A crushing defeat will lead to a fair amount of soul searching as Pep Guardiola figures out how to respond and get Manchester City back here again.
What is certain is the match was all kinds of sloppy and Guardiola was in the end defeated by a defensively sound and lucky Chelsea side. Thomas Tuchel and his men did enough to win.
How did they win? What ere the three biggest reasons for our defeat?
Let’s find out.
1 No defensive midfielder proved costly
A seemingly obvious one to start. The fact that Pep opted to not go with Rodri or Fernandinho from the get go proved disastrous. Why that decision was made I will never know. Even before the match I stressed the importance of this player and seemingly everyone on social media saw the need for one as well.
There's so many good call outs about this, many of which were warned about-
He needs to read @BitterandBlue1 tactics blog ahead of the next UCL Final pic.twitter.com/cdT8E37aVN— Alistair Wade (@citybhoy70) May 29, 2021
2 Sterling from the start was a mistake
I know hindsight is 20/20, but this decision was a peculiar one given he had not started in a UCL match in a while. Even in the league when he did play they were sub optimal performances. Why Pep starts him from the start is mystifying.
Now, credit to Reece James he played really well all night, but Sterling seemed even timid at some points and not himself. His play was maybe highlighted after a pin point ball by Ederson that spanned the length of the field and should have resulted in a goal or at the very least a clear one on one opportunity and it did not. Sterling muffed the ball a bit and wounded up getting taken away by a chasing James. Who knows the direction of the match if he buries that like he did in past seasons.
By playing Sterling (our worst player this season) Pep sacrifice Foden in his best position LW. He sacrificed Gundogan goal threat. He exposed the midfield without a real DM. No one know what to do.— Champions Of England (@ManCityKD) May 30, 2021
As for Sterling, you die a hero or live long enough to become the villain
3 Manchester City were just plain unlucky
Listen, I know that may seem silly, but you need luck and the ball to bounce to your way to win. Everything from refereeing mistakes to inch wide misses and all else. Sometimes you just need luck. You can feel it to, once Sterling missed that opportunity happened it felt off. The ball did not roll our way. Of course it then does not help when the energy is lacking and Pep’s decisions hampered instead of helped. Our chances did not lead to clear c=sots and that hurt the most.
Still, it was a successful season, let’s not forget that.
Man City had 0.45 expected goals in the UCL final.— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) May 29, 2021
That's City's lowest total in any of its 61 games in all competitions this season.
(Expected goals aren't everything. City had several opportunities that didn't result in shots, etc.)
Finally, I don't want Sterling gone and sure as hell not Pep. Manchester City had a successful season and City will be back here. We need re-enforcements yes and City will get them in this suppressed market. Keep the faith.
Jurgen Klopp:— Alexander (@mcfc_Alexander) May 29, 2021
❌ Lost the final in 2018
✅ Won the final in 2019
❌ Lost the final in 2020
✅ Wins the final in 2021
❌ Lost the final in 2021