Chelsea gear up for Club World Cup final
Romelu Lukaku celebrates his 32nd minute goal (AS)

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium on Wednesday night as Chelsea booked their place in Saturday’s Club World Cup final.

Thomas Tuchel’s side will face Brazilian side Palmeiras, who came out on top against Egyptian outfit Al Ahly.

The German boss was absent due to a positive Covid test, with first-team coach Zsolt Low leading the Blues out in Abu Dhabi against Al Hilal. 

Tuchel's half-time communication

Post-match, Low revealed Tuchel had been in touch at half-time: “We talked to Thomas at half-time. We had a good conversation and he had the same feeling as us that we were a bit nervous and had a lot of easy ball losses.” 

Although the European champions got off to a bright start with Kai Havertz and Lukaku going close after the goal, Kepa Arrizabalaga was called into action late on.

Former Porto man, Moussa Marega had his effort stopped by the goalkeeper, with Matheus Periera the bright spark for the AFC Champions League holders.  

The win means since Tuchel took over at Stamford Bridge, he has now led Chelsea to the final of every competition after they recently booked their place in the Carabao Cup final, beating London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

As for the Club World Cup, it is the only trophy the West London side have failed to win since Russian owner Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2003. 

Previously, the Blues fell short of the trophy in 2012, after suffering at the hands of another Brazilian side in Corinthians.

Regarding Tuchel’s health, assistant Low also confirmed: “Everybody hopes he can travel as soon as possible. He is following government rules and is in self-isolation. We do every day a PCR test and when we have the first negative result, it will open the possibility for Thomas to travel. We are waiting for it.” 

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