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Chelsea 2-1 Palmeiras, Club World Cup: Post-match reaction, ratings


Chelsea v Palmeiras: Final - FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2021
This is what it means
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea spent the first 20 minutes in constant dialogue with head coach Thomas Tuchel, trying to figure out how we should be playing to break down Palmeiras, who were happy to sit back and defend deep, letting our defenders have the ball but closing down everything else very quickly.

But neither in those 20 minutes, nor the 25 minutes that followed in the first half did we show much promise in actually doing so. We had one early chance and a couple half-chances, but little to write home about. Silva shooting from 45 yards out and Rüdiger from 35 were emblematic of how things were going. Palmeiras didn’t threaten much either.

The cagey play continued after the break, but a Kovačić burst unlocked the defense and Hudson-Odoi delivered a perfect cross for Lukaku, practically anonymous until then, to head home ten minutes into the half. Hudson-Odoi had overhit every cross with his right, but this time he went left-footed and was rewarded.

Chelsea came close to adding a second almost immediately with a carbon copy play, but CHO went with his right this time. Pulisic came close from range soon after as well.

And that would’ve been helpful since our lead didn’t last long. Thiago Silva was called for a handball in the area — rather harshly since the contact seemed forced by the attacking player’s jump — and Raphael Veiga made no mistake.

Havertz and Pulisic came close to restoring Chelsea’s lead, but into extra-time we would go.

Tuchel tried to go for it with a double-change and switching formation as well, but Palmeiras remained resolute and we were unable to break them down.

But just when it looked like penalties would be needed to decide things, another silly handball call was made, this time in our favor, with the Palmeiras defender blocking Azpilicueta’s shot from a yard away. Havertz stepped up and made no mistake.

And that’s how things would end, with Chelsea filling the one missing spot in the trophy cabinet. Palmeiras saw Luan get sent off for hacking down Havertz on a counter as the last man in the final moments, but that was purely academic.

Making history!


  • Four changes from the semifinal, including at goalkeeper, plus Hudson-Odoi, Kanté, and Mount all coming in.
  • Mount only lasts 30 minutes; Pulisic comes on for his first appearance in five games
  • 3-4-3/3-5-2 throughout, with Hudson-Odoi then Pulisic as left wing-backs. Lukaku-Havertz up top, then Havertz-Werner
  • 4-1-4-1 for extra-time, with Sarr and Azpi as full backs, Kanté holding, and Ziyech on as well. Werner left, Pulisic and Saúl central, behind Havertz
  • Havertz scores winner in CWC after scoring the winner in the Champions League
  • Chelsea the third Premier League team to win the Club World Cup after Man United and Liverpool. UEFA teams now have won 14 of the 17 editions of this tournament.
  • Next up: back home and back to the Premier League with Crystal Palace away


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