Premier League • England

Chelsea clinch Club World Cup glory as Havertz steps up on the occasion again

Kai Havertz sat down during the Club World Cup final

Kai Havertz scored a penalty towards the end of extra time to earn Chelsea the Club World Cup trophy after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Palmeiras.

Scorer of the winning goal in the Champions League final to qualify them for this tournament, Havertz was the hero again after Chelsea were made to wait until just before a shootout to win the Club World Cup for the first ever time.

The game took some time to settle down, with no clear-cut chances arriving in the first 20 minutes. The first sign of danger for Chelsea came when Dudu tried his luck from outside the box, curling a shot over the goal of Edouard Mendy, restored to the starting lineup in place of Kepa Arrizabalaga as expected.

Dudu appeared to be Palmeiras’ main outlet and he took aim again with a shot that went wide of Mendy’s goal.

Chelsea were forced into a first-half change when Mason Mount went off for Christian Pulisic after half an hour. Fairly soon after, the American sent a free kick over the bar with one early involvement after his introduction.

A better – and more surprising – effort came from defender Thiago Silva just before the break. He let fly from outside the box and won a corner after his powerful effort was pushed slightly off course by the opposition keeper Weverton.

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But chances had still been limited by the time the half-time whistle blew. Indeed, even though Chelsea were bossing possession, each side had only registered one shot on target by that point.

Game begins to open up in second half

Just like a defender had tried his luck for Chelsea before the break, their first chance of the second half came when Antonio Rudiger attempted to dip one in from distance.

The deadlock was instead broken by a more familiar source of goals. Callum Hudson-Odoi sent a cross into the box, which Romelu Lukaku powered home with a header.

It was what Chelsea had needed and more chances followed. Pulisic fired wide from outside the box soon after, for instance.

Just after the hour mark, there was a VAR check for a potential handball in the Chelsea box. A penalty was duly awarded to Palmeiras after the ball had skimmed Thiago Silva’s arm.

Raphael Veiga took the responsibility for the Brazilian side and he finished brilliantly, sending Mendy the wrong way to equalise.

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It was a wake-up call for Chelsea, who next went close when Havertz took the ball on his thigh and then volleyed across the face of goal.

A good move for the Blues then ended with Pulisic aiming wide with his left foot.

Havertz wins Club World Cup for Chelsea

But they could not get themselves back in front by the time the 90 minutes – plus five of added time – were up. Thus, the final went to extra time.

Chelsea had some chances in the first half of extra time. They went closest when the ball hit the post after a pass across the box.

In the final 15 minutes, an inviting cross from Ziyech was prevented from meeting Havertz by a Palmeiras defender.

From the resulting corner, Chelsea appealed for a penalty after an apparent handball by Luan Garcia. A VAR check confirmed their protests were within reason; it meant they were given the chance to win it five minutes from time.

With usual taker Jorginho on the bench, Havertz stepped up instead. He calmly slotted it the opposite way to Weverton’s dive to give Chelsea an unassailable advantage.

And things got worse for the Copa Libertadores holders when Luan was sent off deep into injury time after a VAR check for a last-man challenge on the penalty scorer. The whistle finally went shortly after.

It was heartbreak for Palmeiras, but glory for Chelsea a decade after their last attempt. They have now completed their trophy cabinet in the Roman Abramovich era.

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