Tuesday, July 5

Chelsea crowned champions of the world after Havertz’s late winner vs Palmeiras

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Kai Havertz scores a huge goal for Chelsea AGAIN as the German’s dramatic penalty in extra time seals victory over Palmeiras with Thomas Tuchel’s side winning the club’s first Club World Cup title

It wasn’t their finest hour nor the most elegantly won trophy. Yet, after a contest in which they had dominated possession, switched to 4-2-4 for extra time and at least attempted to seize the initiative even if their fluidity was somewhat lacking, they had earned it by the end.

They had travelled far and wide to get here. Edouard Mendy, starting in goal having flown in from Cameroon, a African Nations’ winner last weekend and a world champion this weekend.

Thomas Tuchel had just about made it time from Covid isolation from London to secure the second historic trophy of his reign, which is still just over a year in.

By the end there a was a degree of pandemonium. A penalty shoot-out loomed when Hakim Ziyech teed up a late corner in extra time, which fell for Cesar Azpilicueta. His shot on the volley fairly cannoned off the hand of Luan, though it was carelessly away from his body. 

Play went on as Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger swarmed around referee Chris Beath. Even given the propensity of footballers’ to deceive, they seemed pretty certain. When the ball finally when out of play, Beath was called to the VAR monitor. 

A penalty was awarded and Kai Havertz stepped up and despite a concerted intimidation campaign, kept his cool and shot home. The unfortunate Luan’s evening would come to an end with virtually the final kick of the game, when he was sent off for a professional foul on Havertz.

The occasion, though dominated by the Palmeiras fans transforming this district of Abu Dhabi into a little corner of Sao Paulo for the evening, was Chelsea’s. The European Champions did have one important fan in owner Roman Abramovich.

The Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium may not have been full with 32,817 here but the constant din from the Palmeiras fans provided a necessary edge to a game, which can be viewed as an unnecessary diversion by Europeans. ‘Palmeiras Dublin’ read one huge banner. It was a global takeover and their desperation to add this trophy to their list of honours evident.

Chelsea chase first Club World Cup win vs Palmeiras

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