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Buildup to the Finale

·6 mins·

UEFA Champions League Final 2021 #

It’s here, and we have been here before, but its different. There’s fear for the repeat of 2008 but there’s hope for the 2012 miracle. It’s 2021 and we come to ‘Estadio de Dragao’ as underdogs. Dread the fight but just enough to not let your arrogance get to you, believe that you can and will triumph on your quest, and live, live the moment like you’ll never live it again because you might just never live it again.

T- 18 hours #

It’s the 90th minute of the match and Chelsea are a goal down. Everyone’s eyes are on the clock. The rythmic heart-beats getting more intense. Panting, they jostle for every loose ball. Hands in face, praying, begging to anyone who is listening, shouting at the screen like you are there on the pitch.

A golden opportunity for Chelsea comes by…. and ….GOALLL….. its 1-1. But wait…. obscurity, the picture’s getting blurr, and it seems like its Crystal Palace who’ve scored and its against Barcelona…. Did your excitement just switch teams. What’s going on… the game began as a match between Manchester City and Chelsea the Champions League Final… , what’s the scoreline in Chelsea’s game…., oh shoot did I fall asleep during the game. You start gaining consciousness and things slowly start to sink in.

Its Match-Day. You want to take a sigh of relief and reflect on that weird dream. They have been getting weirder each passing day as the final edges closer. Nervousness is an understatement for what football fans feel before a game starting as underdogs, specially when its ‘the’ Final. Your mind is fixated on that one prize. You cannot concentrate on any task. Everything and anything reminds you of the game to come in about 18-hours. Flashbacks and discussions are all you want to do all day until kickoff. You’ve even started becoming superstitious start to feel as if whatever you do or do not do might have an effect on the game to come. You are weak on your knees, a spectator from far away, imagine what the player’s are going through.

T-12 hours #

The players are taking a walk around the city and you are following the action in Porto from your living room every minute as fans gather around the ‘Estadio de Dragao’. Tactics talks and line-up predictions begin but we are all too superstitious to predict the final score, having seen that when we make predictions before a game it ends up in defeat. Pep, the genius, what has he got planned to decimate us or what Tuchel has up his sleeve this time to make three in a row against the genius. Talks go on about Pep having won all the finals he’s played since 2011, and has lost only one in 12 finals. On the other side he’s never beaten Chelsea in the Champions league playing 3 games 2 draws and a loss. History suggesting no first time finalist has won the CL, and so on as facts begin to come to light with the main event edging closer.

T-1 and a half hour #

The lineups drop, half an hour earlier than in any other game. Chelsea’s lineup as expected Mendy in goal, Azpilicueta©, Silva, Rudiger, James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Werner, Havertz. A strong team on paper, players in good form and possibly the best team we could have hoped for. Then comes City’s lineup : Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Foden, B.Silva, Sterling, De-bruyne, Mahrez. You look at their lineup again and realize there’s no DM(Defensive Midfielder). Everyone goes crazy half of them saying Pep’s made a blunder starting the final without a DM and and the other half saying more attacking players, we’re going to get decimated. And discussions begin yet again. Who might score? Who is going to rise to the occasion? Who’s going to fight for that inch? Who’s gonna have the guts to take the last penalty if it goes to penalties?

Kickoff #

A tight tense game kicked off and fans were biting their nails from the very beginning. Manchester City as always cool composed on the ball as Chelsea formed a defensive block which had been nearly impenetrable since Tuchel arrived. Touch tight passing, fans cheering and players giving it their all made for a great cup final. Chelsea dangerous on the break, City patient and probing… Clock ticks to the 42nd minute of the game with the ball at the Mendy’s feet. A long ball to the left is flicked first time by Ben Chilwell to the rushing Mason Mount. Mount turns. Timo Werner draggs the center back away from the center creating a passing lane for Mount to play Havertz in on goal. Ederson rushes.. Kai gets there first.. ball bounces off the keeper and Kai has an empty net infront of him. GOALLL…… The most expensive player in Chelsea Football Club’s history repays the 90 million quid with a kick of the ball. The half-time score

    Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City.  

The players come in for the second half. Another half of stand your ground and fight for Chelsea as for City a show of their character. The Champions of England need to push further to get the European Crown. The game progressed and the belief among the Chelsea fans and players seemed to be ever more rising. Crunching tackles, fearsome, resolute and dogged Chelsea were impenetrable to the free flowing and slick football of Manchester City.

94th minute on the clock and still Chelsea hold the slender lead. It falls to the feet of Riyad Mahrez, just outside the box from a throw-in… and MAHREZZ…. Flashbacks run through the minds of Chelsea fans, that John Terry miss, the moment Chelsea fans covered their eyes in horror to an Andreas Iniesta equalizer in injury time, all rushing through our minds as the ball slowly floated towards the net.
Agonizingly close but the ball doesn’t strike the back of the net this time.

Full-Time #

THEY HAVE DONE IT AGAIN. EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS AFTER 9 YEARS. ECSTASY FOR CHELSEA AT THE EXPENSE OF MANCHESTER CITY’S HEARTBREAK.

The European Dream not to be for Pep Guardiola. Thomas Tuchel, finally gets his hands on the trophy which he missed by a whisker last season. The Chelsea fans rejoice singing, “We’ve got Super Tommy Tuchel and he knows exactly what we need! Thiago in the back Timo in attack, Chelsea gonna win the Champions League.” and I join in the chant from my living room.