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Manchester City vs Chelsea at Estádio do Dragão

Estádio do Dragão Referee : Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
29th May 2021 8:00 PM (BST)
  • 0 Manchester City

  • 1 Chelsea

    • ‘42' Kai Havertz


Commentary By Neil Leigh & John Edwards


Thanks and goodnight 💙

That's all for me from tonight and for this season.

Definitely not the end we were all hoping for.

But once the pain and disappointment of tonight has eased we should all reflect with huge pride on our achievements this season.

Regaining the Premier League, retaining the Carabao Cup, creating a host of new domestic and European records and a first-ever Champions League final appearance are formidable feats in anyone's book.

Especially in a season marked by the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks for your company tonight and throughout this extraordinary season.

Stay safe and we'll see you all again in August for a new season when we go again.


'Now it's time for a break'

Final thoughts from Pep:

"This season with 62 games played 61 and arrived in the final of UCL, for us was really good, we won the Premier League again and competed well.

"Now I want to go home with my family, take a break for one or two weeks then start on what will be best for the club next season. This is what we will try to do."


Pep - 'The guys did everything'

More from the boss:

"We played a good final. We showed courage, especially in the second half. It’s not easy, it’s our first time but they did everything, we just want to congratulate the players for an exceptional season and the game today."


More from the boss...👇🏻

Pep - 'the season was exceptional'

"It was a season with 62 games and we played 61. It was tough for us all in the pandemic world. If today we analyse the game we are sad, congratulations Chelsea, we will learn from this .

"But the season was exceptional, I have incredible respect for the players, they gave everything, we couldn't win but we will come back in the future stronger."


More from the boss...👇🏻

Pep - 'We will come back again'

"We struggled with long balls and second balls. In that moment you need the inspiration and quality, there were three or four moments that were close but didn't arrive.

"It was an exceptional season for us, it was a dream being here, just unfortunate we couldn’t win. We tried, we couldn’t do it and we will come back again."


Pep's reaction...👇

Pep Guardiola's post-match reaction:

"I did the best in the selection.  Like it was v Paris Saint-Germain, and Dortmund, I tried the selection best to win the game. The players know it, Gundo played exceptional.

"We missed a bit to break the lines. It was a tough game, we had some chances but with Chelsea's defensive structure, it’s not easy."  


'We wouldn't be here without Sergio'

Joleon Lescott

"This club would not have been here without Sergio Aguero. He played in their first game in the Champions League and played in their first final."


It's tough to watch as the City squad receive their runners-up medals.

But they will be back with renewed determination when we regroup for the 2021/22 season.



It's tough right now but still so much to be proud of this season.

Regaining the Premier League, retaining the Carabao Cup and finalists in the Champions League final for the first time.

It's still a remarkable season by anyone's definition


Tough opponents

As tough as it is you also have to credit Chelsea.

They proved formidable opponents once again and made the most of their opportunity.

Seeing Kevin De Bruyne having to go off with that awful head injury just seemed to encapsulate our evening.

Sport gives you the full gamut of emotions. It provides you with the highest of highs - but also the lowest of lows.

And tonight is the toughest of all to take.



Many thanks John.

Devastated doesn't really come close.

It's not quite the scenario I wanted to envisage - I kept thinking the moment would come and thought it was there with Riyad's late shot.

But sadly it wasn't to be.


Live reaction

It wasn't to be and it's heart breaking, but congratulations to Chelsea.

Our We're Not Really Here panel will be dealing with all the post-match analysis and I'm handing over to Neil Leigh, who will bring you all the reaction as it arrives. 



That was the moment! 

The ball drops to Mahrez on the edge of the area, it bounces at an awkward height for him, but he gets a volley off and it sails just over the bar with Mendy caught flat footed.

Time is ticking away here.



Chelsea have everyone back as City start to pump the ball forward, but their defence holds firm and as they try to break Fernandinho concedes a foul on Kante. 

It buys Chelsea precious seconds but it's SO FRUSTRATING for our boys.



Oh my days! It's chaotic in the Chelsea box as Christensen makes a crucial block to deny Foden.

It all started with Ruben Dias' low ball across the face of goal which isn't dealt with by Chilwell and it allows Mahrez to cut the ball back for Foden.

It's just not falling for us in those key moments!



Walker has just fizzed a glorious ball from right-back to the far post, where there's several City players, including Aguero, waiting.

It's the sort of ball that only needed the slightest touch to divert it towards goal, but no one can get on the end of it.

Sergio Aguero claps in appreciation. Hopefully there's another opportunity to come!



Seven minutes to produce something in Portugal.

The ball is lofted over to Aguero who has peeled away at the far post. The angle isn't right for the shot so the Argentine attempts to clip the ball back across the six-yard box for Mahrez, but it's too close to Mendy.

We're at that stage of the game were every missed opportunity feels so agonising. 



Chilwell wins what looked like a fairly soft free-kick in a good position on the left. 

The full-back takes responsibility for it, with everyone back for City, and Stones gets up to head it clear to the edge of the area, where Jorginho is waiting only to drag his shot wide.


Rob Pollard in Porto:

"Pulisic should score and, if he had, you’d have feared for City then. It would have been a massive uphill battle from there. 

"We’ve had Chelsea pinned back for much of the last 15 minutes but they can soak up the pressure and hit us on the counter. We desperately need a goal so have to attack, but they are adept at getting men behind the ball, winning it and breaking quickly. 

"It’s a real conundrum. 

"Aguero on and hopefully he can produce something on the big stage. He’s done it before…"


Big moment!

Here it is!

Raheem Sterling is off and on comes SERGIO AGUERO for his final appearance in a sky blue shirt.

Do you believe in fairy-tales?



Right, the second half has come to life now.

Sterling gets away from James' attentions as he cuts inside off the left flank, but his pull back from the dead ball can't be turned home by Jesus at the near post and Chilwell clears.



From an agonising missed opportunity to a huge sigh of relief!

Kante wins the ball from Gundogan to set up a Chelsea break, with Havertz twisting and turning his way to the edge of the area before slipping it to Pulisic on his right.

Ederson comes racing off his line but the American manages to chip his effort over the keeper and, thankfully, it bounces wide of the far post.

A real let off!




A golden opportunity goes begging for City after a Azpilicueta makes a crucial interception.

Foden feeds Mahrez in down the right and the Algerian delivers a teasing low ball across the face of goal for Jesus, but the Chelsea captain slides in to thwart the danger.

It's a typical City move with only the finish missing.


Off target

James goes in the book for a foul on Jesus, with Zinchenko curling the free-kick in from deep on the left, but no City player can meet it and Chelsea clear relatively comfortably. 


Second change

It's a change in midfield with Fernandinho coming on for Bernardo.

The Brazilian will drop in at the base of midfield, sending Gundogan further forward. 


Rob Pollard in Porto:

"De Bruyne absolutely inconsolable leaving the field. Stopped before going down the tunnel and was circled by backroom staff to see if he was ok. 

"That was awful to see. A player of his calibre, with what he’s produced this season, doesn’t deserve to leave this final like that. 

"Our best player has gone off – we need inspiration from elsewhere now. "


No penalty!

The resulting free-kick from Rudiger's foul drops to Sterling who fires a half volley into the body of James.

The City fans and players appeal for a penalty but the referee waves them away and VAR agrees with him.


City sub

Kevin De Bruyne can't continue so Gabriel Jesus comes on to replace him.

The Belgian is clearly disappointed and who can blame him. No player wants a night like this to end like that.


Changes coming

Rob Pollard in Porto: 

Pep becoming increasingly animated in his technical area, trying to get more from his players. He seems frustrated and wants to see us move the ball quicker. 

Gabriel Jesus appears to be getting ready to come on with De Bruyne down after a clash with Rudiger – changes afoot. 



De Bruyne and Rudiger are both down and require some attention from the medical staff after the Chelsea centre-half body checks the Belgian.

He goes in the referee's notebook and whilst he's OK, De Bruyne is yet to get to his feet.

A worrying few moments, this.


Standing tall

Chilwell curls a left-wing free-kick into the City area after Havertz draws a foul, but Dias rises highest to head it clear.

It's been a comparatively low key start to the second 45 minutes. 


Inch perfect

De Bruyne goes on a surging run at the heart of the Chelsea defence, but is stopped in his tracks by a superbly timed slide tackle from Kante. 

Dias then responds with one of his own to turn the ball back to Ederson before Werner can latch onto it.



City enjoy a decent spell of possession in midfield before working it wide to Walker on the right.

He fires a good ball into area but none of his team-mates get near it and Mendy gathers it comfortably. 

Solid start to this second half. We're controlling the ball so far.


More quality needed

An early opportunity to get the ball in the Chelsea box as James brings Sterling down on the left. 

Foden takes responsibility but his curling effort can't beat the first man and it goes behind for a goal kick.


Second half

Right then, work to do in Portugal, but this team have got a superb mentality. 

No changes just yet as we get back under way.

It's a huge, huge, huge 45 minutes ahead.


Shaun Goater: Sterling the key

"Get the ball to Sterling in the 1 on 1 situations. He’s beaten James once or twice. Since then, James has been able to press forward and show his attacking game. We need to get the ball to Sterling and isolate him. You have got winners in the dressing room." 


Kevin Horlock: Chances will come!

"I think City were better with the ball but Chelsea look dangerous on the break and have definitely had the better chances. 

"I think City will come out all guns blazing for the second half. The big players for us going forward haven’t had the ball enough. But, lets stay positive. We’ve threatened but no end product yet - It will come!


Nedum Onuoha: I expect a reaction

"Overall we can play a lot better. For City it’s just a disappointment that some players haven’t played to the best potential. I expect a big reaction in the second half. Overall, Chelsea are trying to protect the centre of the pitch. It requires City to not waste possession there." 


Rob Pollard in Porto:

"Who said Champions League finals are cagey? This one has been wide open from minute one. 

"City have a tough task but this game is far from out of reach. 

"Chelsea have been the better side, there’s little doubt about that. We look too easy to counter, which will surely be discussed in the dressing room at half-time. 

"But we know the quality of this team – and, crucially, we know the mental fortitude we possess. We’ve been in this situation in the Champions League a couple of times this season and we’ve found a way back into the match. 

"The biggest 45 minutes imaginable coming up and we need to step up a gear. We are capable of so much more than we’ve shown here." 


Half-time: Chelsea 1-0 City

A breathless first half draws to a close and it's Chelsea who go in the happier thanks to Kai Havertz.

Thomas Tuchel's men have been the better side and certainly had the better of the chances but you cannot bet against this City side.

Pep Guardiola has an important 15 minutes ahead of him.



It's another opportunity for Werner as he takes a cross on his chest and attempts an ambitious volley from a tight angle, but the forward doesn't connect cleanly with his effort.


Goal, Havertz. City 0-1 Chelsea

It looked like City were just starting to edge preceedings, but it's Chelsea who take the lead as Havertz rounds Ederson and rolls the ball into the empty net.

Mount picked the German out with a defence-splitting ball through the middle and he held his composure to beat Ederson on the 18-yard box.

Work to do.


Chelsea sub

He gave it a go but Thiago Silva can't continue and he looks distraught as he limps off.

Andreas Christensen comes on to replace him.


Great tackle!

Fantastic from Zinchenko, who makes a well timed tackle to thwart Havertz as he tries to cut in on his left foot inside the area. 

It all started when Kante nipped in to steal the ball from De Bruyne on half way and Chelsea broke at lightening speed.

It's another warning for City, but superb defending.



There's an injury concern for Thiago Silva, who looks in some discomfort with his groin.

Both teams take advantage of the break to take on some water and who can blame them after intensity of the first half hour.

It's certainly lived up to its billing so far.



Rob Pollard in Porto:

City growing into this. Rudiger’s last-ditch tackle was quickly followed by Walker’s cross inches away from Mahrez’s foot. 

Chelsea have been the better side and have found more space in the final third – but the last few minutes have been better from us. 

The pace of this game is relentless. Can the two teams keep this up? 



Sterling has just curled an effort against Azpilicueta and appealed (although not too strenuously) for a handball.

The Spaniard was moving his arms behind his back as he made the block and the referee is unmoved by the protests.

Looked the correct decision.



Superb from Walker who refuses to give up on an overhit ball and beats Chilwell to the ball.

He cuts it back to Mahrez who is inches away from making a connection and it rolls agonisingly away.



Oh, that might have been the dream moment for Foden!

He collects De Bruyne's square pass inside the area, takes a touch out of his feet and tries to steer an effort into the far corner, but Rudiger comes sliding in to make a brilliant last ditch tackle. 

We're growing into this game...



It's been Chelsea's game so far, but Sterling's driving run from deep is a reminder of the threat we carry.

He slides the ball to De Bruyne who's peeled away on the left, but the Belgian is flagged offside after his low cross was cut out. 


Rob Pollard in Porto:

"This game is end to end and, so far, you’d have to say Chelsea have had the best chances. 

"It’s wide open – no caginess whatsoever – and we are going to have to be very aware of Chelsea’s counter-attacks. 

"Some terrific football being played and the pace of the game has taken me aback."



It's another opportunity for Chelsea as Chilwell stands the ball up to the far post, where Kante (yes you read that right) comes running in to meet it with his head.

The diminutive midfielder got up between Dias and Sterling but couldn't steer his effort towards goal. 

A few nervy moments so far...😬


Tactical chat

Rob Pollard in Porto:

"Chances for both sides already – it looks like it’ll be an open game. 

"Gundogan playing as our deepest midfielder, with Bernardo ahead of him and Zinchenko tucking inside to add an extra body in central areas. 

"Foden looks to have freedom to roam and what a player he is. Works so hard to reclaim the ball and when he gets it, try getting it off him. His close control is outrageous. 

"Sterling, Mahrez and De Bruyne the furthest forward.  It’s a very attacking lineup. 

"And I know it’s been said a lot in the last fortnight, but what a difference fans make."



Werner has made a bright start here and after fluffing his lines earlier he'll be ruing another missed opportunity after firing straight at Ederson following a flowing move with Mount.

Moments later the German striker darts past Stones and drills into the side netting. 

It's been a lively start and it's Chelsea who are edging it at the moment.


End to end!

Slow start? No chance!

It's Chelsea's turn as Havertz plays a low ball into Werner, who found himself in plenty of space 10-yards from goal, but he completely miskicks a golden opportunity and it allows City to break.

Sterling led the charge and tried to pick Mahrez out at the far post, but Chilwell came slid in to make a crucial intervention.

It's living up to expectations, this one!



The first real scare for either side as Ederson does better than any other goalkeeper and pings a 70-yard ball for Sterling to latch onto.

His touch takes him into a promising position, but James makes crucial contact with the ball and it forces Sterling wide and to attempt an improvised backheel. 


Formation watch

It's been typically fluid from City in these opening five minutes but it looks like Foden is playing in the central attacking role, with Sterling on the left and Mahrez on the right.

Expect that to change throughout the night...


Chelsea attack

Promising stuff from Chelsea now as Havertz darts through the City defence to get to the byline.

He tries to cut it back across goal but Dias' block deflects his pass into the grateful arms of Ederson.


Front foot

An attacking line-up goes on the attack instantly. Mahrez taps the kick-off to De Bruyne, who pings it forward down the left flank and though Chelsea regain the ball, Rudiger and Chilwell are harried out of possession.

Our opponents eventually clear, but that's a real statement intent from City.


This is it

The teams are out. The UEFA anthem rings out and we are moments away from the biggest game in club football.

What a journey it's been, Blues. And what a team we have.

Let's hope it's our night.


Team news reminder

CITY: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden, Sterling.

SUBS: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Jesus, Aguero, Laporte, Rodrigo, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Garcia.

CHELSEA Mendy, James, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Werner.

SUBS: Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Christensen, Pulisic, Caballero, Zouma, Kovacic, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Gilmour, Emerson Palmieri.


Fairy-tale ending?

Have you dared to dream about a Sergio Aguero winner? It would be the storybook ending for our No.10. 

Here's Club Journalist, David Clayton's, thoughts on the the fairy-tale scenario:

"The Club’s record goal-scorer signed off at the Etihad in the same way he started against Swansea in 2011 – coming off the bench with half-an-hour or so remaining and scoring two goals.

"Will he get an opportunity against Chelsea? His record of 13 goals against the Pensioners suggests our opponents will hope he doesn’t come off the bench!

"Should Sergio get the nod, he will be determined to erase that memory, score at least one more goal for his beloved City and leave the Club with a Champions League winner’s medal – something he has craved for the past 10 years.

"Here’s hoping."


Praise for Bernardo

The Portuguese midfielder is getting a lot of love from our We're Not Really Here panel

Shaun Goater: He’s one of them that sets off the press. He’s an important player because he keeps the ball and it’s hard to get it off him. It seems to be that we want to control and dictate the game.

Gareth Taylor: It speaks volumes that Pep has selected him tonight. He’s a top player and I’m so excited for the early stages between the two sides tonight.  


Rob Pollard in Porto:

"We’re half an hour away from seeing City play in a Champions League final. 

"That was a satisfying sentence to write. 

"The players are out warming up and, as you would expect, there’s a real spring in their step. 

"The fans are arriving in droves, too. What an occasion for the fans, who, at most, have attended two matches in the last 14 months before this one. 

"They’re already making a huge noise to my right."


Onuoha: Foden one of the best in the world

It's a big night for the entire squad, but you sense Phil Foden can appreciate that as both a player and a fan.

He is one of our own after all and it's hard to believe he only turned 21 yesterday. What a birthday present a winners' medal would be.

Fellow Academy graduate Nedum Onuoha says watching him play is a privilege:

"For me, I always knew he was a good player. To see him play is truly special. He was one of the best players in that amazing run. 

"He is the Stockport Iniesta. He fits in so well alongside some of the best players in the world. He himself is one of the best players in the world."


Guardiola on Sterling's inclusion

Raheem Sterling played only eight minutes across the two legs of the semi-final victory over Paris Saint-Germain, but he starts tonight and Pep Guardiola has singled him out as someone who could be particularly important against Chelsea.

Asked whether City's team will have surprised Thomas Tuchel's men, the boss said:

"Absolutely not. They play one system and we need specific players to target the areas, that’s why we have gone with Raheem."


Pep: We have to attack.

The boss has just completed his pre-match media duties and it should come as no surprise that his team selection was top of the agenda. 

Here's what he had to say:

"We have a chance to win the game so we have to attack. We obviously need to defend but we have to attack. We need everyone because I’m sure the game in the second half will be different from the beginning."


Positive thinking

Rob Pollard in Porto:

Porto is a beautiful city on the Iberian Peninsula – and the Estádio do Dragão is spectacular - a venue befitting such a grand occasion. 

Can City step up and deliver? We know we have the quality, and if we play to our maximum we are the likely winners.  But this competition is littered with finals ending in unjust scorelines. It’s a one-off game and anything can happen. 

One thing I do know is we’ve turned a corner in this competition this season. We’ve won 11 and drawn one of our 12 games en route to the final. We’ve been superb. 

One more hurdle to negotiate. 


Talking tactics

Pep Guardiola has raised a few eyebrows with his team selection this evening, which does not include Fernandinho or Rodrigo.

And, as we've become accustomed too this season, we start without a recognised centre-forward.

Our man David Clayton has shared his thoughts on the possible formation:

"The biggest surprise about tonight’s starting XI is the absence of Fernandinho and Rodrigo. That suggests Ilkay Gundogan will pivot a midfield trio that will likely include Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden. 

"With no recognised striker, Sterling and Riyad Mahrez could flank the false 9 role that is likely to be occupied by Bernardo.

"We won’t know if any of the above is correct until the game begins – but with five subs permitted plus another if extra time is played, there is plenty of scope to tweak and amend as the game progresses."


One hour to go

Thanks, Neil!

And hello, everyone. How are we all with just under an hour until we get under way in Portugal?

I'd describe what I'm feeling as a mixture of nerves and excitement and I'd hazard a guess that's similar to City fans around the world.

We're all in it together! 💙

Anyway, let's carry on with the pre-match build-up...


Handing over the baton

Right, I'm now leaving you in the more than capable hands of my colleague John Edwards who will take you through the final hour before kick-off as well as steering us through the match itself.

I'll be back on board straight after the final whistle - when hopefully we'll have plenty to celebrate and talk about!



'Pep is setting the tone from the start'

Nedum Onuoha on tonight's line-up:

"I love it, to be honest. He’s shown something very positive. Gundogan is very good in there on the front foot.

"For me, I think Pep is trying to set the tone from the very start."


Gauging the temperature...

Rob Pollard in Porto:

"The Chelsea players are first out to survey the pitch and soak up the atmosphere – there was a huge roar to my left as they did. 

"They weren’t out long. They are now back down the tunnel to get out of their tracksuits and begin their warmup. 

"Should be a cracking atmosphere in here tonight."


'A really exciting team'

 Shaun Goater on the City line-up:

"I thought there would be a holding midfielder. But in Pep we trust! 

"Gundogan will do the job and he will do it superbly. The players we have there are all capable of keeping the ball and dictating the play. We’re looking at maybe a false nine.

"I feel that Raheem Sterling will show up and today he will be wanting to leave a mark on the game. It’s a really exciting team."


'Such an emotional day'

Kevin Horlock - 'If City turn up we win the game'

"It’s been so emotional today. I can’t wait for this game now. I want the Blues to finish the job and win the game today. I think if City turn up and play how they can, we win the game.

"There’s no other outcome for me. City on their day beats anyone in the world - I’m hoping that’s tonight!"


Our Champions League final line-up... ⚽️

Here's how we line up for tonight's Champions League final...

CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Gundogan, De Bruyne (c), Bernardo, Sterling, Foden, Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Ake, Jesus, Aguero, Laporte, Rodrigo, Torres, Mendy, Fernandinho, Cancelo, Garcia


'In Pep we trust'

Gareth Taylor:

"It’s a great occasion, a little bit edgy about the game. We have to trust in Pep, he’s done amazing for us as a club."


'I'm so up for this one!''

Shaun Goater's excited!:

"I am so excited. I’m just really calm and looking forward to the game. I’m so up for this one!"


One last mountain to climb...

From Rob Pollard in Porto:

"It’s been 10 difficult years in this competition for City. It’s fair to say we’ve suffered our fair share of setbacks and heartache, but the best things in life don’t necessarily come easy. 

"If we get over the line this evening, the memory of those early group-stage exits, the Barcelona defeats, the Tottenham pain and the Lyon exit…it’ll all dissipate. 

"But first, one more game. The biggest one yet. It’s going to be one almighty occasion and I just hope we remain composed and play our game.

If we do, I’m confident we can get the job done and bring the famous trophy back to Manchester."



Tune in now for our Champions League final edition of We're Not Really Here.

Presenter Cel Spellman is in Portugal along with special guests Nedum Onuoha, Kevin Horlock, Paul Dickov.

Meanwhile Natalie Pike is hosting from here in Manchester with Shaun Goater, Gareth Taylor and Steven McInerney, Natalie’s special guests – along with 4,000 fans who will be present at the Academy Stadium for the live screening of tonight’s game.


'It's all about hunger and desire'

The view from Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel:

"I have full trust that everybody wants it.

"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."


Stat attack (part two)...📈

 🔹 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).


'The scene is set in Porto'

From Rob Pollard at the Estadio do Dragao:

"The scene is set here in Porto. An immaculate pitch covered in shade, reducing the temperature of the players. These are conditions befitting a game of this magnitude. 

"Pep and the players have looked relaxed since we arrived here on Thursday, but there’s no doubt there’ll have been nerves today.

"They know what this means. It’s the biggest game in world football, a chance to win City’s first ever European Cup/Champions League – and if we do, complete the most successful season in our 127-year history. 

"They don’t come any bigger. 

"Drink it in, City fans. We’ve come a long way and we deserve to see our team play an occasion such as this."


'Let's be ourselves'

 The message from skipper Fernandinho is a simple one:

“This season especially in the Champions League knockout games, we showed how capable we were.

“Playing Dortmund away and conceding first; PSG away and conceding first and then turning it around, we have shown what we can do.

“So my message is keep playing the same way, because this was one of the key reasons this team reached the final.

“Everyone is talking about the final, it’s important now to handle the pressure, try to be relaxed as much as we can, think about the game and the jobs we have to do - do what we have done and don't change a thing."


One last glorious goodbye from Kun?

It's an emotional evening for Sergio Aguero, who after amassing 260 goals in 389 games for the club, will leave when his contract expires this summer.

Our all-time record goalscorer marked his last appearance at City's Etihad Stadium with trademark fairy-tale fashion, scoring two goals after coming on as a substitute as the new Premier League champions ended their domestic campaign with a thumping 5-0 win over Everton last Sunday.

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

What price Kun summoning up one last bit of magic?


Early team news 📋

 🔹 Both managers are expected to have fully fit squads to choose from.

 🔹 City boss Pep Guardiola has a fully fit squad to select from with Sergio Aguero involved for the very last time following a glittering decade at the Club.

 🔹 Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy have recovered from injuries and are available for selection.


The full English...

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, we 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.


Stat attack (part one)...📈

 🔹 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.

 🔹 Both Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez have scored in the quarter-final and semi-final of this season’s UEFA Champions League for Manchester City. The last time two players scored for a team in the quarter-final, semi-final and final of a European Cup/Champions League season was Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás in 1959-60 for Real Madrid.


Picture perfect! 📸

Porto will be the perfect venue for tonight's showpiece occasion.

I was lucky enough to visit the city in 2019 and its a wonderful destination.

Warm, friendly people, a fantastic city and brilliant weather to boot.

Oh and the Estadio do Dragao is not too shabby either.

Hope all the City fans who are out there are having the time of their lives.


'A privilege' says KDB

This has been a goal for the Club - Kevin De Bruyne:

"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."


History beckons...

Worth bearing the mind the magnitude of our achievements already this season.

Premier League winners for the third time in four seasons and Carabao Cup winners for a fourth successive year, Pep Guardiola's side have made it a season for the ages.

But success tonight would surely cement this as the greatest campaign in our 127 year history.

What a team and what a club...


Rules of engagement

Just a reminder that the final will be decided on the day, with 30 minutes of extra time and then penalties should they be required.

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

Given the way I'm already feeling I don't think my nerves could take penalties TBH.


Pep's pre-match thoughts...👇

City will have to suffer to win - 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.

"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."


Moments to savour...


Almost 6,000 of our supporters have been fortunate enough to secure tickets and make their way out to Porto to attend tonight's game.

It promises to be a trip of a lifetime for each and every one... and judging by the pictures coming through, they are making the most of this moment of history!!



Champions League Final Matchday also means the welcome return of We're Not Really Here, our must-watch live show.

And we have a bumper extended edition for you, with the programme getting under way at 18.30pm and coming from both Porto and Manchester.

Presenter Cel Spellman will be in Portugal along with special guests Nedum Onuoha, Kevin Horlock, Paul Dickov.

Meanwhile Natalie Pike will be hosting from here in Manchester with Shaun Goater, Gareth Taylor and Steven McInerney, Natalie’s special guests – along with 4,000 fans who will be present at the Academy Stadium for the live screening of tonight’s game.

As always, WNRH will bring you the perfect City-focused build up to a game and occasion we’ve all being dreaming of.

We will be back in studio at half-time to dissect the first 45 minutes, and then return at full-time where all our special guests will give their post-match analysis, and respond to the full-time thoughts of our fans.

As always, you can get involved in the show by using #WNRH on Twitter.

It's become must-see coverage for every City fan and tonight’s promises to be extra special.

Highly recommended!


It’s Champions League Final day!! 🏆

Over land and sea…

A very, very good afternoon to you all.

At the end of a season like no other, we have a matchday like no other.

Champions League final matchday to be precise!

Tonight’s the night Pep Guardiola and his players seek to make history and secure Manchester City’s first-ever Champions League trophy as we tackle Chelsea at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal.

It promises to be one of the most momentous days in this great Club’s proud and illustrious 127-year history.

And I, along with my colleague John Edwards, will be here to guide you through all the pre-match build-up, then through the drama of the match itself before taking you onto all the post-match reaction and analysis.

Given the importance of today’s special occasion, we’re kicking the Match Day Centre off an hour earlier and will stay right through all the post-match activity when, if all goes as we fervently hope, we could have plenty to celebrate.

The sun is finally out, it’s a Bank Holiday weekend and City are in the Champions League final.

What’s not to like!!


UEFA Champions League final coverage

We will have full coverage of Saturday's game on 

Live text updates will begin right here in our Matchday Centre from 17:00. 

And our We're Not Really Here live show will get under way at 18:30. Nedum Onuoha, Kevin Horlock, Paul Dickov are our guests in Porto, while Shaun Goater and Gareth Taylor will be back in the studio in Manchester. 

Highlights are available from midnight - and CITY+ subscribers can watch a full 90-minute replay, too. 


Stones [speaking earlier this week]

“The winning mentality of the boys is incredible. 

“We took it a game at a time, focused all our energy and played every game as if it were a final. The teams we have played against and knocked out of the Champions League is something in itself.

“We have not done it the easy way at all. We have won 11 games in the Champions League [this season] and it has been a progression every year for me and as a team.

"The winning mentality of the boys is incredible and the desire to keep going, keep winning and the addiction of winning trophies is something that I cannot describe.

“The consistency as well, it is something so difficult as a team. We have been fighting in four competitions for so long. I know we didn’t make it to an FA Cup final but to make it to a semi-final is something that we should be proud of, especially when you have got a game every three days and it might be a different competition."

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 FC Bayern München 6 +13 16
2 Atlético de Madrid 6 -1 9
3 FC Red Bull Salzburg 6 -7 4
4 Lokomotiv Moscow 6 -5 3
Link To Full Table