Senegal's shot stopper Edouard Mendy who is discovering the UEFA Champions League for the first time in his career has guided Chelsea to a second title win. Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 in the finals played on Saturday night in Portugal.
Chelsea moves into the final with a some what mental disadvantage as the team lost the FA Cup finals to Leicester last Saturday. Their opponents of the night, Manchester City finished the EPL season in style as they were crowned Champions.
The match was also a measuring rod for two Africans, best positioned for the title of African Footballer of the year award.
Chelsea's Mendy and Manchester City's Mahrez.
The game's out come has almost clearly decided the fate of the award. Senegal's Mendy is poised to be crown Africa's best footballer for 2021 with little contention as things stand.
Mendy's statistics with Chelsea and Senegal are appealing even to the enemy.
He becomes the first ever African goal keeper to win the champions league as a filled in player.
Mendy has also qualified Senegal for the next AFCON to be played in Janary 2022 in Cameroon.
He finished second best in the rankings of goalkeepers this season in the EPL just behind Manchester City's keeper.
The tipping point
Prior to the game, most pundits did not see a win for Chelsea. That feeling was immediately crushed from the first whistle of the game. Ngolo Kante, Jorginho and Mount dominated the middle of the park. Azpillicuerta stands firm against Mahrez throughout the night. Reece James brought out the worse of Sterling while Bernado Silva spent more time chasing the ball rather than having it.
City's captain Kevin De Bruyne was over powered by Chelsea's game control while Aguero and Jesus were relegated to the bench.
These were all signs of defeat for Pep Guardiola who was hugely criticized from when his starting line up was made public.
The German duo Havertz and Werner put City's defense under permanent pressure and the Skyblues stayed in the game thanks to Werner's misses. The attacker had two glaring first half opportunities to kill the game.
Chelsea finally concludes her dominance at the 42nd minute when Mount picks up a loose ball in the middle of the pack, places a long killer pass that slices through City's defense to pick out Havertz, face to face with City's keeper. The cool headed German dribbles pass the keeper and finishes into an empty net for the lone goal of the finals.
Chelsea's psychological edge
Haven beaten the Citizens twice in recent months (FA CUP semi-final 1-0; Premier League matchday 35 2-1), Chelsea were certainly better prepared psychologically than their opponents. And this was rather noticeable in the match. Indeed, the 2012 Champions League winners never doubted against the Skyblues. And the exit through injury of Belgian playmaker and City's captain of the night Kevin De Bruyne on the hour mark, only made their task a little easier.
— Champions of Europe 🏆 (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2021
Chelsea's coach Thomas Tuchel and Thiago Silver were better placed to win the finals by all cost as they both lost the previous one 1-0 to Bayern with PSG. Manchester City were playing the finals for the very first time in the club's history.
Ngolo Kante was voted the Man of the Match for the 4th time in a row.
SNA in Cameroon