'Sad sight': Captain's tears after brutal Champions League moment

·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
Manchester City captain Kevin De Bruyne was in tears after a head knock saw him forced from the field in the second half of the Champions League final against Chelsea. Pictures: Twitter
Manchester City captain Kevin De Bruyne was in tears after a head knock saw him forced from the field in the second half of the Champions League final against Chelsea. Pictures: Twitter

Manchester City captain Kevin de Bruyne's dejected figure as he left the field with a head injury summed up the club's horror Champion's League final, in which they were defeated 1-0 by Chelsea.

A nasty collision with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger left De Bruyne on the ground for several minutes, requiring the assistance of trainers before he was helped from the field.

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His pain at having to leave near the 60 minute mark was written all over his face, the 29-year-old tearfully being helped from the field.

Fans took to social media to empathise with the injured De Bruyne, who had spoken before the game about the magnitude of the game, and the feeling of 'failure' should the team lose.

Rudiger was booked for his part in the collision but played out the game, which evolved into a tactical battle between managers Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel.

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Champions League glory for the second time for Chelsea, nine years after their first and just 123 days after Tuchel's season-changing arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Yet more misery in world soccer's biggest club competition for City and Guardiola, their genius manager whose overthinking proved costly.

Germany forward Kai Havertz's 42nd-minute goal earned Chelsea a 1-0 win in the Champions League's third all-English final - with a crowd of COVID-19 limited crowd of 16,500 in attendance in Porto.

That the last match of a club season heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic was settled by a goal from Havertz felt apt, given he suffered badly after contracting the illness midway through his first year at the club having signed for a club-record fee.

Guardiola will surely regret tinkering with a line-up that had swept City to their first Champions League final and to the verge of another trophy treble, after winning the Premier League and the English League Cup.

Starting without a recognised striker was expected but going without a specialist holding midfielder in Fernandinho or Rodri was a major surprise.

"I did what I thought was the best decision," Guardiola said.

Ilkay Gundogan, City's top scorer this season and a revelation in his attacking-midfield role, instead ended up dropping in as the anchorman in midfield.

Chelsea stifle Manchester City for Champions League glory

Sergio Aguero came on in the 76th minute for his final appearance after 10 trophy-filled years at City, but the Argentina striker couldn't produce any late heroics this time.

City's players slumped to the ground at the final whistle as Chelsea players celebrated.

Tuchel played with his daughters on the field while Christian Pulisic, a second-half substitute and first American player to feature in a Champions League final, posed with the trophy in a US sweatshirt.

Chelsea became just the 13th multiple European champions, adding to their title from 2012.

"It's a huge step to arrive in the final and it's an even bigger one to bite your way through and to make it all the way to the cup," Tuchel said.

"It's a fantastic achievement."

It took 123 days from his hiring by Chelsea to meet club owner Roman Abramovich.

It was timed to perfection - after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the Champions League final on Saturday night.

"It was the best moment for the first meeting because now on it can only get worse. We will speak tomorrow," Tuchel said,

Chelsea celebrate winning the 2021 Champions League title after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final on Saturday. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein - UEFA/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Chelsea celebrate winning the 2021 Champions League title after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final on Saturday. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein - UEFA/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

There's a contract to talk about.

Managers at Chelsea aren't known for their longevity.

Not even saved by his status as a club playing great, Lampard lasted only 18 months.

Tuchel only got an 18-month contract from Abramovich.

"I think we are pragmatic in our choices," the Russian billionaire told Forbes magazine in March.

"And we are comfortable making the right changes at the right time to ensure we can achieve our long-term ambitions."

The ambitions when Tuchel arrived seemed to be more modest - just return Chelsea to the top-four.

Champions League qualification was sealed last Sunday despite a season-ending Premier League defeat to Aston Villa.

But there was also the setback of losing the FA Cup final to Leicester City the previous week.

Tuchel was left celebrating his 30th match in charge with the club's record-signing from the summer transfer window, German young gun Kai Havertz, scoring the only goal in Porto.

With AAP

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