Chelsea took on Manchester City in the third-ever all-English UEFA Champions League Final in an incredibly tactical and tight affair. The Blues entered the game as massive underdogs having lost three of their last four matches, including the FA Cup Final against Leicester City. However, when it mattered most, every single one of the players who stepped onto the pitch on Saturday gave it their all and in the end, a Kai Havertz goal sealed a well-deserved win for the team in the correct shape of blue. Here are the player ratings and men of the matches from Chelsea 1, Manchester City 0.
Edouard Mendy, Goalkeeper, 10/10
Surprisingly untested with City recording only 0.52 expected goal(xG) on the night, Mendy was nevertheless his usual commanding self in and around his area. Calm and composed whenever he had the ball at his feet as well, Mendy’s performance goes beyond his record-equaling 9th clean sheet in the Champions League this season. It was a perfect night for the first-ever African goalkeeper to play in the UCL and Mendy deserves all the praise and accolades that are surely coming his way.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Centre-Back, 10/10
Saturday’s win over Manchester City would now mean that Chelsea’s captain and longest-serving player has now officially won all that there is to win in club football. A legend of the club who was brought in for a mere £7 million 9 years ago, lifting the Champions League is Azpilicueta’s first major silverware as captain and for a player of his status at the club, it is no less than the Spaniard deserves.
Thiago Silva, Centre-Back, 10/10
At 36 years of age, Thiago Silva could be forgiven for thinking that his appearance in last season’s Champions League final would be his last in what has been an otherwise illustrious career. However, his incredible professionalism and desire for new pastures led him to the Premier League with Chelsea and it is ultimately these traits that have delivered him yet another opportunity, just a year on, to win Europe’s premier competition. Even though the Brazilian did go off injured late into the first half, this time, Silva was not to be denied the glory that a player of his statute clearly warrants. It’s an amazing and heartwarming story of perseverance and passion and Thiago Silva’s legacy is now forever cemented in the history books of the beautiful game.
Antonio Rudiger, Centre-Back, 10/10
Another perfect performance (see where I am going with this?) on the night, Antonio Rudiger did not have an easy start to the season by any means and as was indicated in his article, clearly struggled with various issues on and off the pitch. In that context, Saturday’s win must feel incredibly sweet for the German center-back who at points this season fell out of favor with the manager and fans alike. It’s an incredible comeback story on its own and Rudiger’s resilience has now paid handsome dividends for himself and the club.