Nine months after being crowned champions of Europe, Chelsea can now call themselves champions of the world, after defeating Brazilian side Palmeiras 2-1 in the Club World Cup final.
Having fallen to Corinthians at this stage of the competition a decade ago, it felt as though this would be a title — the only trophy Chelsea were yet to win in the Roman Abramovich era — that would be forever out of their grasp.
But there was a feeling of destiny to the affair this time as Kai Havertz, the player who scored the winning goal against Manchester City in last year’s UEFA Champions League final, stepped up to convert a stoppage-time penalty won by teammate Cesar Azpilicueta, who has become the first Chelsea player to have won every club trophy on offer.
It was the first time the reigning Copa Libertadores champions had reached the Club World Cup final, and Palmeiras’ 15,000-strong fan contingent savoured every moment, creating a wall of colour and noise long before kick-off at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in the UAE. (ABC)