Thomas Tuchel seemed relaxed about the condition of Edouard Mendy after the goalkeeper suffered a rib injury in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa, less then a week before the Champions League final.

Mendy was replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga at half-time, with the Senegal international having hurt his ribs after colliding with the goal frame.

Chelsea went on to secure qualification for the Champions League regardless of their defeat to Villa, though the fitness of their first-choice goalkeeper was undoubtedly a concern with such an important game on the horizon.

Mendy joined Chelsea last year and quickly established himself as the club's primary option between the posts under Frank Lampard, before retaining his place when Tuchel came in four months ago.

The German expects a firm update on Monday but is optimistic the goalkeeper will be available to face Manchester City in Porto Saturday.

Asked how they handled Mendy's loss, Tuchel told reporters: "It is easy to handle.

"He fell into the frame of the net. He feels a big pain in his ribs. We will have an update tomorrow with what's going on.

"We will see if it is possible [for him to play on Saturday] and if it is possible, we will push to do everything so he is in goal on Saturday."

Mendy has kept 16 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, a haul bettered by only Thibaut Courtois (17), Jan Oblak (18), Ederson (19) and Mike Maignan (21) across the top five European leagues in 2020-21.

His nine clean sheets since Tuchel's appointment is only behind Maignan's 11 over the same period.

Nevertheless, his xGOT (expected goals on target) conceded does leave a little to be desired, as his 26 goals let in is from a xGOT of 22.8.

This means the average goalkeeper would have expected to only let in roughly 23 goals from the quality of chances against him, therefore suggesting Mendy can do better.

Oblak has the best record (among goalkeepers to have played 15 or more games) in this regard over Europe's top five leagues, preventing LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid from conceding 8.6 goals more than they have.

However, Kepa's form from last season still shows how much of an upgrade Mendy has been.

Kepa conceded 47 Premier League goals from an xGOT value of 34.3, which suggests he was at fault for 12.7 goals – that was the third-worst such record across the top five leagues.

The Spaniard cannot be blamed too much for Sunday's defeat, though, the only goal he conceded coming via a penalty.

However, Tuchel accepts Chelsea got lucky, with Tottenham's 4-2 win over Leicester City ultimately vital in ensuring the Blues finished fourth.

"We are lucky that Tottenham did the job for us and finished the job for us today. Like I said, we came to win and to put any doubts to the side but it was not possible," Tuchel continued.

"We are in the position, were in it, that it was possible to end in the four even with a defeat and that was possible because of the team's hard work and consistently good results.

"We need to adjust details and we need to be spot on on Saturday as we want a positive outcome."

Gianni Infantino has denied FIFA colluded with clubs on the controversial Super League but stopped short of saying there had been no talks about the project.

The president of world football's governing body spoke out on Friday after the FIFA congress, describing the Super League attempted breakaway as "a rupture" in the game.

Asked whether FIFA had any involvement in the Super League planning or if it had offered support, Infantino gave a nine-minute response in which he said it was his job to always listen to anybody in the game considering a new format.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas recently accused Infantino of encouraging the Super League, but the FIFA chief rebutted that claim.

"Let me tell you that when we are analysing these questions, we should look at the facts and not rumours or corridor gossip, especially not coming from certain parts," Infantino said.

The proposed new competition was announced and quashed in the space of around 48 hours in April, a breath-taking episode that saw players, coaches, supporter groups, national associations, politicians and even royalty express dismay at the closed-door concept.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham announced they would be taking part, as did Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid from LaLiga, and Serie A giants Juventus, Milan and Inter also signed up. The project, a major threat to the UEFA Champions League, collapsed dramatically, but there are some who expect it to be revived.

"I know many clubs," Infantino told reporters in a conference call. "I speak with clubs for many years, since my days at UEFA, and when speaking to European clubs the Super League topic always is a topic for discussion.

"Everyone in football knows that, so let's not play games here. Everyone in football knows for years clubs have been studying and preparing for this or similar projects.

"In the 16 years I was in UEFA we always managed that, and I can tell you there were projects that were far more advanced than the one we have seen recently.

"At FIFA it is also my responsibility and our responsibility to discuss with football stakeholders. Now to listen to some clubs and to speak with some clubs doesn't certainly mean in any way whatsoever that FIFA was behind, was colluding, was plotting or I don't know what words you used for any Super League project."

Infantino pointed to a FIFA statement issued in January that said a breakaway competition would not be recognised by the world body.

"In that moment, the rupture was of course becoming inevitable and the rupture is never good, it's not good for anyone," Infantino said on Friday. "No war is good – never. We are ready to defend football from projects we know are wrong."

He added: "I don't close the doors to any discussion with anyone – never – about new formats, new ideas, new competitions. I'm ready to listen to everyone.

"This is my job ... the way I live the presidency of FIFA.

"I'm aware some people prefer to spin these discussions in a different way and I can understand that attacking me or FIFA is a good way to divert the attention from real problems that have never been addressed in the last years."

Infantino did not specify his target for that remark, but said: "I hope that as of today we can move to the real issues that football is facing."

Chelsea will make late checks on the fitness of N'Golo Kante and Kai Havertz for their pivotal match against Aston Villa.

The Blues are one point clear of Liverpool and Leicester City going into the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Only two of those teams will be able to secure a top-four finish, but Chelsea's fate is in their own hands when they travel to Villa.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed defender Andreas Christensen will return after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury.

Kante left the field in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Leicester with a hamstring problem of his own and is less certain to play.

A test will also be conducted on Havertz, with the upcoming Champions League final on May 29 also a factor Tuchel must weigh up when it comes to playing Kante or Havertz.

"With NG [Kante] it's going to be very close, but there are some hopes he joins team training on Saturday," said Tuchel. "If not, he'll join on Monday. 

"Kai did a test Friday and will be tested in team training [on Saturday].

"Andreas Christensen will be in the squad. He did full training [Thursday and Friday] without any problems. So he will be back."

Tuchel is aware Chelsea are in an exciting period, having bounced back from losing the FA Cup final by beating Leicester in the league, with two more decisive matches to come.

"It's exciting and it's nice if you play for stuff," said the German. "It keeps you at the edge and brings out the best in you. We felt it at Wembley and on Tuesday. 

"We needed to win to maintain our goals and that set a certain intensity and energy, that's very special. 

"It's not always like this for 60 matches a year. When these matches arrive, they are very special and they bring a certain amount of excitement you can't find anywhere else."

Chelsea have won their last three Premier League away games against Aston Villa, last winning four in a row at Villa Park between 1995 and 1999.

Tuchel revealed he would keep track of Leicester and Liverpool as they take on Tottenham and Crystal Palace respectively at the same time.

He said: "For a long period of the game we will be in our bubble, but in the end, if we have results that change the amount of risk we need to take – because we're not leading or not comfortable with our lead – we need to know. 

"We need to be professional. If we need to adapt our risk management in the game, I think it's normal. We will approach the game like the game against Leicester. It's in our hands and can decide things with a win.

"So we prepare to win the game but as you know, there can be a lot of twists and turns so we need to be ready for everything on our pitch.

"The top four would be the main target for all of us. Having a busy schedule made it harder. 

"We had so many games and a tight schedule. It was a complicated situation to reach the final, go back to top-four race, then a semi-final in the Champions League.

"There are so many competitions and so many levels in these competitions. So it demanded a lot of different levels of concentration for us. 

"It's what we worked for and it's still in our hands. We know how hard it is to play at Aston Villa but we are determined to do it."

Villa have lost 10 of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Chelsea (W1 D1), though they did get a draw in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge this season.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have lost their final league game in just one of the last nine campaigns (W6 D2), going down 3-0 at Newcastle United in 2017-18.

They are unbeaten in each of their eight away league games under Tuchel (W6 D2), conceding just four goals in total and never more than once in a match.

Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias has been named as the Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association (FWA).

Dias, signed from Benfica last year, pipped team-mate Kevin De Bruyne and Tottenham talisman Harry Kane to the award. He was one of nine players from Pep Guardiola's title-winning team to be included in the shortlist, with the City contingent accounting for over half of the votes cast.

The 24-year-old, who has marshalled a defence which has conceded just 32 goals in the Premier League this season, is the first defender to win the prize since Steve Nicol in 1989. 

He has also become only the third player to win the award in his first season in England, after Jurgen Klinsmann and Gianfranco Zola did so in 1995 and 1997 respectively.

In addition to being integral to a fifth Premier League title charge, Dias has helped City to an EFL Cup win – their fourth in a row – and reach their first Champions League final, which will be played against Chelsea in Porto on May 29.

FWA chair Carrie Brown said: "Ruben Dias turned heads soon after his arrival in Manchester, a 23-year-old belying his age with fortitude, steel, a relentless drive for perfection and an almost superhuman ability to read and anticipate phases of play.

"This, while commendable, would not alone qualify a player to win the FWA Footballer of the Year award. One of our founding members, Charles Buchan, prescribed the award to recognise and celebrate a player who 'by precept and example' is considered to be the footballer of the year.

"Pep Guardiola improves players, shapes them but at no point, has a new signing arrived into one of Pep's already trophy-laden teams and exerted such influence.

"Dias has demanded the highest standards which have resulted in the swiftest of upturns in fortune not solely for Dias himself, but team-mates to his left, right, front and centre.

"Perhaps, in this of all seasons, Dias is the leader we all need."

Dias has made 31 league appearances for City this season, helping Guardiola's men keep 14 clean sheets, ranking him behind only Aston Villa's Matt Targett (15) among Premier League defenders.

His tally of 88 clearances puts him top in terms of City defenders, while no team-mate at the back has made more headed clearances (47) than the Portugal international.

He ranks fourth among City defenders for tackles attempted (23), boasting an impressive success rate of 56.5 per cent, with a duel success rate of 59.3.

No City defender has contested more aerial duels (98), with Dias winning 61 of them. He has scored one league goal so far.

Dias will be able to play in front of his own club's fans for the first time on Sunday, when City welcome Everton to the Etihad Stadium.

Timo Werner acknowledged he could not have too many complaints despite again rueing his luck as he played a key role for Chelsea without scoring in their 2-1 win over Leicester City.

Just four days on from losing to the Foxes in the FA Cup final, Chelsea leapfrogged their opponents into third at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues retain control of their fate in the race to qualify for the Champions League, a competition in which they will play this season's final later this month.

Werner will no doubt have a big role to play in the showpiece against Manchester City, but his personal fortunes showed little sign of turning in this match.

Before Antonio Rudiger's opener, Werner had two goals disallowed – one for offside, the other for handball – and a big penalty appeal waved away.

The striker did eventually win a spot-kick, a league-high fifth of the season, that Jorginho dispatched, meaning Kelechi Iheanacho's response counted for little for Leicester.

But Werner still only has six goals in the Premier League.

Although the Germany international's finishing is a concern, with his chances worth 11.24 expected goals producing shots with a value of just 8.55 expected goals on target (xGOT), there has been an element of misfortune, as the player suggests.

The 2.55 difference between his xGOT total and goals tally indicates opposition goalkeepers performing above their expected level.

"I think the first half particularly was the picture of the whole season for me up to now," Werner, whose 27 offsides rank joint-fourth in the top flight, told Sky Sports.

"I was, every time, close but at the end not really close. I think for me maybe [it was] the unluckiest season I have ever had and will have maybe, because it can't be worse.

"For example, the offside, okay the 10th time, I don't know how close it was, then a clear penalty for us. Of course I was surprised [it wasn't given] because for me it was a clear penalty.

"And then the first one, I want to make a header and I get a little push and put my arm out and then the ball goes exactly against my arm.

"I didn't know [it would be ruled out] because I felt a touch on my hand but didn't realise how it was. You see it on the picture that I get a little hit from behind and then my arm goes forward and it touches.

"Unlucky the whole season. When you have a season like this and you are so unlucky and you still in the Champions League final and maybe reach the Champions League next year, all good."

Pep Guardiola revealed Manchester City's medical staff are "optimistic" on Ilkay Gundogan's fitness, after the midfielder sustained a knee injury in the defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Gundogan trudged off 56 minutes into Tuesday's contest, with City leading 2-1 at the time – the Germany international having opened the scoring early on, before Phil Foden netted a sensational second and Leandro Trossard replied for Brighton.

The 30-year-old, who has scored 17 goals across all competitions this season, was the recipient of a reckless challenge from Alireza Jahanbakhsh in the first half, and Guardiola cited this as the reason for his eventual departure.

Gundogan had an ice pack strapped to his left knee as he watched on from the sidelines, with City going on to capitulate to goals from Adam Webster and Dan Burn, whose winner sealed Brighton's first top-flight victory over the Citizens since 1981.

With the Champions League final against Chelsea coming up on May 29, Guardiola said Gundogan will be assessed on Wednesday, though the initial prognosis was positive.

"Tomorrow we are going to check it. The doctor is quite optimistic," Guardiola told a news conference.

"The problem is he had a kick and he was running in the second half with a disturbance. I didn't want to take a risk, that's why we did the substitution."

Gundogan may not be the only star midfielder facing a race against time to be fit for the showdown in Porto next week, with Chelsea's N'Golo Kante going off with a problem in their match against Leicester City.

With 32 minutes played at Stamford Bridge, Kante left the field to be replaced Mateo Kovacic.

Kante – who was named in France's squad for Euro 2020 on Tuesday – showed no obvious signs of discomfort but was seen discussing his presumed fitness problem with an animated Thomas Tuchel on the touchline.

Manchester City have announced they will pay travel costs for supporters attending the Champions League final against Chelsea in Porto.

The final will take place in the Portuguese city on May 29, having been moved from Istanbul last week after Turkey was placed on the UK's travel 'red list', due to an increase in coronavirus cases.

Discussions over staging the match between two Premier League sides in the UK fell down after UEFA were unable to secure quarantine exemptions for staff members.

Portugal emerged as a viable alternative, given it is on the UK's 'green list', with non-essential travel permitted without quarantine requirements upon return, meaning 6,000 supporters from each club are able to buy tickets at the reduced capacity Estadio do Dragao.

However, fans wishing to attend the game still face prohibitive costs concerning flights and required PCR COVID-19 tests.

In a scheme funded by owner Sheikh Mansour, those able to buy tickets to see whether Pep Guardiola's side can add a first Champions League crown to their Premier League and EFL Cup successes will now have a chunk of that cost offset.

"Pep and the team have had such a remarkable season and their reaching the Champions League final after a very challenging year represents a truly historic moment for the club," Mansour said in a club statement. 

"It is therefore incredibly important that as many fans as possible have the opportunity to attend this special game. Especially those who have supported Manchester City through good and bad times for so many years."

Fights and transfers for match-going fans will be covered under the initiative, with the process for buying tickets set to be announced later on Tuesday.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel admitted Champions League qualification is more important than winning the FA Cup.

After missing out on the FA Cup trophy to Leicester City on Saturday, Chelsea and the Foxes will lock horns again in a blockbuster Premier League clash on Tuesday.

Chelsea are fourth in the table, only a point above fifth-placed Liverpool with two rounds remaining, while Leicester are third and two points better off than Tuchel's side.

As Liverpool lurk, Tuchel talked up the importance of securing a spot in Europe's premier club competition next season, which can also be clinched if Chelsea beat Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29.

"I am not a good loser but I want to be a respectful loser and I am not here to play the match [the FA Cup final] down because of financial reasons," he said.

"We lost a big match, it was a huge match for us, we put out the best team possible, we did not rest anybody because we had the feeling that this game tomorrow is more important.

"But there is a but. Do we want to play Champions League next season? Yes, this is the target when I stepped into this club. I want to be very clear, the task was, 'let's try everything to be in the top four'.

"The task was not, 'let's try everything to win the FA Cup' because the FA Cup, as big as it is, does not bring you to Champions League football next season. It's the top four that brings us that.

"So, yes, tomorrow is another huge game. But like I said, the FA Cup final was big for us. Once you can collect silverware you try everything simply out of respect.

"And me and the players – be very sure about this – we think zero about how much money we earn [by qualifying for the Champions League]. This is not in our heads."

Chelsea are winless in their last six Premier League meetings with Leicester (D4 L2), having won nine of their previous 11 against them in the competition (D1 L1).

Meanwhile, Chelsea have not lost their final home league game in any of the last 18 seasons (W12 D6), since losing 3-1 against Aston Villa in the 2001-02 campaign.

Kevin De Bruyne will travel with Manchester City for their game at Brighton and Hove Albion, as Pep Guardiola insisted focus is not a problem for his team with the Champions League final looming.

De Bruyne has not featured since his starring role in City's 4-1 aggregate Champions League semi-final triumph over Paris Saint-Germain due to a muscular complaint.

But the Belgium playmaker is set to return to action for the recently crowned Premier League champions when they face Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday.

City round off their domestic campaign at home to Everton on Sunday, before attention turns to the Champions League final against Chelsea in Porto.

“Yeah, he’s been training for the last two days, he feels good,” Guardiola told a pre-match news conference of De Bruyne.

"Kevin is important like everyone is important. When we are able to stick together and push each other, it is possible to win.

"Everyone knows it but everyone is at the same level, we will see his level and see if he is fit to play the next games."

Guardiola handed a belated City debut to 35-year-old goalkeeper Scott Carson in last Friday's 4-3 victory over Newcastle United, where his side twice came from behind and Ferran Torres' hat-trick secured an English league record 12th consecutive away win, although Ederson will return for the season conclusion.

A two-time winner in the Champions League going back to his time with Barcelona, Guardiola insisted focus would not be a problem for his side over the coming week.

"We will have six days to focus on the final after the Everton game. Now it is the Brighton game," he said.

"If you are working to prepare for Brighton, you are working the best way as possible to prepare for the final.

"I'm pretty sure we cannot prepare the final of the Champions League if we are not ready for Brighton or Everton. We did not speak one second about Chelsea.

"Tomorrow we'll play to win again and this is the best way to arrive to the final. In the six days, we'll be more focused on Chelsea."

Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Arsenal last week and Liverpool's dramatic win over West Brom on Sunday means the Blues' top-four qualification hopes are in the balance.

Thomas Tuchel's side face the prospect of high-pressure encounters against Leicester City, their weekend conquerors in the FA Cup final, and Aston Villa.

"I don't know," Guardiola replied when asked whether the contrasting workload for his team would be an advantage or a disadvantage.  

"I won't be in the locker room for Chelsea. I'm only concerned about what we have to do in these two games.

"In these 10 or 12 days we will prepare these two games and the final as best as possible. I don't know if that is better or not."

Jude Bellingham said it was "fantastic" for Borussia Dortmund to seal their place in next season's Champions League as team-mate Jadon Sancho achieved a feat last accomplished by David Beckham.

At the age of 17, Bellingham has found himself thrust into Bundesliga action at the heart of Dortmund's midfield, and the former Birmingham City youngster could be heading for Euro 2020 duty with England at season's end.

A challenging campaign for a talented Dortmund squad is ending on a high, with their 4-1 DFB-Pokal final win over RB Leipzig on Thursday followed by Sunday's 3-1 Bundesliga victory at Mainz.

That result means Dortmund, who sit third with one round of games remaining, are certain to finish in the top four. Bellingham piled praise on interim head coach Edin Terzic, who replaced the sacked Lucien Favre in December, for getting the team to tick over the closing weeks of the campaign, having looked doubtful at one stage to earn a Champions League spot.

"I'm very happy," said Bellingham. "I knew what the club's expectations were. We fell a bit short throughout the season, especially in the league.

"We were in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and won the cup. Today we've qualified for the Champions League again after being in a difficult position. That's fantastic, I'm very happy."

Bellingham added, quoted on Dortmund's official website: "Edin has a brilliant personality. He got the best out of us players, wanted to make everyone better. He's done a great job with his team. We are very happy to have him."

Goals from Raphael Guerreiro and Marco Reus in the first half at Mainz were both teed up by Sancho, helping Dortmund on their way to a seventh successive win.

In the process, winger Sancho became the first Englishman from any of Europe's top five championships to reach 10 assists in three consecutive league campaigns since Beckham, who strung together four such seasons from 1997-98 to 2000-01 with Manchester United.

Sancho missed a chunk of this season due to a muscle injury and has made just 25 Bundesliga appearances in 2020-21, but the 21-year-old has still managed 11 assists and eight goals.

Last season he managed 16 assists and 17 goals, while in 2018-19 the teenage Sancho totted up 14 assists and 12 goals.

Sancho – a rumoured Manchester United and Liverpool target – has enjoyed a remarkable week, becoming the first Englishman to score in the DFB-Pokal final as he netted twice in the thumping win over Leipzig.

He tweeted on Sunday that it was "objective complete" for Dortmund as they followed up the silverware with a place at Europe's top table next term, a result that may make it easier for the club to keep the likes of Sancho and Erling Haaland, two of Europe's most coveted young players.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli urged his players not to think about what could have been had they beaten Cagliari, with Serie A's top-four race going down to the last day.

Pioli's Milan would have sealed Champions League qualification with a victory at San Siro on Sunday, but were held to a goalless draw, failing to beat Cagliari for the first time in a home league match since October 1999.

It was also Milan's first 0-0 draw in Serie A in 56 games, since January 2020, while it marked the first time the Rossoneri have failed to score against Cagliari at San Siro in the top flight in just under 24 years.

Without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan managed just two of their 21 attempts on target, and goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma – making potentially his last appearance as a Milan player at San Siro with his contract due to expire at the end of the season – had to make two fantastic stops at the other end.

The draw leaves Milan – who have not featured in the Champions League since 2013-14 – on 76 points, one ahead of fifth-placed Juventus and on level pegging with third-placed Napoli.

Milan face second-placed Atalanta, already sure of a Champions League place, in their final game of the season, with Juve facing Bologna and Napoli playing Hellas Verona.

"There's no point thinking about what might've been. We have to focus on the next match," Pioli, whose team had beaten Torino and Juve 7-0 and 3-0 respectively in their previous outings, told Sky Sport Italia.

"We weren't at the level of our recent performances, in terms of tempo and quality. We had the game of a lifetime against Juventus, then with Torino, so it's another of those with Atalanta. We go again.

"We knew a win would finish it, so there was some tension, some fear, some misplaced confidence that we could win by playing ugly, but we have to fight for every point.

"We should've moved the ball quicker and created more advantageous situations, that's just it.

"We've done great things this season, there is a disappointment this evening and we know Atalanta are the only side we've been unable to beat during my tenure at Milan."

Asked if missing out on the Champions League would be a failure, considering Milan's fine start to the season, Pioli said: "With the way we played, all we did and how much we've grown over the year, failing to reach the top four would certainly be disappointing.

"It would still not be a failure, because I feel we laid the foundations to get there very soon in the future and it was an aim at the start of the season, but definitely not an obligation."

Ibrahimovic was on the sidelines, but his season is over, while he will also not feature for Sweden at the rescheduled Euro 2020.

"We need to remember that people said we were entirely dependent on Zlatan, then after two games they said we play better without him. Neither of those are true," Pioli added.

"We needed someone who was ready to play as a centre-forward when Ibra was out, but unfortunately [Mario] Mandzukic had various different issues and was rarely available."

Cristiano Ronaldo and "many others" will leave if Juventus fail to qualify for the Champions League, according to Christian Vieri.

It has been a forgettable season for Juve, who had their run of nine consecutive Serie A titles snapped by newly crowned champions Inter, amid doubts over Ronaldo and first-year head coach Andrea Pirlo.

Pirlo's position is under intense scrutiny as Juve languish fifth in the table, with Champions League qualification now out of their hands ahead of Saturday's showdown against Inter.

Ronaldo also continues to be linked with a move away from Juve amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain and former club Manchester United.

Italian great Vieri – who played for both Juve and Inter – warned of a mass exodus if the Bianconeri were absent from Europe's premier club competition for the first time since 2011-12.

"For me, Inter will win in Turin and Juventus won't play the Champions League next season," Vieri said via his Twitch program 'Bobo TV'.

"Without Champions League football, Ronaldo will leave and many others will follow him, Juventus will face a severe financial crisis.

"It will be a dramatic failure and many players will leave."

Juventus have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 13 games in all competitions; they last suffered a longer such run in 1955 (21 games in a row).

After winning 2-0 in the reverse fixture, Inter could claim two consecutive Serie A games against Juve for the first time since 2003-04 under Alberto Zaccheroni, while the Nerazzurri last beat the Bianconeri on the road in the league in 2012.

Ronaldo made his senior debut with Sporting CP against Inter via a Champions League qualifier in August 2002. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has scored four goals in 10 matches in all competitions against the Nerazzurri (W5 D4 L1).

Pep Guardiola said Manchester City's wild 4-3 win over Newcastle United is a "good lesson" ahead of the Champions League final against Chelsea.

City returned to the pitch for the first time since clinching the Premier League title this week and Guardiola's side survived a seven-goal shoot-out on Friday.

Powered by a Ferran Torres hat-trick, City erased two deficits to set an English record with their 12th consecutive away win – one more milestone after securing their third league title in four years on Tuesday. 

Following one or two days of "distractions" and just one training session, manager Guardiola said he was not expecting perfection against Newcastle as he made five changes to his XI, including giving 35-year-old goalkeeper Scott Carson his club debut. 

Carson made his first Premier League appearance since May 2011 for West Brom, a gap of nine years and 357 days. It is the sixth longest gap between appearances in Premier League history, and the longest ever for a goalkeeper.

With the ultimate prize looming in the Champions League final against Chelsea on May 29, Guardiola expects his team to learn from their close call in Newcastle.

Guardiola said during his post-match news conference after City recorded their 23rd consecutive unbeaten away game in all competitions (W21 D2) – the longest ever undefeated away run by a side in the top four tiers of English football, overtaking Notts County's run of 22 in 2012.

"The way they fought and the way they run and the way they come back after 1-0, after 3-2, and being there and making a step forward – they know it. It's not necessary to tell them.

"They know if you want to win or compete against Chelsea in the final, of course you have to earn it.

"It's better to happen today. Then maybe, maybe it's not going to happen in the final."

Ferran Torres – who arrived from Valencia at the start of the season – became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick for a team managed by Guardiola (21 years and 75 days), overtaking Gabriel Jesus who was 21 years and 218 days against Shakhtar Donetsk in November 2018.

"I'm delighted for the three goals," Guardiola said. "He has incredible numbers for a first season in England, he has incredible numbers. He didn't play for a period of two months, he didn't play much and he came as a winger who can play on both sides.

"He can make incredible runs in behind but maybe we have to start to think about if he can play as a striker because every time he plays in that position he has a sense for goal, a real sense for goal.

"Today he produced an incredible first goal with the header, but the last two... I think the last one is an example of that intuition. It's intuitive, to know exactly where the ball comes and being there to score a goal.

"He was fantastic all season and an incredible signing for us. He's a young player and can play in three positions up front. Not just in one, he can play in three. But playing in the more central position the guy has an incredible sense of goal."

Antonio Rudiger is no stranger to putting himself in difficult and painful situations for the cause, as evidenced by the defensive lynchpin of Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea revival sporting a protective face mask during matches over recent weeks.

Nevertheless, even as a player who appears to relish a challenge and refuse to back down from a confrontation, Chelsea playing behind closed doors might have done Rudiger a favour earlier in the year.

The Stamford Bridge faithful, for all the success lapped up during the Roman Abramovich era, are certainly not shy when it comes to voicing their displeasure over an unpopular change in the dugout, of which there have been plenty.

There was the vocal backing for Roberto Di Matteo weeks after his sacking in 2012. Interim boss Rafael Benitez was the villain in that situation but calling out any perceived culprits among a squad often noted for wielding player power has also marked times of tumult.

When Jose Mourinho's second spell at Chelsea ended with the then-reigning Premier League champions lurching close to the relegation zone in December 2015, he was backed by plenty of fans amid accusations of player betrayal. One banner in the ground famously branded Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to be "The 3 Rats".

Had stadiums been full around the time of Frank Lampard's January demise, it is possible Rudiger would have faced similar scrutiny.

"There have been so many nonsense rumours around about me since last week," he told The Athletic in February, following speculation that urged the Chelsea board to dispense with Lampard. "I've never talked with the board about the situation of the coach or on any other topics."

In a separate interview with Sky Sports, Rudiger explained he suffered "immense" racist abuse online after Lampard's sacking, both an indication of the levels of toxicity at play and a deplorable sign of our times.

It certainly did not feel plausible that, in the space of four months, Rudiger would be arguably the form defender in European football and leading Chelsea's charge under Tuchel for a pair of major honours, starting in Saturday's FA Cup final against Leicester.

Indeed, the most remarkable element of Rudiger being singled out as a man responsible for so many of the ills at Chelsea around the fall of Lampard was how little he had been involved in the first team.

He started two of their first 17 Premier League fixtures before being recalled in the wake of a 3-1 defeat by Manchester City to start back-to-back games against Fulham and Leicester – the latter of which was a 2-0 defeat that effectively sealed Lampard's fate.

Overall, Rudiger made nine appearances in all competitions under the former England midfielder this season, with eight of those starts. His 742 minutes on the pitch were dwarfed by first-choice duo Kurt Zouma (1,999) and Thiago Silva (1,552).

Tuchel's decision to switch Chelsea into a 3-4-2-1 shape obviously did Rudiger and his fellow centre-backs a favour in the most basic terms of one more slot in the team being available, but the Germany international has repaid his countryman's faith emphatically.

In 21 appearances since, he has been involved in a remarkable 14 clean sheets. No defender in the Premier League, or elsewhere in Europe's top five leagues for that matter, can boast more in this time.

The six goals conceded with him on the field is also the lowest across the continent's elite divisions for any defender to have started 15 or more games from January 27 onwards, which was the date of Tuchel's first game in charge – a 0-0 draw with Wolves.

Rudiger rested up for Wembley in midweek when Chelsea went down to a lacklustre 1-0 home loss to Arsenal. He was an unused substitute for the only other league defeat of Tuchel's tenure, an unhinged 5-2 collapse versus West Brom after Silva was sent off.

In the 19 Premier League games Rudiger has not started in 2020-21, Chelsea have conceded 26 goals at a rate of 1.4 per game. With the ex-Roma man in the first XI, this plummets to seven in 17 (0.4 per game).

Those seven goals have arrived over the course of 1,530 minutes on the field, meaning Rudiger has seen a goal conceded every 218.6 minutes. This is the best ratio in the Premier League for any defender to have played 1,000 minutes or more this term, with Manchester City pairing John Stones (194.9) and Ruben Dias (148.1) next on the list – suggesting the Champions League final in two weeks' time could be something of a cagey affair.

When set alongside his Chelsea central defensive colleagues Zouma, Silva and Andreas Christensen, Rudiger's imposing qualities are evident. He has made 29 tackles in the Premier League this season, an average of 1.7 per 90 minutes, with no other member of the quartet averaging above one.

His 7.1 duels per 90 is bettered by Zouma (7.6), although both have the same return when it comes to duels won (4.8).

Of course, Rudiger has starred within a collective recalibration. In the Premier League, Tuchel's Chelsea have faced an average of 7.8 shots per game at an expected goals (xG) value of 0.6, down from 10.1 and 1 under Lampard.

Adjustments beyond the defence have also made the Blues harder to play against. They control matches far more effectively, with an average of 663.6 passes per game up from 612.7 at a slightly better accuracy (87.7 per cent from 86.3).

Chelsea are also pressing opponents more effectively, allowing an average of 10.1 passes per defensive action (PPDA) under Tuchel, behind only FA Cup final foes Leicester and Leeds United across the period in question. This season with Lampard in charge, they averaged 11 PPDA, which was fourth among all Premier League teams.

The improvements have made life a little easier for defenders, but when Chelsea step out at Wembley there will be no mystery over the identity of their standout performer at centre-back – even if he is wearing a mask. Rudiger has lifted himself off the scrapheap to become Tuchel's talisman.

Pep Guardiola wanted Manchester City to play the Champions League final in Istanbul for Ilkay Gundogan's sake but said the move to Porto was not a problem for the club.

City manager Guardiola has led the team to a first final in Europe's premier club competition, and they will face Chelsea on May 29 for the trophy they crave.

UEFA declared on Thursday that the game would move to Portugal, in the wake of Turkey being added to a travel 'red list' by the UK government due to COVID-19 concerns.

With UK tourists set to be allowed to visit Portugal from May 17, without the need to quarantine at any stage of their journey, it means supporters will be able to take up the allocation of 6,000 tickets per club.

"If UEFA decides that, we are going to go there," Guardiola said.

"I had a pleasure to go to Istanbul, because since my career as a football player with Barcelona, I never had the opportunity again to go there. Not even ever in the Champions League."

City midfielder Gundogan is a Germany international but his parents are Turkish, and he has strong affection for the country.

"For Gundogan, for Ilkay, I wanted to go there," Guardiola added. "Unfortunately, UEFA decided to go to Portugal. No problem."

Guardiola will hope Kevin De Bruyne is ready to play in the Champions League final, but the Belgian playmaker will miss Friday's Premier League game at Newcastle United due to a muscle injury.

"He is still injured but he's getting better," Guardiola said in a news conference on Thursday.

"When he is fit, he will come to training and the guys who are completely fit with 100 per cent mentally and physicality will have a chance to play in the final.

"Before that we have three games to get information about how the team is and the players to play in the last game of the season."

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