Three things Thomas Tuchel got right in Chelsea’s Champions League final win

Chelsea have extended their lead over their London rivals as they secured their second Champions League trophy against Manchester City, while the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham still wait for their first.

The omens looked good for Chelsea in the build-up, with fate throwing up a number of glaring similarities to their previous Champions League glory in 2012 on course to this year’s final.

In both year’s the Blues replaced a young manager at the mid-way point, before knocking out Spanish opposition at the semi-final stage.

Tuchel’s side had to whether plenty of Man City storms as expected, with the man in the opposite dug-out opting for an extremely attacking, possession-based line up that saw both holding midfielders in Rodri and Fernandinho dropped, something that has only happened once prior this season.

Given it was the sides third meeting in six weeks, both managers would have deliberated opting for similar line-ups or shaking things up entirely.

As Tuchel had won the previous two encounters, the German stuck with much of the same personnel that got the better of Guardiola’s side at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final.

Tuchel took full advantage of Pep Guardiola’s questionable decision to omit both Rodri and Fernandinho, which provided a remarkable amount of space in transition for the Blues, so much so it effectively gifted them their opener.

Mason Mount had plenty of grass to aim at as he picked out Kai Havertz, who rounded Ederson for Chelsea’s opener.

Havertz teed up Christian Pulisic late on in the second half handed the American international the chance to wrap up the final late on, but his miss ensured a nervy final few moments before Chelsea eventually sealed their fate as European champions.

Havertz teed up Christian Pulisic late on in the second half handed the American international the chance to wrap up the final late on, but his miss ensured a nervy final few moments before Chelsea eventually sealed their fate as European champions.

1.Starting Kai Havertz

Much of the pre-match discussion was centred around who Thomas Tuchel would favour between Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic, with the German eventually opting for his fellow countryman in Havertz.

His decision was proved justified and then some, with the former Bayer Leverkusen man notching one of the most important goals he is ever likely to score just before the interval.

Latching on to a stunning Mason Mount pass, Havertz kept his composure to round the onrushing Ederson and hand Chelsea the lead.

It was a brave decision from Tuchel, given Havertz has often shown his ability to rush things when given too much time as he goes though on goal, it was only two weeks ago he missed a similar chance at home to Arsenal.

Eventually, the pair of them featured together as Pulisic was introduced just after the hour mark for Timo Werner, with Havertz gifting Pulisic the chance to wrap up the win early, but the American international put his effort wide of the City goal.

2.The deployment of Ben Chilwell

The former Leicester City man was dropped for Chelsea’s dramatic last-gasp Premier League win over tonight’s opponents a few weeks ago, but returned in fantastic fashion when it mattered most.

Chilwell has endured a mixed debut season at Stamford Bridge with some spells on the side-lines longer than he would have anticipated ahead of his move, but he was a constant presence in both a defensive and attacking sense against Pep’s side.

The 24-year-old had the daunting task of nullifying City winger Riyad Mahrez, but he proved he was more than up to the task, opting for a touch-tight approach on the diminutive Algerian.

Chilwell’s performance was vital to Chelsea’s task of adhering to their strictly-enforced shape against a Man City side team upped the anti once they went a goal behind.

3.The decision to press

Opting to try and go toe-to-toe with this Man City side has proved a fatal decision for so many teams this season, but Chelsea picked their moments to perfection.

With the middle of the park bereft of either of Rodri or Fernandinho, N’Golo Kante covered enough grass for all three of them as the French international was the heartbeat of everything positive for the Blues, not allowing the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden a second to breathe.

With City enjoying plenty of possession, it took a mammoth defensive effort from players that aren’t exactly known for their contributions in their own final third, but Kai Havertz in particular dispossessed Kevin De Bruyne just as the Belgian was winding up to shoot.

By knowing when to sit off and invite pressure, Chelsea gave themselves to open up and expose a City midfield that had little defensive nous, as exhibited by the Blues opener.

One Mason Mount pass was enough to put Kai Havertz through on goal, with the club record signing making no mistake.

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