Chelsea crowned Club World Cup champion

The Chelsea was crowned champion of FIFA Club World Cup by winning in extra time by a score of 2-1 at palm trees from Brazilin a balanced final played in the United Arab Emirates,

The winning goals for the Chelsea were the work of Romelu Lukaku at minute 55 and Kai Havertz penalty to 117. For the palm trees discounted Rafael Veiga at minute 64, also a penalty.

Both teams reached the final with the frustration of having lost the title in previous editions.

Chelsea fell in 2012 just before the Brazilian Corinthians, Palmeiras’s historic backyard rival, while the “Verdao” from Sao Paulo, who was eliminated in the semifinal last year, lost in 1999 against the English Manchester United in the Intercontinental Cup, which was replaced by the Club World Cup.

For this final, Chelsea was able to count on the German coach Thomas Tuchel, who served a quarantine after having tested positive for covid-19 in London, recovered and managed to arrive in the Emirati capital the day before.

Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who played and won the African Cup of Nations with his country, rejoined the team and was lined up as the starter, replacing Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga, who played in the semifinal (1-0) against the Saudi team Al-Hillal of Riyadh, Asian champion.

Tuchel, in addition to the change of goalkeeper, lined up Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and the Frenchman N’Golo Kantú in the places of the Italian-Brazilian Jorginho, the Moroccan Hakim Ziyech and the Spanish Marcos Alonso.

For Palmeiras, the Portuguese coach Abel Ferreira kept the same 11 starters that in the semifinal defeated the Egyptian club Al-Ahly from Cairo, African champion, 2-0.

The game, with the majority of Palmeiras fans in the stands, started off moving, with attacks and responses from both sides, but as the minutes went by, Chelsea looked looser, mainly due to the push from the front line of the experienced Brazilian defender Thiago Silva and on free throws.

But Palmeiras was not shy and also risked counterattacks, almost always driven by the power of striker Rony, who was unable to finish.

In the first half, Chelsea lost Mount to injury, who was relieved by American creative Christian Pulisic.

At the beginning of the second half, when the teams settled down again, Hudson-Odoi was projected from the left and Lukaku jumped past Luan to connect with a header and make it 1-0 in the 54th minute.

The São Paulo team did not lower their guard and in an attack the rival defender Thiago Silva deflected a ball that would go to the Paraguayan defender and captain Gustavo Gómez. With the support of the VAR, the Australian referee Chris Beath sanctioned the penalty that was converted by Raphael Veiga in the 63rd minute.

In extra time, at 98 minutes, Chelsea’s German reserve Timo Wermer crashed a shot off the crossbar of the goal defended by Wéverton.

The winning goal for the “Blues” also came via VAR, which alerted referee Beath about a questionable handball in the area by Luan and Havertz made it 2-1 after 116 minutes of play.

With another VAR intervention, defender Luan was sent off after 120 minutes for a malicious foul on Havertz.

The Uruguayan Joaquín Piquerez y Gómez acted in the South American team for 120 minutes, while the Colombian Eduard Atuesta entered in the final minutes.

Thiago Silva and Spaniard César Azpilicueta were starters for the English team. The also Iberian Saúl Ñíguez came into action for the second half.

EFE

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