- European champions Chelsea will face South America's champions, Palmeiras in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup
- Chelsea beat Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the second semi-final thanks to a goal by Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku
- Chelsea had numerous chances to put the game out of reach of Al Hilal but could only convert one of their chances
Chelsea booked their place in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup final where they will meet Brazilian side, Palmeiras.
Chelsea beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 1-0 thanks to a Romelu Lukaku goal but many would be wondering how Chelsea only scored one goal.
The match also saw the first time that automatic Var was used in a game. The technology can conclude whether a player is offside or not under half a second. If the trial stages are successful, the technology may be used at the FIFA World Cup.
Former Manchester United player, Odion Igalho, got away the first shot for Al Hilal but it was wide. After that, Chelsea took control and never looked back in the first half.
Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic were both caught offside within the first 10 minutes as Chelsea pushed forward. Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech also tried their luck with longer range efforts but both failed to trouble the keeper.
Chelsea then should have taken the lead a few times within the first 20 minutes as Romelu Lukaku spurned numerous chances.
The Belgian striker either couldn’t sort his feet out in time or put his efforts straight into the arms of the keeper. At the half-hour mark, Chelsea had 61% possession of the ball but had nothing to show for it.
Chelsea finally broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark as Romelu Lukaku finally found the back of the net. The ball was presented straight to the Belgian who couldn’t miss from that close.
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Chelsea really should have doubled the lead but again they failed to convert their chances. Al Hilal got their first shot on target in added time of the first time but the effort was a tame one.
Chelsea began the second half much like the first, on the attack. Al Hilal did have their moments and looked a much better side but never looked like they posed a real threat. After the hour mark, Al Hilal threatened more regularly and forced continued to pepper the Chelsea goal with attempts.
With only a one-goal lead, Chelsea was by no means safe and secure. As the match got a bit tenser, tempers flare, but the European giants held on for a win.
Chelsea will meet Palmeiras in the final on Saturday while Al Hilal will face Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in a battle for third place.
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Rudiger's future with the Blues is hanging on the balance after he stalled on renewing his current contract. According to reports, the German international is demanding a new deal worth £200,000-per-week.
However, it is believed Chelsea chiefs have been reluctant to offer that much, plunging the defender's future with them into limbo. The 28-year-old is well aware he can pocket as much as £400,000-per-week - inclusive of signing on fees and bonuses - if he leaves Chelsea on a Bosman transfer.