Chelsea have been crowned Champions League winners for the first time in almost a decade after winning the 2020-21 final 1-0 against Manchester City in Porto.
Thomas Tuchel's side found success repeatedly and hit Man City on the break in Porto to claim their first Champions League since Didier Drogba's heroics proved pivotal in Munich, against Bayern Munich, back in 2012. The two teams had only ever met in European competition once prior to tonight -- that being the semifinals of the 1970-71 UEFA European Cup Winners' Cup, which saw Chelsea win both legs 1-0.
By the end of the evening, it was the Blues who once again ran out the victors.
Here's how social media reacted to the 66th Champions League final as Chelsea sealed the deal in Portugal.
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Pep Guardiola surprised many people with his unorthodox starting XI.
📍 Estádio do Dragão 🐉🏆— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 29, 2021
🔷 #ManCity | https://t.co/axa0klD5re pic.twitter.com/eZD9R0mAfM
Over in the Chelsea camp, coach Tuchel raised eyebrows by naming two reserve goalkeepers and two left-backs on his bench while leaving Christian Pulisic on the bench and Tammy Abraham -- the club's joint-top goal scorer this season -- out of the picture entirely.
ENTER Chelsea 🦁— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
Who will be their #UCLfinal hero?#UCL pic.twitter.com/hhvegSFGvj
The Blues were delivered a motivational message by a true club legend in Didier Drogba, a man who knows a thing or two about what it takes to win the Champions League.
B.E.L.I.E.V.E. @chelseafc @championsleague pic.twitter.com/iIn2eqdw6A— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) May 29, 2021
Despite attendance at Porto's Estadio do Dragao being limited due to social distancing restrictions, supporters of both clubs made the trip from England to Portugal so they could watch the game however, and wherever, they could.
The Man City fans are bouncing in Porto 🙌— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) May 29, 2021
Inside the stadium, the 16,500 attendees created the type of atmosphere that has been sorely missed inside football grounds the world over this season.
Good to be back 🥰#UCL #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/PSPLrkMaf6— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
The story of the game
10th minute: The first clear chances of the game all fell to the feet of Timo Werner, but unfortunately those feet were caught fairly leaden as the German forward came up short not once, not twice, but thrice in quick succession.
The first opening came with just 10 minutes on the clock, but Werner could muster only an air-kick after Kai Havertz did well to cut the ball back to his compatriot inside the City area.
Timo Werner with TWO MAJOR opportunities to give Chelsea the lead, but is unable to convert ❌— International Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) May 29, 2021
Will this come back to haunt Werner and Chelsea? pic.twitter.com/tPhOkndwLH
14th minute: Chelsea fans were then forced to watch on as Werner spurned two more chances back-to-back, sending a tame shot straight at Ederson before rippling the side netting less than a minute later.
Werner denied by Ederson as Chelsea take the game to City 🌪️— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
Who are you backing for first goalscorer?#UCL #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/g2GD8vKnT2
Werner is the sort of player who needs 526 chances to score a goal but gets about 245 chances a game so it's actually probably just about workable— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) May 29, 2021
28th minute: Man City carved out their first opening as Kevin De Bruyne cut a square pass into the path of Phil Foden, only for the young midfielder (who turned 21 the day before the final) to have his effort snubbed out at source by a brilliant Antonio Rudiger block.
WORLD CLASS DEFENDING FROM RUDIGER 👏 pic.twitter.com/qiaRXAAl9p— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 29, 2021
39th minute: Thiago Silva's night came to a premature end just before half-time after the Chelsea centre-back's groin went ping, forcing the 36-year-old off the field.
38' Thiago Silva's #UCLfinal is over ☹️— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
Christensen is on for Chelsea. pic.twitter.com/TAAlgdbCNL
42nd minute: GOAL! CHELSEA LEAD! The opening goal came just before the break after Kai Havertz chose the most opportune moment to open his Champions League scoring account.
Ice cool.#UCLFinal pic.twitter.com/tXsWPyjETu— Champions of Europe 🏆 (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2021
1 - Kai Havertz is the first player to score his first UEFA Champions League goal in a final since İlkay Gündoğan in 2013. Timely. #UCLFinal pic.twitter.com/9uxr9QKEek— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 29, 2021
how it started how it's going pic.twitter.com/Tf0TkaldYN— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) May 29, 2021
The lightning-quick move was launched by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from inside his own box, and just six touches later (including a beautiful defence-splitting pass from Mason Mount), Havertz rolled the ball into an empty net having skipped past Ederson to leave himself in the clear.
What a ball!! @masonmount_10 that's what I'm talking about!— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) May 29, 2021
The last 6 teams to score first in a #UCLfinal have gone on to win...— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
Will City break the trend? 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/GKyU4bLcYT
Half-time: Manchester City 0, Chelsea 1
55th minute: Ten minutes after the restart, Kevin De Bruyne saw his night end early after a heavy collision with Antonio Rudiger left the German facing a caution and the Belgian nursing a particularly nasty black eye.
Helping Rüdiger up and showing him a yellow card in one movement. Impressive refereeing from Antonio Mateu Lahoz #UCLFinal pic.twitter.com/QbcJl2WbKw— James Nalton (@JDNalton) May 29, 2021
58th minute: This injury led to City finally bringing on a striker, though it wasn't Sergio Aguero who emerged from the bench to make his final stand for the club. Instead, it was Gabriel Jesus who came on to replace the groggy De Bruyne.
Kevin De Bruyne was in tears as he came off 💔 pic.twitter.com/3BGX0k85Hc— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 29, 2021
64th minute: Fernandinho then came on to make his 350th appearance for City, with Bernardo Silva making way.
This is the first time both teams have substituted a Silva in a Champions League final.— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) May 29, 2021
66th minute: Timo Werner was the next player to see his number come up over on the touchline as Christian Pulisic came on for Chelsea, becoming the first U.S. player to appear in a Champions League final in the process.
𝐂𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐏𝐮𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐜 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐄 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲. 🇺🇸#UCLFinal pic.twitter.com/KZuOnXDcH3— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) May 29, 2021
73rd minute: Pulisic then almost became the first U.S. player to score in a Champions League final too, but the forward was unable to put the finishing touch to Havertz's excellent buildup play.
77th minute: Having managed just one attempt on target, City were in desperate need of something and thus turned to their all-time top goal scorer. Aguero, in his last appearance for the club, was summoned from the bench to replace Raheem Sterling.
Agüero on for City! Just over 10 mins remaining...#UCL #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/KJtOtzRlLh— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
However, while City fans dreamed of a repeat of Aguero's title-clinching goal vs. QPR circa 2012, there was no fairy-tale ending for Aguero this time as the Argentinian striker barely had a sniff of the ball in the closing stages.
7⃣ minutes added time. Will Chelsea hold on?#UCL #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/jbv3sTBYUr— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
It wasn't meant to be for Sergio Aguero and Man City 💔 pic.twitter.com/4MBIbr4il2— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 29, 2021
This was despite a massive seven-minute wedge of injury time being added on by the referee.
97th minute: Instead, it was Riyad Mahrez who came closest to poaching a dramatic stoppage-time winner for City, only for his 97th-minute Hail Mary effort to sail agonisingly over the crossbar.
Full-time: Manchester City 0, Chelsea 1
And so, Chelsea were left to lift the trophy as the ticker tape rained down at the Estadio do Dragao.
Proper Chels. 🏆#ChelseaChampions #UCLFinal pic.twitter.com/MskElI7lNr— Champions of Europe 🏆 (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2021
Amid the pandemonium, some noticed eerily familiar parallels between the Blues' twin triumphs of 2012 and 2021 despite the nine-year gap between them.
Seeing double 👀#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/15cDAXV0pE— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
Plenty of former Chelsea stars offered their congratulations, including a couple from the Champions League-winning class of 2012.
We believed ⭐️ ⭐️ @ChelseaFC @ChampionsLeague 💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙 pic.twitter.com/2l5EFJFL10— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) May 29, 2021
Congratulations to @ChelseaFC !!! What a team!!! Very happy for everyone at the club and specially for all the supporters. Very well deserved!!! https://t.co/PQ7beku8pf— Fernando Torres (@Torres) May 29, 2021
#historyrepeatsitself @ChelseaFC pic.twitter.com/bX14dL03sD— Ramires (@Rami7oficial) May 29, 2021
There was plenty of postmatch praise for N'Golo Kante, too, who has now added "Champions League winner" to an already stellar list of career accomplishments.
Champions of Europe. As you were. NG x pic.twitter.com/bbE3kJ1Aah— Champions of Europe 🏆 (@ChelseaFC) May 29, 2021
N'Golo Kanté. Magnifique! 🌟#UCLPOTM | #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/r4p3Y6LvYF— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 29, 2021
Careful, he's a hero 💙 pic.twitter.com/wivIqY0N56— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 29, 2021
The French midfielder has won almost every single major league, continental and international honour available to him during his senior career -- with just the European Championships left to conquer.
2014. Debut in Ligue1 with Caen.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 29, 2021
2015. Joins Leicester for €9m.
2016. Premier League winner with Leicester.
2017. Premier League winner with Chelsea.
2018. World Cup winner with France.
2019. Europa League winner with Chelsea.
2021. UCL winner with Chelsea.
N'GOLO KANTÉ. pic.twitter.com/OUkEgsynkD
In a display of patriotism and pride, Pulisic celebrated Chelsea's victory while wearing his USMNT gear.
Christian Pulisic is celebrating in the USMNT gear ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ki6bRJAsEK— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 29, 2021
Meanwhile, a thought was spared for Sergio Aguero, who called time on his incredibly illustrious City career in rather emotional circumstances.
In the end it was not meant to be for Sergio Aguero.— The 4th Official (@Official_T4O) May 29, 2021
On a personal level, you have to feel for him.
The omens were not good for Guardiola and his first-time finalists, as the past seven clubs to make their Champions League final debut were beaten: Valencia in 2000, Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, Monaco in 2004, Arsenal in 2006, Chelsea in 2008, Tottenham in 2019 and Tuchel's Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.