With victory over Palmeiras Saturday night, Chelsea have etched yet another memorable chapter in the club’s long and illustrious history. They have their hands on the solitary major trophy that has eluded them, the FIFA Club World Cup, a prize only on offer to those who have climbed Europe’s highest peak.
In 2012, after the miracle of Munich, there was disappointment at the hands of Corinthians. Not so on Saturday night, where an extra-time penalty from Kai Havertz – yes, him again! – secured a 2-1 success over Chelsea’s Sao Paolo rivals Palmeiras.
Havertz was the hero in Porto and he was the hero again Saturday night, crowning an enterprising performance in Chelsea’s attack with an ice-cold penalty five minutes from the end of extra-time.
Chelsea has now joined Bayern Munich and Manchester United as the only clubs to complete a clean sweep of major UEFA trophies and the Club World Cup, and as the 11th different winner of this competition the Blues are only the third to achieve that feat from England. They just keep rewriting the history books!
At full-time, one Chelsea legend sunk to his knees. Cesar Azpilicueta is the first Blue to do the lot, further cementing his status as one of the greatest of all time. And of course it was his shot that was blocked by a handball allowing Havertz to coolly convert from 12 yards. What a way for the skipper to mark a decade of service.
Next to him, Thiago Silva also collapsed in ecstasy, a victor in a competition that means so much in South America. First the Champions League, and now the Club World Cup in barely eight months for the Brazilian hero. He was deservedly named the tournament’s best player at full-time.
And how wonderful to see Thomas Tuchel able to celebrate masterminding his third trophy in person, having only arrived in Abu Dhabi on Friday. His tactical shuffling kept Palmeiras on the back foot throughout, and the victory, if hard fought, was thoroughly deserved.
As the players celebrated with the trophy in front of the loyal travelling support, one of Chelsea’s club anthems Blue Tomorrow rang around the stadium.
‘We’re gonna rule the universe because we’re Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea!’
They have done just that. It was Blue universe on Saturday. What a club.
Credit: Chelsea media