For the second time in 3 years, two English teams will be competing in the Champions League Final. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will face Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea for the 3rd time in about 40 days. This time, they’ll be competing for the biggest prize in European football, the Champions League.
GUARDIOLA & MANCHESTER CITY
This will be Pep Guardiola’s first Champions League final since leaving Barcelona in 2012. Critics have argued that Guardiola’s CL wins were because he had players like Iniesta, Xavi & Messi. They pointed out his inability to replicate his European success at Bayern Munich and at City earlier. Winning the UCL with Man City would go a long way to vindicate the Spanish manager. Veteran striker Sergio Aguero has announced he would be leaving at the end of the season after 10 years with the club. Aguero once famously said he would stay at City until they won the Champions League. He now has the chance to leave on the highest possible level. The Champions League will be City’s 3rd trophy this season if they manage to win.
TUCHEL AND CHELSEA
Chelsea’s promising season is threatening to collapse into a disastrous one. They pulled off unexpected wins against big opponents like Liverpool and Atletico Madrid within Tuchel’s first month at the job. They then beat Guardiola’s City to reach the FA Cup final. Their impressive victory over Real Madrid stamped them as serious contenders. Chelsea have however dropped form at the worst possible time. They lost the FA Cup final to Leicester City and almost crashed out of the Top 4 in the Premier League. They had to rely on results elsewhere to guarantee their Champions League qualification. The Blues must be at their absolute best to beat Man City and win the Champions League.
HEAD TO HEAD
Manchester City and Chelsea know each other inside out and have faced themselves 151 times. Of the 151 times, Chelsea have the upper hand with 61 wins while City have 51 wins. The pair have drawn 39 times. The last 10 times they faced off, City have 5 wins while Chelsea have 4 wins and 1 draw.
While City and Chelsea are very familiar with each other, this is their first meeting in the Champions League.