PORTO, May 30: As Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta cradled the European Cup before thrusting it into the air to the backdrop of fireworks, Pep Guardiola and his distraught Manchester City players stood way behind the winner's rostrum and looked on in anguish.
Champions League glory once again for Chelsea, nine years after its first title and just 123 days after manager Thomas Tuchel's season-changing arrival at the club. Yet more misery in world soccer's biggest club competition for City and Guardiola, its genius manager whose overthinking proved costly once more. Germany forward Kai Havertz's 42nd-minute goal earned Chelsea a surprisingly comfortable 1-0 win in Porto in the Champions League's third all-English final on Saturday.
That the last match of a club season heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic was settled by a goal from Havertz felt apt, given he suffered badly after contracting the disease midway through his first year at the club having signed for nearly $100 million. He has recovered to play a big role in Chelsea's end to the season, and showed why the club made him the centerpiece of their $300 million spending spree last offseason in the way he ran onto a through-ball by Mason Mount, rounded goalkeeper Ederson Moraes and rolled the ball into an empty net.
"I really don't know what to say," Havertz said. "I waited a long time for this."