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Guardiola loses first major cup as Man City coach

Guardiola loses first major cup as Man City coach

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has for the second time in his managerial career lost a major cup final.

The Spaniard on Saturday lost the UEFA Champions League by a lone goal to Chelsea.

This will be his first cup final as City manager, with this loss only his second major cup final defeat of his managerial career (along with Copa del Rey in 2010-11).

Thomas Tuchel got the better of his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola for the third time since succeeding sacked Frank Lampard in January to bring European club football’s biggest prize back to Stamford Bridge for the first time since 2012.

Kai Havertz, blossoming after a slow start to his Chelsea career, got the winner three minutes before half-time when he collected a defence-splitting pass from Mason Mount to round City goalkeeper Ederson and score.

It leaves City still searching for the Champions League, the trophy that has always eluded them, and Guardiola cannot escape scrutiny for his part in this defeat after taking a tactical gamble which backfired.

Guardiola surprisingly decided against utilising either Rodri or Fernandinho as a defensive midfielder, leaving City with a muddled game plan that reduced their effectiveness and rarely presented Chelsea with any problems.

The stats

  • Chelsea are the third English side to win the Champions League on two occasions, after Liverpool (2004-05 and 2018-19) and Manchester United (1998-99 and 2007-08).
  • Chelsea have lifted the trophy in six of their seven major European finals in their history – with this their fourth European success in the Roman Abramovich era alone (Champions League in 2020-21 and 2011-12, Europa League in 2012-13 and 2018-19).
  • Guardiola has lost more matches against Chelsea in all competitions than against any other club (eight), losing his last three in a row against the Blues. Indeed, the only other sides that he has lost three in a row against in his managerial career are Real Madrid (2012-14) and Liverpool (2018).
  • Tuchel is the third different German manager to win the Champions League in the last three seasons (Jurgen Klopp 2019, Hans Flick 2020) – it is the first time the European Cup/Champions League has been won in three consecutive years by three different managers of the same nationality since 1979-80 to 1981-82 (Brian Clough, Bob Paisley, Tony Barton).
  • Tuchel became just the second manager to record three consecutive wins in all competitions against Guardiola (excluding Barcelona B), after fellow German Klopp did so in 2018 with Liverpool.
  • City became the ninth different English team to reach a European Cup/Champions League final, at least three more than any other nation (Germany and Italy, six) – although only one of the last 11 teams competing in their first final have won (Borussia Dortmund v Juventus in 1997).
  • Following Havertz’s goal in the 42nd minute neither Manchester City or Chelsea managed to land a single shot on target during the rest of the match.
  • Chelsea’s Havertz scored his first Champions League goal and became the first player to score his first goal in the competition in the final since Ilkay Gundogan in 2013. Indeed, Havertz became the youngest German player to score in a Champions League final since Borussia Dortmund’s Lars Ricken in 1997 (20 years 322 days v Juventus).
  • Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy kept nine clean sheets in 12 games in this season’s Champions League – no keeper has ever kept more in a single campaign in the competition (level with Santiago Canizares for Valencia in 2000-01 and Keylor Navas for Real Madrid in 2015-16).
  • Mendy’s nine clean sheets for Chelsea in the Champions League this season is the most ever by a goalkeeper in their maiden campaign in the competition.
  • Chelsea’s Mason Mount became the first English player to provide a Champions League final assist since Wes Brown in 2008 for Manchester United against Chelsea.
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