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Chelsea are aiming for the Club World Cup final

The English Champions League winners FC Chelsea have reached the final of the Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates without coach Thomas Tuchel.

The Londoners prevailed in the semifinals 1-0 (1-0) against the Saudi club Al Hilal, winners of the Asian Champions League. Romelu Lukaku (32nd minute) fired his side into the final in Abu Dhabi, where the Blues meet Copa Libertadores winners Palmeiras Sao Paulo on Saturday.

As in the arduous FA Cup win against Middlesbrough (2-1) last Saturday, Chelsea also found it difficult against outsiders Al Hilal.

The Blues, with German internationals Kai Havertz and Antonio Rüdiger in the starting XI, controlled the game for long stretches, but were too safe and rarely created good chances. Lukaku’s goal after half an hour was preceded by a mistake by his opponent Yasser al-Shahrani. In the second half, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa recorded the result with strong saves.

Coach Tuchel had tested positive for the corona virus at the weekend and was therefore unable to fly to the United Arab Emirates with the team. However, the Blues are still hoping that the coach can travel to Abu Dhabi for the final of the Club World Cup on Saturday. In the semifinals, the 48-year-old was represented on the sidelines by his assistant Zsolt Löw.

Chelsea were already in the final of the Club World Cup in 2012, but lost 1-0 to the then Copa Libertadores winners Corinthians Sao Paulo from Brazil, the arch-rivals of the current final opponents Palmeiras. The Londoners have never won the Club World Cup.

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