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Football - Kings of Europe


The Dark Blues v The Light Blues could refer to the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge along the River Thames through West London, but the trophy concerned this time stays in England's capital city as Chelsea won a second Champions League title, beating Manchester City for the third time this season. Chelsea's first Champions League win was in 2012, defeating Bayern Munich, in addition to losing the 2008 final on penalties to Manchester United.


Kai Havertz's goal after 42 minutes, following a superb pass from Mason Mount, banished some memories for manager Thomas Tuchel, himself a loser of this game a year ago with Paris St Germain. He was also of course, a loser in this season's FA Cup Final, but if you are going to arrive a club mid-season (in January), yet end it with two major final appearances, it helps to win one of them. City are no strangers to cup finals, even though this was their first Champions League showpiece.


Pep Guardiola was brought to Manchester to win this competition, or so it is said, and he has already been at City longer than elsewhere, winning everything there is to win in England - but still he must wait for the big one. He and his club will be back to contest this game again however, as the Spaniard is not one to leave business unfinished, despite not winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich, having done so twice with Barcelona.


His was a dignified stance in defeat to Tuchel's Chelsea but Guardiola's record as a winner is unsurpassed so he will be hurt by this loss. Committed to a fifth season at City (he had four at Barcelona, three at Munich), already plans are being made for the next. Guardiola's task will be made harder however by his opponents in England; a resurgent Liverpool will want more of what they have recently had, as will Manchester United. And Chelsea?


Below: Kai Havertz hits the winner

Thomas Tuchel knows very well that he works for a club that fires its successful managers - the last one to win the Champions League was Roberto Di Matteo in 2012 (he also won the FA Cup that year) yet he didn't last another season, being sacked in November 2012 after just eight months in charge. Avram Grant was in charge in 2008 and he was gone at the end of that season.


Chelsea's demands are such that the