Questionable lineup for Manchester City key to Chelsea winning Premier Champions League championship game 1-0

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Chelsea players celebrate their Premier Champions League championship after beating Manchester City 1-0.

On Saturday, May 29, Manchester City played Chelsea in the Premier Champions League Championship Match at the Estadio De Dragao in Porto, Portugal, with Chelsea winning the match 1-0 through a goal by Kai Havertz. The match-winning goal was Havertz’s first career Champions League goal.

Chelsea played a very predictable lineup with many of their key players starting. Manchester City, on the other hand, played an unusual lineup, a very different one from what had won them the Premier League earlier on in the season. Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, decided to not play Fernandinho. The Brazilian central defensive midfielder had been a key player in the Man City midfield in order to stop counter attacks and help the defensive line. 

Instead, Guardiola played Gundogan in that position, who is not nearly as good at defending, and played Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva in the center midfield positions. With that being the midfield, that meant that Pep played a front three of Mahrez, Foden and Raheem Sterling. 

Man City fans were again outraged with the decision by the manager because Raheem Sterling had a terrible season by his standards and was not a key player in Guardiola’s Premier League winning team. Football pundits have ultimately agreed that these two decisions by Pep Guardiola lost them the Champions League Final. 

If Pep had played the team that had played together all season instead of overthinking and playing a different lineup, City would probably have won the Champions League. The odds were against them though since the last seven times that a team has made their debut in the Champions League final, they lost to a team who had previously been to the final. 

“You know, as a Manchester City supporter, this one hurt deep down, but we have our positives to take away from this season, we won the Premier League again, and we reached the final of the hardest competition in the world,” Olympic Heights student and soccer fan Diogo Verde commented. “We will come back stronger next year and I have faith that we will win it.”

Best performances of the match:

Ederson (GK) – Manchester City: The Brazilian goalkeeper for Man City has been on fire this season with the most clean sheets in the Premier League and winning the Golden Glove for two consecutive seasons, but unfortunately for him, was unable to keep Havertz’s goal out of net.

Mendy (GK) – Chelsea: The Chelsea goalkeeper played a great game and saved every single shot that came at him from the Manchester City side.

Ruben Dias (CB) – Manchester City: The Portuegese center back has revolutionized the way Manchester City defends and has turned the side into a team that can not only attack but are now also very solid defensively. In the goal, he was dragged out wide by Timo Werner which opened the space for Havertz to go on through and score the only goal of the game.

Ngolo Kante (CDM) – Chelsea: The French defensive mid is like a wall in the Chelsea midfield and won Man of the Match in both legs against Real Madrid. Players have described him as having a third lung because of how much he can run without getting tired. In this game he completely dominated the midfield and the Manchester City attackers were unable to play around him.

Mason Mount (CAM) – Chelsea: The English youngster has cemented himself as one of the most important players in the Chelsea lineup because of the creativity he brings to the team. Even with being so young, he showed up to an important final and made the crucial pass to Havertz to score the goal.

Kevin De Bruyne (CAM) – Manchester City: Definitely the best player on the field, Kevin De Bruyne has been considered the best midfielder in the world for a number of years now, and he showed why this Champions League season by scoring and assisting on a number of crucial goals. De Bruyne was unfortunately subbed out of the game after a dirty challenge by Chelsea defender Rudiger and suffered a broken nose.

Closing Points: The championship match was a  great end to the season by Chelsea securing a second Champions League title, with City bowing out. Both teams had overall great seasons, and by no means does this mean Manchester City had a disappointing season. Man City finishing first in the Premier League while Chelsea finished fourth shows the distance in quality in longer periods of time, but Chelsea ultimately got the better of Man City in this one game. 

“Poor management choices is what cost this great Manchester City team the title,” OH’s Dylan Lima said. “If Pep had played the right players, City would have definitely won the game.” 

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