Favorite, Manchester City can win their first C1. But Chelsea promised a fierce duel on Saturday (9 pm) in Porto, as did their avenger coach Thomas Tuchel.
In the dragon stage, it will float like air and return to normal, after one season, again disrupted by the epidemic.
In camera? forget that. After months of empty stands, 16,500 fans will be distributed to the stands, including about 10,000 from the UK, who will guarantee the atmosphere. The Premier League project? Deflation: Two finalists who supported this controversial initiative to compete in C1 private competition have repented before they were subjected to financial sanctions by UEFA.
In Portugal, under the “blue skies” (city) or “blue” (Chelsea), it is about putting football above the controversies that divided the continent.
Manchester City set a date with history. The beloved “citizens” of the Gallagher brothers, leaders of the legendary Oasis group, intend to become the 23rd club to raise the “Big Eared Cup”.
For Catalan coach Pep Guardiola, this is the reward of a five-year tournament which, despite ten national titles, looks unfinished without C1. The prestigious technician, who was twice crowned on the bench in Barcelona in 2009 and 2011, has faced many disappointments in recent years, against Monaco (8th, 2017), Tottenham (Quarter-finals, 2019) or Lyon (Quarter, 2020), before Return to the final. .
Among the “new rich”
Several important things have changed since those defeats. We are more stable, giving in to fewer opportunities, ”said midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. Last summer, the recruitment of Portuguese Robin Dias into the center of defense strengthened the team whose strong heart had matured around Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez or Ederson. Fodin, 20, also made us forget that Sergio Aguero, City’s top scorer in history, will leave after the final.
The Manconian team, which left no chance for the PSG stars in the previous round (2-1, 2-0), has been spending a good time since December, and already has the Premier League and Coupe de la Liga this season.
A hat-trick, with C1, would allow them to become the second English club to succeed internationally, alongside their rival Manchester United (1999). City’s wealthy Emirati owners are touching their dream of lifting 7.5 kilograms of the metal they have been aspiring to since their arrival in 2008.
Their Chelsea counterpart, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, actually won the competition in 2012. Then the “Blues” team, acquired in 2003, became the first “new rich” to win. Nine years later, there is still hope in West London, as fans enjoy discovering the commonalities between Ngolo Kante’s generation and Didier Drogba’s generation.
As in 2012, before the match against Bayern Munich in Munich, the Londoners were not the finalists. We may be vulnerable. “But she played a game,” said Matteo Kovacic, the Croatian midfielder from Chelsea.
Another similarity with 2011-2012, there was a change of coaches during the year, succeeding Tuchel Frank Lampard in January. Under the leadership of the German technician, who reached the final with Paris Saint-Germain last August against Bayern (1-0), Chelsea shine by relying on a steel defense that allowed them to knock out Real (1-1, 2-0) in the semi-finals.
Despite signs of running out of power, with three defeats in their last four matches, including the FA Cup final against Leicester (1-0), Thiago Silva’s teammates are enjoying beating City twice. In the final weeks: April 17th in the FA Cup (1-0), then May 8th in the tournament (2-1).
Congratulations to them. There is another competition … ”Laconne’s reaction, Guardiola.
“The city is the standard. They might be the best team in the world now. I don’t know if this is an advantage, but it allows us to arrive with confidence,” answered Tuchel, determined to burn literature with Guardiola to invite himself to European football heaven.