The Champions League final is easily the biggest game of the year in club football and there isn’t anything that can really come all too close to that. Last night, with the world watching, two of English football’s finest locked horns with Chelsea meeting Manchester City in Porto.
The expectation from most was that this would finally serve as City’s crowning moment. Pep Guardiola had worked incredibly hard to try and get this squad to a point whereby they could win the big one and while they did claim back the Premier League title, capturing this European crown was what the fans really wanted to see.
Instead, for the second time and the first since 2012, it was Chelsea who lifted the famous old trophy – and they did so in a pretty familiar way.
They were the clear underdogs, nobody saw them coming in the competition and they kept their composure throughout the final. City just didn’t seem to know what they wanted to do and that comes all the way down from Pep Guardiola who himself will take some responsibility for this.
He wanted to go in a different direction, but instead, they just couldn’t break through with Chelsea looking solid defensively. Thomas Tuchel was able to pick his side up and dust them off in the wake of their FA Cup final disappointment, and he did so with ruthless efficiency.
Now, the question turns to what Pep will do next. He’ll clearly do just about anything in his power to win the Champions League, but are we at the end of the road for his tenure at the Etihad?
He’s easily one of the best managers in world football so he just needs to figure out how badly he wants to get over that finish line.
On their best night, City can beat anyone else in Europe and in world football as a whole – and over the course of two legs, they should be unstoppable in their current form.
If they can’t regroup and get the job done next season, that immediately poses some kind of threat to what he’ll do beyond his current contract – or maybe even before then.
As for Chelsea, the fact they didn’t see this coming makes the whole thing even better. Tuchel is already in talks over some kind of new contract and understandably so, even if it’s hard to feel comfortable in a job as the manager at Stamford Bridge.
They aren’t likely to repeat this success but it doesn’t matter. Those supporters will have memories that will last a lifetime and even that might be an understatement. With the Euros ahead we all wanted to see one last great game before the European season came to an end, and we’re pretty sure that everyone will be satisfied with the end result.
The game was fun, the result was intriguing and there was an awful lot of drama along the way.
Next up is the Euros – and a few more nights of celebration for Chelsea Football Club.