Tuesday, June 15

Guardiola’s City dies on the Chelsea wall

It took him 10 years to return to a final of Champions. An eternity for a coach who has transformed football wherever he has gone, influential as anyone. It was not, however, the sweet return imagined by Pep Guardiola. Thomas tuchel, his best disciple, took the cake in a more vibrant than beautiful encounter. The Chelsea shot down a Manchester city Disappointing, it didn’t live up to itself. So many exhibitions throughout the season and the most important day in the history of the Mancunian club the team faltered. The colossus of London raised the second Champions League with the arms of Azpilicueta thanks to a goal from the German Havertz, the tip that cost 80 million.

The Porto final pivoted around the immense figure of Guardiola, to which a certain part of public opinion has demanded to show that he can win a Champions League without Leo Messi. Ten years ago the Wembley masterpiece with Barça against Manchester United culminated and he was expected to build something similar for City. And it was not so. Yesterday, no, maybe another year. Tuchel, who learned so much from him at long dinners in Munich moving glasses and knives, frustrated him with a show of solidity. A rock is not as hard as the structure of Chelsea.

No defensive midfielder

Guardiola returned to the great showcase of a Champions League final with his ideas in sight. First of all, aces on the grass. Footballers to capture the ball with caresses and with their natural gaze towards the rival goal. The Catalan wanted to be true to his reputation as an offensive game alchemist, but the mixture in the test tube exploded with black smoke on Chelsea’s steel-clad wall. He didn’t even let him kick.

Tuchel, another huge football thinker, tore the map that Guardiola had drawn. The one from Santpedor dispensed with a laborious midfielder. High risk. The London team stole, ran and scared City over and over again. If it was not because Timo Werner The boot seemed to have been put on the wrong foot and he missed badly head to door, Chelsea’s lead could have been stretched very soon.

The final was immediately a gift to the spectators who occupied a third of the stadium. How nice to see people in the stands again. And how cool was the tactical confrontation of two coaches who lived the match almost on the pitch, directing the orchestra with the greatest intensity, paying attention to every detail. A show in itself.

Guardiola scratched his bald head to surprise Tuchel after the break. Havertz’s goal (m. 42), through a delicious pass from Mount, noted the superior London staging. It was a goal that left City’s misplaced centrals in a bad place, the German’s first in the Champions League this year. Good morning to premiere.

Without rhythm

City used players but it seemed that they came out with heavy legs and nervous minds. Sterile possession, with a speed incapable of destabilizing Chelsea’s fundamentals, underpinned by KantĂ©, a beast, declared the best player of the contest.

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The entrance of Fernandinho stabilized City. Guardiola imagined that he could win without a center half and, on the other hand, the Brazilian gave him back some of his hallmarks. Guardiola also imagined that he could win without a center forward, as so many times, and ended up with two up, including the imminent signing of Barça, the Kun Aguero, who contributed little in the quarter of an hour he had in his last game with the shirt that he has worn for so many years. He ended up crying.

Tuchel defeated Guardiola for the third time in 42 days and now it may be the Catalan who will have to ask the German for dinner and explain how he does it. The PSG sheikh, who fired Tuchel in January, should pay. Congratulations, sheik.


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