Club World Cup: Lukaku scored the first half’s only goal. The Blues will now try to win the one title they haven’t won during Roman Abramovich’s 19-year reign as owner.
Romelu Lukaku’s five-game goal drought wasn’t quite 1001 Arabian Nights, but it felt like it at times. It came to an end on Wednesday night, when the Chelsea centre forward scored in the 32nd minute of a tight encounter at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, giving his team a 1-0 victory over Al-Hilal.
After defeating Al-Hilal at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Chelsea will face Brazilian side Palmeiras in the Club World Cup final.
After testing positive for Covid-19, head coach Thomas Tuchel was forced to sit out the game.
Chelsea dominated the Saudi Arabian team from the start, and Lukaku gave them the lead soon after the half-hour mark.
Yasser Al Shahrani mistakenly headed Kai Havertz’s left-wing cross into the path of the Belgian, who rifled home from point-blank range.
Lukaku scored his ninth goal of the season, ending a six-game drought after missing a couple of chances early in the encounter.
Despite having Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech for help in the box, Havertz surged through on goal and clipped the post from a tight angle two minutes after the break.
Al-Hilal barely threatened until Mohamed Kanno, who had combined brilliantly with former West Bromwich Albion player Matheus Pereira, fired over from distance.
As Chelsea battled to put the game to bed, Kepa Arrizabalaga stopped Moussa Marega from eight yards out, while Odion Ighalo and Kanno both had attempts blocked.
The European champions, however, held on in the end and will get the opportunity to revenge their failure in this competition a decade after their last appearance in the final on Saturday.
Final of the Club World Cup
Zsolt Low, Chelsea’s assistant coach, has stated his team’s expectations for the FIFA Club World Cup final versus Palmeiras.
On Saturday, Chelsea will face Brazil in the FIFA Club World Cup final at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.
After defeating Al-Hilal 1-0 in the semi-final on Wednesday, the Premier League giants travel to the game.
Palmeiras, on the other hand, defeated Al Ahly 2-0 in the other semi-final.
However, Low, who assumed charge of Chelsea’s first team against Al-Hilal after Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel contracted COVID-19, expects a positive environment when his club faces Palmeiras this weekend.
“They [Palmeiras] have wonderful supporters for sure,” Low stated after Chelsea overcame Al-Hilal in his post-match press conference. Perhaps 15,000 of the final 10,000 will be present.
“I expect a big crowd, but we’re used to big crowds from big Champions League games and big finals.” We’re ready for anything. I anticipate a pleasant atmosphere.”
“We know they are a very big club in Brazil,” he added. They have a number of talented players on their team. We’ll view the footage and analyze their games over the next few days. We’re going to be well-prepared.”