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Tuchel’s quad-stoppers land statement win as new rivalry dawns

T

homas Tuchel’s Quad-stoppers moved a step closer in their own pursuit of a double.

It is Chelsea who leave Wembley with their ambitions still intact – and having laid down a marker for battles to come with Guardiola’s Premier League champions-elect.

How much can be drawn from this one-off encounter is down to interpretation.

City could point to a much-changed team – eight in total after their midweek Champions League exploits against Borussia Dortmund. But Guardiola picked a team to win against a rival he knew represented a major threat to his hopes of a clean sweep.

Tuchel shuffled his own pack, but did so to perfection, with a refreshed front three targeting City’s major vulnerability – Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech exploiting them on the counter throughout and combining for the winning goal.

When Ziyech turned in Werner’s second half cross, it felt like the least Chelsea deserved for their dominance.

The FA via Getty Images

Notably, it also felt like it would be enough to see off a City side that created next to nothing when faced up against Tuchel’s blue wall.

Chelsea were the better team by a distance. The only danger was their failure to make their superiority pay until the 55th minute.

So, first blood to Tuchel in a rivalry that looks set to grip English football.

While this victory does not yet secure the German a first trophy as Chelsea manager, it felt symbolic all the same. At the first opportunity he has curtailed Guardiola’s ambitions.

The two men could yet meet in this season’s Champions League final and next term the expectation is that Chelsea will mount a genuine title challenge.


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