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Chelsea win Club World Cup for 1st time

Chelsea were crowned FIFA Club World Cup champions for the first time as Kai Havertz struck home a penalty deep into extra time to break the hearts of Brazilian club Palmeiras on Saturday.

Havertz, scorer of the winning goal in last season’s European Champions League final, was as cool as a cucumber as he converted in the 117th minute after Palmeiras’s Luan had conceded the spot kick with a handball.

Palmeiras’s misery was complete when Luan was sent off in stoppage time for a desperate tackle on Havertz, Reuters reports.

The final in the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, where around 15,000 Palmeiras fans outnumbered Chelsea supporters, took a while to come to life.

Chelsea, who lost the 2012 final to Brazilian side Corinthians, were not at their best but took the lead in the 55th minute when Romelu Lukaku powered home a header.

But Palmeiras hit back shortly afterwards when Thiago Silva was adjudged to have handled the ball and Raphael Veiga converted from the spot to send the Brazilian fans wild.

Chelsea looked the more likely winners after that but a penalty shootout loomed until Luan’s raised arm was struck by Cesar Azpilicueta’s shot and after a VAR check the spot kick was awarded and Havertz did the rest.

Since taking charge little over a year ago Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who was in attendance after missing the semi-final because of a positive COVID-19 test, has now earned Chelsea the European and world club crowns.

Palmeiras had been bidding to become the fourth Brazilian club to win the title.