The UCL 2021 final has come and gone but the impact has not left the minds of football lovers especially Chelsea and Manchester City fans. A lot of people supported Chelsea for a reason while many supported City for a whole different reason.
Recall that Tuchel’s Chelsea has defeated Pep’s Man City twice already, in the FA Cup semi-final and in the league, however, the final of the UCL is the pinnacle and many would expect the game to be tighter than the previous games.
Tuchel already had the psychological edge and his players even though came from the back of a defeat and almost missed out of the top 4, the team came out strong. Pep on the other hand already springing up surprises from his line-up, and this brings me to why City lost the title.
From the lineup which shows that City was playing without a defensive midfielder, a lot of people were already ruing the mistake. However, the biggest surprise for me was the inclusion of Sterling in the line-up. Sterling has not started a game for City in a while and the last time he started a UCL game for City was in February.
In fact he played a combination of 7 minutes in the Quarter-final and Semi-final games, so seeing him start ahead of Fernandinho, Rodri, Gabriel Jesus, Aguero and the likes was a huge shock to me.
No holding midfielder
Chelsea has Kante and City have Fernandinho, but Pep decided not to play Fernandinho for reasons best known to him. The midfield was lost as Gundogan could just not keep up. Kante was everywhere and he was recovering all the ball from De Bruyne and Gundogan. Even Jorginho was having a field’s day doing next to nothing.
Pep Guardiola was outclassed tactically and technically this season by Tuchel. There is no excuse for that. Even Pep played into the hands of Tuchel by deciding to give up the midfield knowing that Kante would be playing.
With Aguero now out of the club and some players already disgruntled, it is time for Pep to restrategize and hope to get new and hungrier players for the new season as they try to do well in the Champions League next season.
The new season will definitely be one to watch with Chelsea, United, Liverpool all strengthening their team so it would not be a stroll in the park for City. What did you think City did wrong against Chelsea in the final?