Chelsea are world club champions for the first time in their history after a dramatic 2-1 victory over Palmeiras in Abu Dhabi.
Kai Havertz’ 117th-minute penalty settled a gruelling match. It also completed a memorable personal double for Havertz, who scored the winning goal in the Champions League final last May.
The biggest game in world club football took a while to come alive. The first half was a grim tactical struggle, with Chelsea labouring to break down a well-organised Palmeiras defence.
Thomas Tuchel’s half-time teamtalk led to a noticeable increase in tempo, and Chelsea were rewarded for their improved performance when Romelu Lukaku slammed a header past Weverton in the 54th minute.
But Chelsea’s lead lasted only 10 minutes. Palmeiras were awarded a penalty after a VAR check for handball against Thiago Silva, and Raphael Veiga scored calmly from the spot.
There were few chances at either end after that, with both teams tiring on a sultry night in Abu Dhabi. The match drifted to extra-time and seemed to be heading to penalties. Instead, it was settled by a single penalty: Luan was penalised for handball, and Havertz strolled forward to send Weverton the wrong way.