Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will be hoping to put last year’s Champions League final defeat behind him when his Chelsea side lock horns with Manchester City in the UCL final later today.
The former PSG boss (who was brought In to replace Frank Lampard in January), had led PSG to the finals last year but could not overcome Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich, as the Bavarians ran out 1-0 winners in the finals played in Lisbon, Portugal.
Chelsea will have to perform better than they did in their 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday as they will be coming up against a City side who come into the match on the back of a 5-0 demolition of Everton in the EPL on Sunday.
This will be City’s first-ever appearance in the UCL final while Chelsea will be making their 3rd appearance in the final of Europe’s premier football competition, after appearing in the 2008 and 2012 editions. Ahead of the match later tonight, we look back at what happened the last time Chelsea played in the Uefa Champions League final.
The last time the Blues played in the UCL final was in the 2011/12 season, when a Didier Drogba-inspired Chelsea side, defeated German side Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties after the game had ended 1-1 in normal time. The German side had taken the lead through Thomas Muller with 7 minutes to go, but Didier Drogba headed home Juan Mata’s 88th-minute corner to send the game into extra time.
The Blues had sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas midway through the season and replaced him with his assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo, and the Italian was tasked with the responsibility of overturning a 3-1 defeat against Napoli, in the first leg of the Round of 16. Chelsea eventually qualified for the quarterfinals after thrashing Napoli 4-1 in the second leg, before going to beat Benfica and Barcelona in the quarterfinals and semi-finals respectively. The Bavarians meanwhile, overcame Basel Fc, Marseille, and Real Madrid en-route to the finals. They ( Bayern ) started the match on the front foot but could not find their way through a well-organized Chelsea defense with Petr Cech denying Arjen Robben from close range, in what was Bayern’s best chance of the first half. The first half hugely dominated by the Germans, however, ended goalless.
The Bavarians continued their onslaught after the break and Frank Ribery thought he had broken the deadlock when he scored from close range after Ashley Cole blocked Arjen Robben’s shot, but the goal was disallowed as the Frenchman was adjudged to be offside in the buildup to the goal. The Blues maintained their well-organized defensive shape making it difficult for Bayern to score despite dominating the game for long periods. The German side, however, got the breakthrough in the 83rd minute, when Thomas Muller headed in from close range after receiving a cross from Toni Kross to hand Bayern a much-deserved lead with 7 minutes to go. At this point, Chelsea were heading for their 2nd UCL final defeat in 4 years after losing the 2008 final to Manchester United in Moscow. Ivorian striker Didier Drogba ensured that that wasn’t going to happen as he powered in a strong header following a cross from Juan Mata’s corner to send the game into extra time.
Three minutes into extra time, Bayern were handed an opportunity to take the lead again when they were awarded a Penalty after Drogba had fouled Frank Ribery in the box but Petr Cech did well to save Arjen Robben’s spot-kick. The Londoners held on as the extra time also ended 1-1 as both teams could be seen receiving instructions from their coaches before the penalty shootouts. Despite missing the first spot-kick, Chelsea ran out 4-3 winners in the penalty shootouts after Petr Cech saved Ivica Olic’s and Bastian Schweinsteiger’s spot-kicks before Drogba coolly converted the last penalty to hand Chelsea their first-ever Champions League trophy in the history of the club.
The match comes up later today with kickoff at 8 pm.
Do you think Chelsea will defeat City in Tonight’s game?
Drop your predictions in the comments section below. Thank you.