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The Daily Bee: Borussia Dortmund Alumni Win Big in Europe

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Thomas Tuchel and Christian Pulisic helped propel Chelsea to European glory.

Real Madrid v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Leg One

Good morning everyone! Happy Memorial Day.

In a Champions League final between two rich and unlikable teams, you have to look very hard for things to root for. This was the case this weekend when Roman Abramovich-owned Chelsea clashed with Manchester “Money Bags” City in Porto. These two clubs, whose squads combined must surely have surpassed €1 billion in value, symbolize many of the worst aspects of modern football. Unsurprisingly, few fans I knew had any genuine interest in the match’s outcome.

If there was one thing interesting about the game, it was that it featured some BVB alumni on both sides. Ilkay Gündogan suited up for Manchester City, while Christian Pulisic started on the bench for Thomas Tuchel. Neither of the two players contributed much to the match: Christian’s Pulisic’s biggest moment was when he chipped a shot over Ederson that harmlessly bounced wide.

The same was not true for Tuchel: it was the former Dortmund manager’s time to shine. He defeated Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City for the third time in a row in all competitions, limiting the citizens to their single lowest expected goal total of the entire season in the process. This Athletic article breaks down how much of a tactical mismatch the game was: Tuchel thoroughly outsmarted Guardiola.

I know that many BVB fans hate Tuchel with a burning passion. Personally, I don’t buy some of the crazier stories about him, like the rumor that he criticized the players for not wanting to play the day after the bombing attempt. The bottom line is that he’s probably an abrasive personality, a trait that I’m sure is common and is probably necessary to exercise control over a group of egotistical millionaires as a football manager must do. But he’s also a damn good tactician, and now he has the silverware to prove it.

The Daily Buzz

Are you happy for Tuchel, or are you annoyed that he won the Champions League? Let those rants fly, baby.