Long balls, targeting the left and a back five – how Chelsea won the Champions League final

In the end, it played out exactly as Thomas Tuchel would have hoped.

Since taking charge of Chelsea in January, this has been Tuchel’s default game plan in big matches. They have attempted to control such games through possession but attacked primarily on the break, with speed, in behind the opposition defence, and been content to see out results through deep, old-school, penalty box defending.

The only surprise was that Chelsea found it so easy, with opponents Manchester City recording their lowest xG figure of their entire season.

While Tuchel picked his expected starting XI, opposite number Pep Guardiola sprung a major surprise with his.

Raheem Sterling was recalled on the left flank, Phil Foden shifted inside and Ilkay Gundogan given the holding role.


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