It’s not often that the Champions League final features two clubs from the same country but then 2021 has been an unprecedented year for many reasons. We will be witnessing an all-English final being played out in Turkey on May 30.
Manchester City were the first one to qualify for the Champions League final after they outclassed French side Paris Saint-Germain over the two legs, and were soon followed by their fellow English team Chelsea who proved far too good for an ageing Real Madrid side in the second semi-final of the competition.
This has set up the final beautifully. Here’s what to expect from this mega event.
AN ALL-ENGLISH FINAL
The last time two Premier League sides competed in the Champions League final was in 2019 when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool emerged victorious over Mauricio Pochettion’s Tottenham Hotspur. This was the second all-English final as the one before was between Manchester United and Chelsea back in 2008 in Moscow when the Red Devils lifted the famous European trophy.
Chelsea are yet again involved in an all-English final but this time are up against the blue side of Manchester. This will be City’s first-ever Champions League final while Chelsea have a bit more history as it’s their third European final.
BATTLE OF TWO GREAT TACTICIANS
Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel have come up against each other six times before this game with the Spaniard having the wood over the German with four wins. But Tuchel managed to win their last encounter at the Wembley stadium in the FA Cup Semi-Finals.
Both are master tacticians and showed their tactical acumen in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League. Thomas Tuchel made history as he became the first manager to reach the European Cup or Champions League final in successive seasons with different clubs. He has a chance to make amends for the previous season’s mistakes with PSG and would be quietly confident of this matchup.
Guardiola, on the other hand, was brought in by Manchester City to dominate European football and finally, they have the chance to lift the trophy both the manager and the club desire so dearly. There’s no doubt that Guardiola and his team have managed to instil their beautiful style of football in one of the toughest leagues in the world but if they fail to win the final then this tenure will still not be hailed as a successful one.
Champions League finals are usually cagey affairs especially between teams that know each other extremely well. Expect this one to go to the wire and whichever manager blinks first might end up with the consolation silver medal.
Istanbul is a city known for the magic it possesses and its raw beauty. We’ve already seen one of the best Champions League finals ever to be played on this ground back in 2005 between Liverpool and AC Milan. We could be in for yet another Champions League classic as two top clubs will lock horns in this all-important clash.
There are some reports suggesting that it isn’t advisable in a pandemic year for two clubs from the same country to travel to someplace like Istanbul and play a final. Hence Aston Villa have put forward Villa Park to host this final as it will be a neutral venue for both clubs and fans would be able to attend this match as well without much difficulty. UEFA are still to respond to this proposition.
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