Clash of the Day
Blues face City for their shot at a second title

Chelsea embarrass Real to set up all-English final

2021/05/05 22:58
Connor Andrews

With the chance of competing for their second Champions League title in Istanbul, Chelsea invited Real Madrid to London tonight, with a crucial away goal giving them confidence, despite seeing their former great Eden Hazard in the starting line-up for the away side…

The Action: A reasonably even opening period saw Eduoard Mendy make a decent stop on Karim Benzema, but it didn’t take long for Chelsea to find their groove, with their back three easily shepherding Madrid’s front line.

Jorginho and N’Golo Kante began to dominate one of the competitions greatest ever midfields, and finally got their reward just before the half hour. Kante easily dispatched Madrid's midfield via some clever link-up with Timo Werner, before feeding Kai Havertz, whose brilliantly taken chip bounced back off the crossbar for a Werner tap-in.

Mendy denied Benzema well once more in the first half, but that was Madrid’s attacking play over for the night, with Jorginho and Kante completely taking over. 

Havertz continued to be the most dangerous player on the pitch in the second 45, hitting the crossbar before being denied one-on-one by Thibaut Courtois, with Mason Mount missing a huge chance in between.

But with five to play it was game over, as Kante again brilliantly read a second ball before feeding in Christian Pulisic, who unlike his teammates, stayed calm, waited until he had Courtois on the floor, before squaring to Mount for a tap-in.

The Big Picture: In such a short space of time Thomas Tuchel has found a perfect system, with Chelsea’s back line and midfield pair looking world class throughout. They’ll need to be far more clinical upfront in the final though, with City likely to punish a lack of attacking threat.

Man of the Match: Kante, with the help of Jorginho, completely dominated the most successful midfield trio in the history of the competition, and may well end up being a Ballon d’Or pick should he lift a couple of trophies with Chelsea and France this year.

Expected Goals: Chelsea (3.56) 2-0 (0.49) Real Madrid

Stat of the Day: Chelsea vs Manchester City will be the third all-English Champions League final, matching Spain's record number.

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