Manchester City vs. Chelsea: What's at stake in Champions League final preview? | ESPN FC

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ESPN UK 07 May, 2021 - 05:50pm 23 views

Has Chelsea won the Champions League?

Chelsea win the Champions League, but finish outside the top four. ... The fourth place team in the Premier League would retain their qualification to the Champions League. The IndependentChampions League: How Chelsea vs Manchester City final could affect the top four

What time is the Champions League final?

When will it be played and where? The final is on May 29, 2021 at 3 p.m. ET from Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. This will be the second time the stadium has hosted a final, also hosting the 2005 edition when Liverpool came from behind to beat AC Milan in penalty kicks. CBSSports.comManchester City-Chelsea UEFA Champions League final: When is it, where will it be played, will there be fans?

When did Chelsea beat Real Madrid?

Chelsea beat Real Madrid to set up all-English Champions League final against Manchester City. The two Premier League sides will meet in the showpiece of European club football in Instanbul on 29 May. Sky NewsChelsea beat Real Madrid to set up all-English Champions League final against Manchester City

Where Will Champions League Final be played?

UEFA insists Istanbul will still host all-English Champions League final. UEFA has insisted that the 2021 Champions League final will take place as planned in Istanbul, despite the game now being contested by two English teams. The AthleticChampions League final: Istanbul will still host Chelsea vs Man City - UEFA

Premier League clubs have set a new record for overall European performance in one season after Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United reached the finals of the two competitions.

The coefficient score is an average of all an association's teams in Europe over the course of the campaign, and English clubs' coefficient this season will eclipse the previous highest, set by La Liga in the 2015-16 season when Real Madrid and Sevilla FC lifted the Champions League and Europa League respectively.

The Premier League has 23.928 points, which matches the La Liga score of 2015-16. But with the UCL winners guaranteed to come from England, the end-of-season score will be a minimum of 24.214.

UEFA's coefficient table also ranks leagues in order of strength in European competition over a five-year period. The Premier League was already guaranteed to take over as the No. 1 ranked European league for the first time in nine years, displacing La Liga from the top spot.

As well as the three finalists this season, Liverpool reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League, while Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League at the semifinal stage with Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur making it to the round-of-16 stage.

English clubs' previous best season came in 2018-19, with a clean sweep of both finals, when Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League and Chelsea defeated Arsenal in the Europa League. It was the first time all four clubs in the two finals came from only one association.

That season only ranks fourth in the all-time table as Burnley failed to make it through the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, effectively lowering the average of the other Premier League clubs.

In the club rankings, Manchester City will move above Real Madrid into second place, behind Bayern Munich, if they win the Champions League final.

Read full article at ESPN UK

Chelsea knock out Madrid, setting up Champions League final against Man City

FRANCE 24 English 07 May, 2021 - 07:20pm

The Blues should have ran out far more convincing winners as they toyed with the tired visitors in the second half.

However, Werner’s cushioned header into an empty net on 28 minutes after Kai Havertz’s initial effort came back off the crossbar and Mount’s tap-in five minutes from time were enough to seal their place in Istanbul on May 29.

Backed by Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s £220 million spending spree last summer has been rewarded with a first Champions League final since they lifted the trophy for the only time in 2012.

A return to the biggest game in club football is also the culmination of a huge turnaround in Chelsea’s fortunes since Thomas Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane welcomed back captain Sergio Ramos from injury for the first time in six weeks, while Eden Hazard was handed a rare start in an injury-hit season on his return to Stamford Bridge.

But the Belgian was again a peripheral figure as Madrid’s over-reliance on Karim Benzema to provide a goal threat was exposed.

Madrid were handed a let-off when Werner swept home Ben Chilwell’s cross only to be denied by the offside flag.

That was the closed Madrid came to an away goal and moments later they were behind as Werner scored just his fourth goal in his last 39 games.

N’Golo Kante and Havertz did the hard work as the French midfielder fed Havertz, whose audacious chip over Thibaut Courtois bounced invitingly off the crossbar for Werner to head into an empty net.

Chelsea have now kept 18 clean sheets in 24 games since the appointment of Tuchel turned their season around.

However, a failure to take their chances at the other end means they are still far from guaranteed a place in the Champions League next season.

That lack of a killer touch was exposed after the break as Havertz saw a free header come back off the bar before Mount blasted over with just Courtois to beat.

The former Chelsea ‘keeper, who controversially forced a move back to Spain in the summer of 2018, kept his current employers in the tie as he then saved one-on-ones with Havertz and Kante, with the Blues’ speed on the break too much for Madrid’s ageing midfield to cope with.

Tuchel was growing increasingly frustrated with his side’s inability to put the tie to bed, but could finally relax five minutes from time.

Substitute Christian Pulisic left Courtois on the floor and from his cut-back, Mount slid in to finish from close range.

Fired by Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve after leading the French champions to their first ever final in this competition last season, Tuchel is headed back to the Champions League showpiece match for a second consecutive season, unlike his former club, who were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by City in the other semi-final.

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Thomas Tuchel has transformed Chelsea in his first 100 days

Daily Mail 06 May, 2021 - 09:49am

By Adam Shergold for MailOnline

Football rarely has time for sentimentality. It can be ruthless and cruel, waiting for no man.

When time caught up with Frank Lampard in late January, with Chelsea's season seemingly heading nowhere, many believed a club legend had been shabbily treated.

It was imperative Roman Abramovich, whose club is notorious for having the hottest of hot seats, got his next managerial appointment right.

It was back on January 26 that Thomas Tuchel was welcomed to Stamford Bridge by Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia (right) - with the obligatory socially distanced photograph

100 days on and Tuchel is celebrating Chelsea's progress to the Champions League final

100 days after Thomas Tuchel breezed into Stamford Bridge, we can already conclude that he made an inspired choice.

If a Prime Minister or a President were being judged on the achievements of Tuchel during this first century of days, they'd be on course for a second term with a landslide majority.

The German has barely put a foot wrong and can toast the landmark on Thursday while starting to make plans for Chelsea's trip to Istanbul for the Champions League final on May 29.

Timo Werner (left) celebrates with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz after scoring the first goal in the Champions League semi-final, second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday night

It was Mount who scored Chelsea's second goal late on to seal their passage to Istanbul

Four Premier League fixtures, including this Saturday's dress rehearsal against Manchester City, plus the FA Cup final at Wembley come first.

Chelsea could yet end the season as Europe's best team, FA Cup winners and with a top four finish. Not bad at all considering where they were just three-and-a-bit months ago.

So how has it all gone so right for Tuchel? We take a look at the progress made during his first 100 days.

First, the cold hard numbers. Tuchel has taken charge of 24 matches as Chelsea boss, winning 16 of them, drawing six and losing just two. 

Matches 24

Wins 16 Draws 6 Defeats 2

Goals for 32 Goals against 10

Clean sheets 18

Win percentage 66.67

It's a two-thirds win ratio and a quite astonishing transformation from the dying embers of Lampard's time in charge when Chelsea lost five out of his last 10 games.

Even the draws and defeats had mitigating factors. He barely knew how to locate his office at the training ground and learnt the players' names when he took charge of a goalless draw with Wolves on his second day.

The 1-0 defeat to Porto in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final nonetheless saw a 2-1 aggregate success.

And in the 5-2 home loss to West Bromwich Albion - a result that looks so anomalous when set beside the rest - Chelsea played with 10 men for 61 minutes.

Seldom has a manager achieved so many wins at the beginning of their tenure at such a prominent club and without the luxury of pre-season preparation.

Tuchel arrived at Chelsea with a reputation for being some kind of tactical contortionist. His Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain teams seemed to have a different set-up in every match. Players were expected to not only adapt between games but during games.

But, perhaps realising that time to express his ideas on the training ground would be severely limited, Tuchel chose the formation he believed would best suit the players at his disposal and has stuck with it.

Joy unconfined for Tuchel and his coaching team at the final whistle on Wednesday night

Three at the back, flying wing-backs and a narrow forward line in either a 3-4-2-1 or a 3-4-1-2 in each game so far.

It's proved a successful formula for Chelsea, the results kept coming, and so Tuchel and his coaching team sensibly stuck with it.

There will be time for greater experimentation during pre-season but don't expect the coach to rip everything up and introduce a completely different game plan ahead of the two finals.

The most remarkable statistic is the 18 clean sheets Chelsea have kept in Tuchel's 24 games in charge. It's as if the vulnerable defence of Lampard's time was just repaired overnight.

They have conceded just 10 goals so far and half of them came in just one match.

Tuchel decided early on that if Chelsea had a rock solid defensive foundation, the rest would naturally follow.

Defenders Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen celebrate Chelsea's progress to the final

The renaissance of Antonio Rudiger, frozen out by Lampard but restored by Tuchel as a pillar of his three-man defence, has been astonishing.

Chelsea's latest masked raider was outstanding in Wednesday night's second leg against Real Madrid, winning pretty much every duel.

Thiago Silva, at 36, has suffered some injury setbacks but continues to sneer in the face of father time. He was excellent against Real and after so many years with PSG, he probably never imagined he might finally win the Champions League with Chelsea.

And the way Andreas Christensen, another defender seemingly surplus to requirements under Lampard, has stepped up just confirms the notion that you never know what's around the corner in football.

Man in the mask Antonio Rudiger was excellent in keeping Real Madrid at bay on Wednesday

Somehow it has just clicked with these three - and, to a lesser extent, Kurt Zouma - and Chelsea have become fiendishly difficult to break down.

And if someone does breach them, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who made a string of important saves on Wednesday, is proving to be exactly the last line of defence you would want.

After Kepa Arrizabalaga was unceremoniously dumped at the beginning of the season, Mendy is yet more evidence that you often need to be ruthless to succeed in football.

Keeper Edouard Mendy makes a full stretch save to keep Real out during the second leg

N'Golo Kante was sidelined with a hamstring injury when Tuchel arrived and when he started on the bench for the first four Premier League games after returning to fitness, you wondered if his time as the Duracell bunny of Chelsea's midfield was finished.

His man of the match performance against Real was emphatic proof that the Frenchman can still deliver in the biggest of games.

The highlight was his role in setting up Kai Havertz in the lead-up to the opening goal, deftly taking Sergio Ramos out of the picture, but crucial, as ever, was Kante's willingness to perform the marathon shift of hard-running, tracking back but also carrying the ball forward.

N'Golo Kante was his usual industrious self and remains the man for the big occasion

Saturday Manchester City (A)

May 12 Arsenal (H)

May 15 Leicester City (Wembley)

May 18 Leicester City (H)

May 23 Aston Villa (A)

May 29 Manchester City (Istanbul)

We wondered if Tuchel favoured the central midfield combination of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, believing the defence to be rigid enough to not need Kante's shielding and screening.

But, sensibly, in the biggest games, Kante has been there and delivered. Surely he will be the first name on the teamsheet for the final?

Tuchel's homework before starting at Chelsea must have included a bit of analysis of how Antonio Conte's side won the title in 2016-17 with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses bombing down the flanks.

Somehow the use of wing-backs seems to suit the dashing and daring approach Abramovich wants to see from Chelsea teams, not to mention the fans.

One good thing about Tuchel is that arrived in the job with no pre-held prejudices or preconceptions about the players he had inherited.

Everybody was given their audition early on, including Alonso, who'd been put in football's equivalent of the deep freeze by Lampard.

Callum Hudson-Odoi even played as a right wing-back in Tuchel's second game against Burnley - and did well - but ultimately it's settled down to Reece James on the right and Ben Chilwell on the left.

But on Wednesday, Tuchel felt the added experience of Cesar Azpilicueta was needed on the right and the call paid off.

On the whole, Tuchel has been fearless with his selections and almost always proved correct.

Ben Chilwell has improved in the left wing-back role with the system suiting Chelsea

Remember when everyone was fretting that Tuchel's arrival would see Mason Mount's incredible progress in the Chelsea team blocked or halted?

It was feared that the English youngster was so closely associated with Lampard that he might now struggle for game time under a new manager.

What nonsense. Mount has been so consistently good it became literally impossible for Tuchel now to pick him. Not only does he start practically every game but his game continues to evolve and improve.

Mason Mount runs off to celebrate after beating Thibaut Courtois to score Chelsea's second

It was appropriate that Mount was the one who scored to rubber stamp Chelsea's passage to the final, his sixth goal since Tuchel took over.

'He is the full package, mentally, in terms of talent and physically. And the most important part is his character, he has his feet on the ground and he's a nice guy,' Tuchel said of the 22-year-old last weekend.

It could be quite the summer for Mount, who looks more like an England shoo-in with every passing week.

The England man was soon buried in a mass pile-on as Chelsea made the tie safe late on

The depth of Chelsea's attacking options becomes clear when you see the likes of Tammy Abraham (their joint top scorer this season), Hudson-Odoi and Olivier Giroud warming the bench.

With just three places available in Tuchel's fixed formation, someone is always going to be left disappointed.

That person was Christian Pulisic on Wednesday, with his omission from the starting line-up perceived as harsh by some after his goal in the first leg.

But the American was able to come off the bench and run at a tiring Real defence late on in pursuit of a second goal that should have come much earlier. In the end, Pulisic set Mount up to score it.

Timo Werner has been much maligned but couldn't miss from two yards on Wednesday

With those two plus Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner to keep happy, it's been necessary to freshen things up regularly.

Tuchel has been patient with Werner, perhaps appreciating more than most the German's application and tally of 13 assists for the season rather than his goal return.

Werner will be criticised for the missed chances - he missed a gilt-edged one in Madrid - but is increasingly showing more strings to his bow. It's also pretty much a given he'll score more next season.

Havertz has blown hot and cold for an £89million player but is getting there, evidence of the effect Tuchel has in gradually improving players, especially young ones still learning their craft.

Kai Havertz is starting to show a greater consistency under Tuchel and is getting better

There's going to be bitter disappointment for some of these attackers when they don't start the final but Tuchel needed to pick his strongest forward line on form.

His plans have taken Chelsea a long way in a short space of time, so why doubt him.

Tuchel's first 100 days have seen him get the better of Pep Guardiola, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Simeone, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti. 

In so doing, they have conceded just the one goal - Karim Benzema's in the first leg against Real Madrid.  

Somewhere, West Brom boss Sam Allardyce is feeling pretty smug.

Each opponent has required a foolproof game plan and often with only two or three games between fixtures to drill instructions into the players.

Tuchel got the better of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final

Many managers enjoy a bounce when they start a job but outwitting such esteemed coaches in quick succession speaks to Tuchel's mental dexterity.

Beating Guardiola's City in the FA Cup semi-final required a different approach to overcoming Zidane's Real over two legs but the masterplan worked.

In winning these big games, Tuchel has restored something of an aura around Chelsea. They're not quite invincible but not far off at the moment. Opponents are starting to fear facing them again.

Now the German has beaten Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid over the course of two legs

The regularity of wins and clean sheets has given Chelsea the impression of being a relentless and efficient machine.

Now with confidence soaring, the only psychological hurdle left to overcome is to win that first silverware of Tuchel's time.

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