne down the left, but he's a fraction offside and City don't get the corner after his cross deflects behind.
A brief lull after a rollicking start. Chelsea have had a couple of great chances, and are slicing through City down the left. City look dangerous too though, and it's a wonderfully unsettled match.
Another half chance for Chelsea as they break forward through Werner again. He lays it off to Chilwell, and his cross is headed high and wide by Kante from 12 yards out.
Chelsea are really about City here, and while Werner might be lacking confidence in front of goal his movement is superb. He picks it up again and jinks into the area, unloading a shot that catches a deflection before going into the side-netting for a corner.
BIG CHANCE! Chelsea cut right through City down the left again. Chilwell bursts through into the area and finds Werner, but from ten yards out he can only place it tamely into the hands of Ederson.
Now it's livening up! Chelsea make progress down the left and Havertz pulls a ball back to Werner near the six yard box, but he wildly miskicks the ball. City then break immediately, and a dangerous low ball into the area by Sterling is cleared by Chilwell.
CHANCE! A stunning long pass from Ederson, from one penalty area to another, briefly gets Sterling in behind Chelsea. He goes wide of Mendy but it's a very narrow angle and he's facing away form goal; he tries an audacious back heel at goal, which Mendy turns behind for a corner.
Werner gets in behind down the right now, and cuts it back for Havertz in the area. Havertz tries to go on the outside and hook in a cross, but slips as he does so and it's easily gathered by Ederson.
It's a slightly nervous start from Chelsea, playing it awkwardly across their back line. Werner then gets away down the right and wins a throw-in for his side.
- 1st Half
Peep! Off we go!
Both teams take the knee before kick-off; there is no room for racism in life.
Tony Britten's banger 'Champions League', the anthem of the whole competition, strains to a finish and we're all set for the 2021 Champions League Final.
Both teams are in the tunnels, and about to come out. Here we go...
Less than ten minutes to go until it all gets popping. The last time these two met in a final was in the EFL Cup in 2019, where City nicked it on penalties after 120 goalless minutes; let's hope we get a bit billowing of the back of the net tonight.
There's quite an atmosphere in Porto as 'Blue is the Colour' blares around the stadium. It's been said a lot lately, but my oh my it's a joy to see fans in a stadium again, particularly for a game of this stature.
Guardiola is asked about his line-up in the pre-match interview. He simply shrugs at the observation that it's a very attacking line-up; he looks relaxed and confident. As for Tuchel, he seems horizontally laid back and ready to go too; he admits it was a tough decision to leave out Christian Pulisic, but is happy with his side and unflustered by City's selection. 'We are up for it,' he signs off.
Can Chelsea do it again? Their Drogba-inspired victory of 2012 was the greatest moment in their history, and their modern record in European club competition is mightily impressive. Both of their Big Cup finals to date have been to penalties; after the never ending story in Gdansk on Wednesday, could we be heading to that mechanism as a decider tonight?
This really is a big deal for City, as ubiquitous celebrity super fan Noel Gallagher has just intimated in an interview with Des Kelly. Just as Chelsea's new era built to their victory in this competition in 2012, so City have been aiming for this since 2008. They've got domestic football in a figure four leg lock, and given the current state of the other big clubs in Europe a victory here could usher in an era of dominance in this competition too.
A quick recap on how it'll go tonight - if it's level after 90 minutes we'll have extra-time, and if it's still level after that we go to penalties. Both teams have 12 players on the bench, and can use five in normal time and a further one during the extra half-hour if we get there. Your referee is Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
Euro history: while it’s tempting to think that the bricks of Chelsea and City’s European reputations were only laid when Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour started tipping money into the clubs, the foundations were put in much earlier. City were the fourth English club to win a major European trophy when they landed the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970, and Chelsea the fifth when they picked it up a year later after knocking City out in the semi-finals.
In the Big Cup, City had their first crack in 1968-69 but were eliminated in the first round by Fenerbahce. Chelsea should have been the first English team to play in any European competition when their 1954-55 title winning side were invited to enter the inaugural European Cup, but they declined the invitation. They also won the Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup in 1998 and later completed the set of European titles by winning the Europa League in 2013 and again in 2019.
It's hard to overstate the enormity of this match tonight. In either of its guises as the European Champions Clubs Cup or the Uefa Champions League, this is the 66th final of Europe’s flagship club competition and one of the most important games in world football. It will be screened live in over 200 countries, to an audience estimated to be close on 400 million. If you do bits in this match, you’ll be enshrined in the annals of football history.
If you’ve read any think piece on the final at all, you’ll know already that Tuchel’s Chelsea seem to have the wood on Guardiola’s City. It was Chelsea that won the FA Cup semi-final between the two last month, before blagging a crucial 2-1 victory at the Etihad three weeks ago. How big a factor will that be tonight? Despite those victories, Chelsea’s recent form is patchy; they lost the FA Cup final to Leicester City, and only just made it into the top four on the final day of the Premier League season. City meanwhile have bagged the Premier League title and the League Cup in the last six weeks.
It's fair to say that Guardiola's selection has caused several eyebrows to go north. It looks like Gundogan will be the nominal holding player of the midfield three, and it's a big call in a game of this magnitude.
As for Chelsea, the main take homes are that Kante and Mendy are fit as both were concerns during the week. Now that Tuchel has seen City's team sheet, you wonder how that might change the team talk in the next fifty minutes or so.
So, what to make of those teams? It's an intriguing match-up, with City's ball-literate front six up against an axis of Jorginho and Kante in Chelsea's midfield that allows natural width for their full-backs. It's worth pointing out just how watertight both teams have been at the back in their respective campaigns; both kept eight clean sheets in 12 matches, and have conceded just four goals each in the competition so far.
It's a 3-4-3 for Chelsea, pretty much as expected and with Havertz and Mount either side of Werner up top. Chilwell and Azpilicueta will provide the width ahead of the back three.
That's quite a line-up from Guardiola, and indicates that City are really going for this. It's a de facto strikerless formation, and with Rodri or Fernandinho on the bench there's no anchoring midfielder in there either. They want the ball, and all of it.
Through the sun and rain, here’s Chelsea:
The team news is hot off the wires. First up, Manchester City:
One other thing we can’t get away from is that this is one of the more unpopular finals in recent years; both of these clubs signed up to the short-lived hoot that was the European Super League, which collapsed inside three days and left legacy fan pie all over the faces of those involved.
Their breakaway cohorts Manchester United had their noses bent out of shape by Villareal on Wednesday, but one of these two will walk away with one of the biggest prizes in football tonight. Will UEFA hand down any punishment to those involved in the ESL shenanigans? Given that they took the chance to pass through their own incredibly damaging reforms to the Champions League while the world was distracted I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, but we wait and watch.
As for Chelsea, they’ve had to sort out the top end of La Liga to get here. They topped their group ahead of Sevilla, back in the Frank Lampard days that now seem aeons ago, before knocking out Atletico Madrid to reach the last eight. After a brief change of scenery to eliminate Porto, they then arm-wrestled Real Madrid into submission at Stamford Bridge to reach the final.
And you ask yourself well, how did they get here? City won their group ahead of Porto, before dismissing a pair of Borussia’s – Monchengladbach and Dortmund – to reach the last four. Once there, a serious flex of the muscles sorted out Paris St Germain home and away to book their place in tonight’s final.
So, who do you fancy? City are the favourites tonight, and their trophy-collecting juggernaut are potentially 90 minutes from adding the one that has eluded them to date. For Chelsea, this is familiar territory; it's their third final in the last 13 years, and each one has been reached despite changing managers midway through the campaign. with so much riding on it, this match is rarely a blowout; add in the familiarity of both sides with each other, and we could have a tense evening on the cards here in Porto.
Tonight we’ll see the third all-English final in the history of the competition, as Manchester City and Chelsea square up nose-to-nose for the biggest prize in European club football. It’s City’s first final after years of hovering around in the last eight, while Chelsea were champions in 2012 and runners up in 2008. Pep Guardiola is back in the final for the first time in a decade, while Thomas Tuchel is looking to avenge the disappointment of seeing his Paris St Germain team lose last year’s final to Bayern Munich.
The game also marks the end of a season that has felt both short and long, at times both exhilarating and exhausting. The COVID-19 pandemic has hung over football as it has everything else for over a year now, but unlike the final last year we’ll have the glorious sight of fans in the stadium this time; the relocation from Istanbul to Porto means that 16,500 lucky punters will get to see it live.
Real Madrid’s first five; Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas lighting up Hampden Park; Eusebio; Herrera’s Inter; the Lisbon Lions; Matt Busby’s night; Cruyff’s Ajax; Franz and Gerd’s Bayern; Paisley; Cloughie; Steaua Bucharest sorting it on penalties; that Milan side; Kluivert at seventeen; and Solskjaer won it; Zidane’s volley; those six minutes in Istanbul; Barcelona at Wembley; la decima and another Real dynasty.
That’s the bar folks. Welcome, everyone, to live coverage of the 2021 Champions League Final from the Estadio do Dragao in Porto.