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Champions League Final Preview – Manchester City vs Chelsea

So there we have it! Both English sides have managed to make it through to the Champions League final.

Firstly congratulations to both sides. The pair have been outstanding throughout the competition.

This preview will look ahead to the clash of the titans, in Istanbul, just over 3 weeks time.

We’ll look at how both teams made it to the final, and what to expect in the biggest game in club competition.

Manchester City – Route To The Final

Photo Credit; Talk Sport

Manchester City had a relatively straight forward group, facing Marseille, Porto, and Olympiakos.

They brushed aside their 3 rivals simply in 5 wins, with the one draw coming away in Porto on match day 5.

This saw City once again through to the last 16 of the competition. This time, the opposition came in the form of Borussia Monchengladbach. A straightforward 2-0 win away in Germany, and the same score line back at the Etihad saw The Citizens through to face another German side, Borussia Dortmund.

The headlines were surrounding Erling Haaland and the rumours surrounding the Norwegian linking him to Manchester, however another hot prospect stole the show.

Phil Foden scored home and away to ensure City made it through to the Semi Final, beating the Germans 4-2 on aggregate.

The final step toward Istanbul, saw City head to the city of love, Paris.

After a shaky first half, the real City shone through, and goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez secured two important away goals, and a 2-1 lead heading back to Manchester.

The Algerian scored another brace, to send City through to their first ever Champions League final, and defeat the Parisians 4-1 on aggregate. A score line that sent shockwaves around Europe.

Chelsea – Route To The Final

Photo Credit; The Guardian

Much like Manchester City, The Blues had a nice and simple group on paper, facing Sevilla, Krasnodar and Stade Rennais.

A stunning 4-0 win over Sevilla saw Chelsea top the group with 14 points, with the two blemishes on the record being draws at home to Sevilla and Krasnodar.

Between the group stage and the round of 16, Chelsea sacked club legend Frank Lampard and hired Thomas Tuchel.

Atletico Madrid were next up for Chelsea, and a strong 1-0 win away in Madrid set things up nicely for them.

Another clean sheet, and inch perfect performance saw them cruise to a 2-0 win at home, sending them through 3-0 on aggregate.

Porto faced Manchester City in the group stages, and the Portuguese side stood in the way of Chelsea in the quarter finals.

Both legs were played in the same stadium, Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, so there was no real home advantage. A straightforward 2-0 win in the first leg pretty much saw Chelsea through barring any mistakes.

The second leg was like a training exercise for The Blues, however they did concede a last minute screamer from Mehdi Taremi, but went through 2-1.

Another side from Madrid stood in their way of a third Champions League Final, and Los Galacticos were the Semi Final opponents.

Real Madrid are the most successful side in European Football, but the youthful Chelsea made them look average.

A 1-1 draw in Madrid was fairly flattering to the home team, and Chelsea dominated back at Stamford Bridge, winning 2-0. The all English final was set up.

The Final

As I touched on, both sides deserve to be here. Manchester City have been unstoppable all season, not only winning the League Cup, but running away with the Premier League Title too.

Strong in defence, and a skilful midfield partnership means that City don’t even need an out and out striker to be a world class side.

Chelsea had a shaky start to the season under Frank Lampard, but since the sacking of the club legend, they’ve been a force to be reckoned with.

Thomas Tuchel has taken his side to both a Champions League, and FA Cup final, beating City at Wembley to make the Cup Final.

The strong defensive record since the German took over has been clear for all to see, with the back 3 forming a formidable partnership.

Fellow Germans Kai Havertz and Timo Werner are also improving under Tuchel, and things are looking bright for the West London side.

The final will be an absolute belter between two of the giants of not only English football, but world football.

I think this season, with 3/4 sides in European finals being from England, shows just how strong the Premier League is.

The form is rock solid, and it seems that the English sides really are starting to dominate Europe.

Whether the final does in fact get played in Istanbul, or if it’s moved to Wembley, one thing is guaranteed, this will be a game for the tacticians.

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