UEFA Champions League Final Preview: Chelsea versus Manchester City.
It will be an all-English final in the UEFA Champions League final when Chelsea battles Manchester City. The championship match takes place on a neutral field at Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal, where 16,500 fans are expected. CBS broadcasts the game at 3 PM ET.
Manchester City last played on May 23rd when they put an exclamation point on their English Premier League title with a 5-0 victory at home against Everton. Kevin DeBruyne scored the first goal 11 minutes into the match before Gabriel Jesus scored three minutes later. Phil Foden added a third goal eight minutes into the second half before Sergio Aguero took the pitch as a substitute in his last time wearing the sky blue kit at Etihad Stadium. The Argentinian electrified the crowd by scoring twice in the final 29 minutes. Man City ended the season with 86 points, 14 points clear of Manchester United in second place. That was the third EPL title in four years for the franchise under manager Pep Guardiola.
The Citizens reached the Champions League finals with their 4-1 aggregate score triumph against Paris-Saint Germain. Man City won the first leg in Paris by a 2-1 score on April 28th before defeating PSG, 2-0, in the second leg at home on May 4th. Man City defeated Borussia Dortmund by a 4-2 aggregate score in the quarterfinals. They beat another Bundesliga side in Borussia Monchengladbach in the Final 16 knockout stage by a 4-0 aggregate score.
Chelsea advanced to the Champions League final with a 3-1 aggregate score win against Real Madrid. The Blues earned a 1-1 draw in Madrid in the first leg on April 27th. They then defeated Los Blancos at home, 2-0, on May 5th to secure the semifinal victory. Chelsea defeated Porto by a 2-1 aggregate score in the quarterfinals. They beat an Atletico Madrid club (that won the La Liga title) by a 3-0 aggregate score in the Round of 16.
The Blues have lost three of their last four matches since the second leg triumph against Real Madrid. Chelsea lost four days later at home to Arsenal, 1-0. The Blues had the FA Cup final to think about three days later, yet they lost that championship to Leicester City at Wembley Stadium by a 1-0 score. Chelsea avenged that loss three days later back home at Stamford Bridge by a 2-1 score against Leicester City.
With qualifying for next year’s Champions League competition still on the line, the Blues lost at Aston Villa by a 2-1 score last Sunday. The Villans scored late in the first half before adding a second goal on a penalty kick early in the second half. Ben Chilwell cut the score in half at the 70th-minute mark, but Chelsea could not level the score. The Blues still qualified for the 2021-22 Champions League competition due to Tottenham’s victory against Leicester City. Chelsea finished fourth in the EPL table with 67 points, 19 points behind Man City.
This showdown will be the fourth match between these two teams in 2021 and the third in the last six weeks. Man City won at Stamford Bridge, 3-1, on January 3rd. These two teams met in the semifinals of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium on April 17th, with Chelsea winning by a 1-0 score. Man City hosted the reverse fixture in the English Premier League on May 8th, with the Blues winning, 2-1.
Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, was the manager of PSG in last year’s Champions League final. His team lost, 1-0, to Bayern Munich. The European championship is the one trophy that has eluded Guardiola in his illustrious managerial career with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Man City.
If this match is tied after the 90 minutes of regulation time, an extra 30 minute period will be played. If the score remains tied after 120 minutes, the game is resolved by penalty kicks.
Manchester City is a -0.5 goal line favorite, with the total set at 2.25.
Computer prediction: Manchester City 2 Chelsea 0