Harbor. Josep Guardiola’s Manchester City was presented as the favorite against Chelsea led by Thomas Tuchel in the Champions League final on Saturday in Porto (19:00 GMT), but the pulse between these two English teams heralds strong feelings anyway.
The final was supposed to be held in Istanbul, but the Covid-19 pandemic and the current restrictions prompted a change of stadium and the stage will be the Dragon Stadium in the second Portuguese city.
In the stands, yes, there may be a taste of “old football”. After months of empty stands, 16,500 fans, including 10,000 from the UK, will be able to directly attend this final.
The two finalists were part of the failed UEFA Europa League project, which generated much controversy, but quickly withdrew from it and returned to UEFA discipline.
In Portugal, under the sky the sky is blue a blueFootball will try to gain any hint of controversy and eventually turn the page on this uncomfortable episode.
For Manchester City, this match is a date with history. He dreams of becoming the 23rd club to win the most expensive tournament in European football.
For Guardiola, the reward will be a five-year tournament, which despite 10 national championships titles seems inconclusive if it is not crowned. Champions.
The Catalan coach did lead Barcelona to the title in 2009 and 2011, but in the last decade he has accumulated disappointments in Europe, especially since he took over at City and lost to Monaco (Round of 16, 2017) and Tottenham (Quarter-finals, 2019). ) Or Lyon (Quarter-finals, 2020).
Among the “new rich”
“Several important things have changed since those defeats. We are more stable, and they give us fewer chances,” analyzes midfielder Ilkai Gundogan.
This season, Robin Dias of Portugal has given the toughness of the midfielders’ defense.
The appearance of young Phil Foden (20) made us forget that Argentine Sergio Aguero, the top scorer in Manchester City’s history, is wrapping up a long stage after the final.
Manchester City have been impressed since December, and this season they have won the Premier League and the Premier League Cup.
The city’s wealthy Emirati owners see the heroic conquest that has haunted them since their arrival in Kayan in 2008 too soon.
His Chelsea counterpart, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, knows what it means to win the European title, as did the Londoners in 2012.
The Blues, Was bought in 2003, then became the first club New rich To win the Champions League.
Nine years later, Chelsea managed to claim their second major tournament title. As the hours count for the Final, their fans search for common ground between the current generation and that winning group from Didier Drogba.
As in 2012, before facing Bayern Munich in the final, Chelsea were not presented as a candidate.
“Maybe we are Intruder. But this was decided in a match, “challenges midfielder Matteo Kovacic.
Another similarity to the 2011-2012 season is that Chelsea changed coach midway through the season.
Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January. Then it was Italian Roberto Di Matteo who made the champion of London after replacing André Velas Bois.
Despite some symptoms of exhaustion at this final stage of the tournament, with three defeats in the last four matches – including the England Cup final against Leicester (1-0) – Chelsea enjoys solid confidence after beating Manchester City twice. Final weeks: April 17th in the England Cup (1-0) and then on May 8th in the Premier League (2-1).
Guardiola warned that “this is another competition.”
Tuchel estimates, “City is the reference. Maybe the best team in the world at the moment.”
On Saturday in Portugal, only one of the two will win.
Manchester City: Ederson Walker, Dias, Stones, Zenchenko-Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva Mahrez, De Bruyne, Foden.
Head Coach: Pep Guardiola (Spain)
Chelsea: Mindy Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger-James, Kovacic, Kante, Chilwell Mount, Werner Havertz.
Coach: Thomas Tuchel (Germany).
The UEFA Champions League Final takes place between Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, at the Dragon Stadium in Porto, Portugal. Via Graphic News.