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Manchester City
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FT
1
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Chelsea
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Champions League final score: Chelsea upset Manchester City on Havertz goal; Christian Pulisic makes history

Chelsea won the 2021 UEFA Champions League title on Saturday, beating fellow English club Manchester City in the final, 1-0. The Blues got a goal in the first half from Kai Havertz, and City couldn't respond as superstar Kevin De Bruyne left in the second half due to injury. The Blues controlled the match from the beginning and used their patient, organized defense to hold City's attack at bay for the majority of the match as Pep Guardiola's men rarely looked like a threat going forward.

Guardiola brought on Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, but the tinkering with his starting XI did not work out as his surprise inclusion of Raheem Sterling resulted in very little. Thee Londoners claimed their second ever UCL crown, and their first since 2012. Chelsea's Christian Pulisic made history as the first USMNT player to appear in the Champions League final, though he was unable to convert on a goal-scoring chance off the bench.

Here are three takeaways from Saturday's final in Porto:

Chelsea set the tone early

Everybody knew this game was going to be defensive. Chances were also going to be hard to come by, and I'm not counting the ones that Timo Werner shanks from point-blank range. The first and probably best chance City got came in the first half from Phil Foden as he was shifted to striker by Guardiola.

So, when De Bruyne played him cleanly through, the opener looked on the verge of falling... until Antonio Rudiger got involved. The German, who made quite an impact in this match, delivered a perfectly timed tackle that set the tone for his team throughout the match. Take a look:

The confidence, the cohesion and the belief all grew from that moment on for Chelsea.

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Sensational Mount is the real MVP

Nobody lovess Havertz more than me. I have said in the past when he was in the Bundesliga, that he should be mentioned in the same conversation as the likes of Erling Haaland. He proved his worth by stepping up in the biggest game, but a lot of the credit has to go to another young superstar: Chelsea's Mason Mount. His through ball to set up Havertz was absolutely tasty, taking advantage of Ruben Dias holding the German on. Take a look:

The young superstar didn't have a lot of chances to make an impact, but when he did, he delivered a smooth ball to the perfect spot, forever cementing himself as a Chelsea legend.

KDB injury was final blow 

Rudiger certainly didn't mean it, and it wasn't dirty, but his collision with De Bruyne altered the game big time. City weren't looking all that dangerous with De Bruyne, but without him? Even less so. City lost their best player for the last 30 minutes after he ran into Rudiger and had to come off the pitch. City barely knocked on the door after that. All Rudiger was trying to do was slow KDB down, but in the the end the challenge killed any chance City had of coming back.


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May 30, 2021, 12:36 AM
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CBS Sports' fantastic James Benge took a deep dive into the UCL final's man of the match, Chelsea's N'Golo Kante. To read his story, click here.

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@UCLonCBSSports via Twitter
May 29, 2021, 10:40 PM
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May 29, 2021, 10:29 PM
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May 29, 2021, 10:08 PM
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Christian Pulisic has been celebrating on the sidelines with his parents, family and friends, sporting a USMNT hoodie. What a night for the young talent, becoming the first American man to play in the final ... and now win it.

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Thomas Tuchel, after the match: "It's a huge experience and a huge success. We all will profit from it and will use it to stay hungry, grow and evolve. It's a fantastic achievement and congratulations to everybody."

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More from Guardiola, per UEFA: "I want to go home with my family. It's been a long time since I've seen them. After that I'll come back to the club. It's going to be the best club in the world for the next few years."

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@UCLonCBSSports via Twitter
May 29, 2021, 9:57 PM
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Pep Guardiola after the match, via UEFA:  "Decisions are always to try to win the game. The way we played the game in the second half, they had one counter attack with Pulisic. They're a really good team, but we competed perfectly against them. In the second half we deserved to score one goal but we couldn't do it."

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel after the match: Indescribable. Feels not real. I'm just happy my family is here and can share this moment ... It's so hard against City. To do it three times in a row now, it gets harder and harder ... We kept fighting and we were relentless.

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Player ratings

James Benge and Roger Gonzalez have your post-match player ratings for the Champions League final. Benge thought Kante was the difference for the Blues, while I gave Guardiola a horrific rating for his arrogant starting XI that backfired. 

To read, click here.

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