Champions League final: Manchester City v Chelsea

Chelsea are managed by Thomas Tuchel (left) while Pep Guardiola is Manchester City's manager
The 2021 Champions League final is the second in three seasons between all-English clubs
Champions League final: Manchester City v Chelsea
Date: Saturday, 29 May. Kick-off: 20:00 BST. Venue: Estadio do Dragao, Porto. Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live with build-up from 18:00; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

It’s an all-English Champions League final – but will it be Manchester City or Chelsea who will be crowned champions of Europe on Saturday?

Premier League champions City are looking to win the prestigious competition for the first time.

Chelsea, European champions in 2012, have beaten Pep Guardiola’s side twice in the league and FA Cup in 2020-21.

Up to 16,500 people will be allowed inside Porto’s Estadio do Dragao ground to watch.

Both sides have fully fit squads to choose from, although City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan looked like he took a minor knock in Friday’s training session after a collision with Fernandinho.

‘Win you’re a hero – lose you’re almost a failure’

Champions League final will be good advert for football – Pep Guardiola

“I know exactly the way we want to play, with who we’re going to play and I’m not going to bother them much,” Guardiola said.

“It’s an incredible experience to be here. I know exactly what I’m going to tell them. The guys who are anxious and nervous, I will tell them that’s normal.

“I’m pretty sure we have to suffer to win the final. It’s nice to say enjoy it but sometimes it’s not possible. You have to be resilient and adjust.”

City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne said: “If you win, you’re a hero. If you lose, you’re almost a failure. Coming to this stage is incredibly well done by the team but if you don’t win it’s something you don’t want to experience.

“It’s been one of the goals of the club and the players. Being able to be there tomorrow [Saturday] and to perform on the highest stage in the world is something of a privilege.”

City’s Spanish boss Guardiola is looking to win the Champions League for a third time after steering Barcelona to triumphs in 2009 and 2011.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is seeking his first Champions League success. Last season, the German took Paris St-Germain to the final, losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

“I have full trust that everybody wants it,” said Tuchel. “It is about hunger and always on the highest level in sport it comes down to how bad do you want it? I have felt us very concentrated, focused and disciplined in the build-up this week.

“It’s always tough to play against City, Bayern or Barcelona when Pep is on the sidelines. He creates huge belief and success and has a huge winning mentality.

“Maybe in the moment they are the strongest team in Europe, in the world, and they have built a huge gap between us in the league but we closed the gap for 90 minutes in Wembley and closed the gap again in Manchester.”

The final will be decided on the day, with 30 minutes of extra time and then penalties if required.

Each side will be allowed five substitutions, with a sixth permitted for each side if the final goes to extra time.

Tuchel said: “The penalty shootout [in the Europa League final] was fantastic in terms of quality from the takers. I don’t think I have ever seen something like this – 20 penalties in a row with no miss and so well taken.

“We have identified the guys who should take the penalties for us but I don’t know who is in the end on the pitch so we need to be well aware but if we go to penalties we go in together and out together.”

The video assistant referee (VAR) system will be used, while City have been designated the ‘home’ team, which means they will play in their traditional sky blue and white colours.

This year’s final will air in over 200 countries around the world, with the opening ceremony taking place about 10 minutes before the biggest game in European club football kicks off.

Where is it taking place?

The final was due to be staged at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Turkey but was switched earlier this month to the Portuguese city of Porto because of coronavirus restrictions.

Portugal is on England’s green list for travel, so players and fans can attend without having to quarantine on their return home. Turkey is on the red list.

It is the second successive year the final has been held in Portugal, with Lisbon the location for the delayed final stages of last season’s competition.

The Champions League final has been moved to Porto to accommodate fans

The Estadio do Dragao hosted the 2019 Nations League final and was built for Euro 2004.

City have played at the venue in this season’s Champions League, with Pep Guardiola’s side held to a goalless draw by Porto in the group stage in December.

Chelsea also played Porto on their way to the final but both legs of their quarter-final in April were played in Spain at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium because of coronavirus travel restrictions between Portugal and the UK at that time – the country was moved to the green list on 17 May.

Manchester City’s route to the final
Home – group stage Porto 3-1 win
Away – group stage Marseille 3-0 win
Home – group stage Olympiakos 3-0 win
Away – group stage Olympiakos 1-0 win
Away – group stage Porto 0-0 draw
Home – group stage Marseille 3-0 win
Away – last-16, first leg Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 win
Home – last-16, second leg Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 win
Home – quarter-final, first leg Borussia Dortmund 2-1 win
Away – quarter-final, second leg Borussia Dortmund 2-1 win
Away – semi-final, first leg Paris St-Germain 2-1 win
Home – semi-final, second leg Paris St-Germain 2-0 win

How many fans will be at final?

The 2020 final between Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain was played behind closed doors in Lisbon.

However, there will be up to 16,500 supporters present for this year’s edition – about one-third of Estadio do Dragao’s capacity – with Manchester City and Chelsea each receiving an allocation of approximately 6,000 tickets.

Chelsea have returned more than 800 unsold tickets.

There was a high demand for 2,800 tickets which were sold with independent travel. However, the unsold tickets were part of a charter package, which included subsidised flights at £200.

Meanwhile, a further 1,700 tickets made available by Uefa for the general public sold out on Tuesday.

Chelsea beat record 13-time European champions Real Madrid on their way to the final

How to follow on the BBC

BBC Radio 5 Live will have full commentary of the final from 20:00 BST with commentator John Murray and former Chelsea and Blackburn striker Chris Sutton at the ground.

Fans will be able to give their reaction after the final on 606 from 22:30.

Earlier in the day on 5 Live, Mark Chapman will look ahead to the final from 12:00. There will be live build-up from Portugal throughout the afternoon. Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin and ex-Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha are among the guests.

Meanwhile, former Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas will preview the match on The Friday Football Social at 19:00 on Friday on 5 Live.

The BBC Sport website will have build-up, live text commentary and reaction.

Manchester City overcame Paris St-Germain over two legs in the semi-final and have scored 25 goals in 12 matches on their way to the final

Previous all-English finals

This is the third all-English final – and second in three seasons – in the Champions League.

In 2008, Chelsea lost 6-5 on penalties to Manchester United in Moscow after the match had finished 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Eleven years later, Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid in the last final to be played in front of a capacity crowd.

If City beat Chelsea, they will become the sixth different English club to be crowned champions of Europe after Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Aston Villa.

City are the ninth different English club to reach the final after Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Leeds United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

The last English team to win their first final was Aston Villa in 1982 against Bayern Munich.

Chelsea’s route to the final
Home – group stage Sevilla 0-0 draw
Away – group stage Krasnodar 4-0 win
Home – group stage Rennes 3-0 win
Away – group stage Rennes 2-1 win
Away – group stage Sevilla 4-0 win
Home – group stage Krasnodar 1-1 draw
Away – last-16, first leg Atletico Madrid 1-0 win
Home – last-16, second leg Atletico Madrid 2-0 win
Away – quarter-final, first leg Porto 2-0 win
Home – quarter-final, second leg Porto 0-1 defeat
Away – semi-final, first leg Real Madrid 1-1 draw
Home – semi-final, second leg Real Madrid 2-0 win

Will Aguero play?

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, who has 260 goals in 389 games for the club, will leave when his contract expires this summer.

Aguero marked his last appearance at City’s Etihad Stadium with two goals as the new Premier League champions ended their domestic campaign with a thumping win over Everton last Sunday.

Should he play in the final, it will be the Argentine’s farewell appearance for the club after 10 years.

Aguero has scored 13 goals against Chelsea for City, although he has not scored in any of his past four appearances against them since a hat-trick in February 2019.

He is close to joining Barcelona next season, according to City boss Guardiola.

Both managers have fully fit squads to choose from.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy have recovered from injuries and are available for selection, while City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is also back after suffering a knock against Brighton on 18 May.

Aguero ‘close’ to Barcelona deal – Manchester City boss Guardiola

City’s first major European final for 51 years – best stats

  • It is 51 years since Manchester City last played in a major European final – beating Gornik Zabrze 2-1 in the 1970 Cup Winners’ Cup final.
  • In European competition, Chelsea and Manchester City’s only previous meeting came in the 1970-71 Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final – Chelsea won both legs 1-0 to progress to the final, where they beat Real Madrid after a replay.
  • If he starts, City’s Phil Foden, who turned 21 on Friday, will become the third-youngest Englishman to start in a Champions League final, after Owen Hargreaves in 2001 for Bayern Munich (20 years 123 days) and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold in both 2018 (19 years 231 days) and 2019 (20 years 237 days).
  • Since featuring in a 2-1 defeat by Lyon in September 2018, City’s Bernardo Silva is unbeaten in his past 26 Champions League matches (W23 D3) – the longest unbeaten run in the history of the competition.
  • Chelsea defender Thiago Silva featured in last season’s Champions League final for Paris St-Germain and could become the fifth player to play in the final in consecutive seasons with different teams, after Marcel Desailly (1993 Marseille, 1994 Milan), Paulo Sousa (1996 Juventus, 1997 Borussia Dortmund), Samuel Eto’o (2009 Barcelona, 2010 Inter Milan) and Alvaro Morata (2014 Real Madrid, 2015 Juventus).

Source BBC