Ken Early: Covid, maths and luck help Chelsea triumph in Europe

Tuchel’s champions showed how best teams have integrated set-pieces into open play

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates after winning the Champions League final. Photograph: Susana Vera/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates after winning the Champions League final. Photograph: Susana Vera/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In the 17th minute of the Champions League final, we caught our first glimpse of a move that Chelsea fans will remember for the rest of their lives.

A Manchester City attack had broken down with Kevin de Bruyne losing possession to Reece James, and the ball had been worked back to Thiago Silva at the edge of Chelsea’s box. The Brazilian looked up and saw Ben Chilwell out by the left touchline, calling for the ball in acres of space. As Silva’s 40-yard pass arced towards Chilwell, Kyle Walker dashed from midfield to close him down. Chilwell took Walker out of the game with a first-time flick to Mason Mount, whose presence attracted John Stones across to cover.

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