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’ nerveless 117th-minute penalty settled a gruelling Club World Cup final. It also and completed a remarkable personal double for Havertz, who also scored the winning goal in the Champions League final against Manchester City.
The ending was in complete contrast to the start, as 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 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.
A miserable night for Luan was complete when he was sent off for a last-man foul on Havertz in injury time. He and Palmeiras gave everything; in the end, it was not enough.