Chelsea and City set for an all-English Champions League Final
For the second time in three years, the Champions League Final will be an all-English affair after Manchester City, and Chelsea triumphed in the semifinals.
City defeated PSG 2-0 in the second leg on Tuesday to end with a dominant 4-1 victory on aggregate.
Chelsea also looked fully in control in their second-leg match against Real Madrid, winning 2-0 to beat the Madridistas 3-1 aggregate.
The final is set for May 29 and will be held in Istanbul.
Manchester City controlled the second leg tie after beating PSG 2-1 in Paris for the first leg. While the Citizens looked commanding, the game threatened to get out of hand after some clashes between players.
After an apparent handball from City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko, an early penalty was given to PSG, but the VAR overturned the penalty. The contentious decision set the stage for a cagey affair.
Shortly thereafter, Riyad Mahrez opened the score sheet in the 11th minute after some deflections in the box set the ball up perfectly for the Algerian winger.
PSG defender Marquinhos hit the crossbar with a header early in the first half, but PSG failed to make clear chances with star man Kylian Mbappé on the bench with an injury.
Mahrez then made it 4-1 on aggregate with his second goal in the 63rd minute, all but wrapping up the Final berth. A frustrated PSG then fell apart, culminating in a red card for Ángel Di María.
PSG’s defeat will fuel rumors that star forward Mbappé and Neymar will be looking to exit the club. Mbappé has been linked to a move to Real Madrid and Neymar with a return to Barcelona.
In the other semi-final, the English side also looked great in their home stadium during the second leg. Chelsea’s quick counterattack overwhelmed the injury-ridden defense, and it will leave Madrid licking its wounds after the club’s big defeat.
A strong performance and great saves from Chelsea’s keeper Edouard Mendy ensured that his club kept a clean sheet. The Blues were all over Madrid and opened the scoring with a tap-in from Timo Werner in the 28th minute after some spectacular play from Kai Havertz and N’Golo Kanté.
The London club also had plenty of chances in the second half. Still, Thibaut Courtois kept Chelsea at bay until the 85thminute when American star Christian Pulisic assisted Mason Mount, delivering the second goal of the game and the nail in the coffin.
With less than 24 days before the Champions League Final, Man City and Chelsea will face each other in the Premier League. Manchester City has all but wrapped up another Premier League title and will likely already be crowned champions before that game. But the game will be important for Chelsea as they seek to finish in the top four.
In all likelihood, both managers will rest several players ahead of the Champions League Final match in Istanbul.
As one of Chelsea’s best players this season, Pulisic could very well become the first American to ever play in a Champions League Final. Another American, backup goalie Zack Steffen will also be on the bench for Man City.
Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel will also become the first manager to lead two different clubs to Champions League Finals in consecutive seasons. Tuchel led PSG to the final last season when the Parisian side lost to Bayern Munich 1-0.