PORTO: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchek had the last laugh on Paris Saint-Germain who sacked him in mid-season after steering Chelsea to victory in the UEFA Champions League Final in Porto.
Tuchel returned to work in February when he was appointed to replace Frank Lampard at Chelsea. Having lost the European final with PSG a year ago he was thrilled to emerge as a winner courtesy of a 1-0 win over Manchester City.
Fellow German Kai Havertz scored the decisive goal shortly before half-time and Tuchel’s perfectly drilled and organised team won the tactical duel for him with City boss Pep Guardiola.
Tuchel said: “We made it. I don’t know what to feel. I was so grateful to arrive a second time in the final. The players were determined to win this.
“We wanted to be a stone in their shoe. We encouraged everybody to step up and step out, to be more brave and create dangerous counter-attacks. It was a tough physical game. We had to help each other out.”
Mason Mount, who created Havertz’s winning goal, said: “It’s all I’ve dreamed – winning a trophy with Chelsea. To go all the way in the Champions League. We played some tough teams. We are in a final and we won it. It’s such a special occasion. At this moment in time, we’re the best team in the world. You can’t take that away from us.”
City manager Guardiola, in defeat, had no doubt about the way he shuffled his team.
He said: “I did what I thought was the best decision. It was a tight game. We had chances. We were brilliant in the second half, we were brave and we could not convert the chances as they were so strong. The players were exceptional. We can come back maybe one day again. The ambition now is to rest but then prepare for the next season.
“It was the first time we were at this stage. Hopefully we will be here again in the future.”