CL triumph against Inter Milan
Manchester City is teetering on the historic treble
06/10/2023, 10:55 p.m
The coronation is perfect: Manchester City narrowly wins the final of the Champions League against Inter Milan and celebrates the treble as the tenth team in Europe. The final in Istanbul is intense and heated. The team of star coach Pep Guardiola survives some anxious moments.
Pep Guardiola trembled and begged until the last second, Ilkay Gündogan raised his arms in relief: When Manchester City finally reached the goal of its billion-dollar and thorny Champion League mission, a hurricane of joy erupted in the Atatürk Olympic Stadium. The English champions and FA Cup winners lived up to their role as favorites in a hard-fought final in Istanbul with a 1-0 (0-0) win over Inter Milan – and immediately started a boisterous triple party.
Rodri (68′) scored decisively in front of 71,412 spectators for City, who had repeatedly stumbled painfully in the hunt for the most important title in European club football. The coup redeemed captain Gündogan, who triumphed for the first time after final defeats in 2013 with Borussia Dortmund and 2021 with City. In addition, Guardiola’s twelve-year wait for his third Champions League coup as coach ended.
Second English treble team
The “Skyblues” also became the second English team after Manchester United in 1999 to complete a treble and prevented Inter from being crowned Europe’s best football club for the fourth time after 1964, 1965 and 2010. City, which repeatedly spent millions on transfers under the ownership group around Sheikh Mansour from Abu Dhabi, took a long run at the “handle pot”. Since Guardiola took office in 2016, the club have made three quarter-finals, one semi-final and lost the final 1-0 to Chelsea in Porto two years ago.
Before the game, the Manchester figureheads had emphasized their desire to finally make it and make the fans happy. Thousands of supporters of the “Skyblues” and Inter got themselves in the final mood in the urban area of the Turkish metropolis from the morning. The chaos and admission problems from the previous year in Paris were not repeated.
City keeper Ederson surprisingly nervous
In terms of sport, the roles were clearly divided before kick-off – City had knocked out Bayern Munich and Real Madrid one after the other and went into the final unbeaten. However, Inter, as underdogs, announced they would play with a lot of heart and Guardiola, initially betting on a back three without Kyle Walker, warned.
As expected, his team started powerfully and quickly had the first opportunity with a flick from Bernardo Silva (5th). After that, Inter kept the favorites away from their own goal until Erling Haaland’s dangerous finish (27th) and knew how to please with a straight-forward switching game. City keeper Ederson, once involved, looked nervous.
Inter miss incredible chances
Then there was a painful setback: Guardiola’s offensive motor Kevin de Bruyne had to leave the field injured early, as in the final two years ago, Phil Foden was to set the tone from then on (36th). Inter continued to annoy Manchester with persistent defensive work until half-time. With the restart, Gündogan and Co. wanted to noticeably increase the number of strokes, but Inter, who played with Romelu Lukaku for Edin Dzeko from the 57th minute of the game, remained dangerous: world champion Lautaro Martinez had to be stopped shortly afterwards by Ederson after problems with the match. Then Rodri consistently used a rebound to lead.
Milan were undefeated and in turn hit the bar through Federico Dimarco. National player Robin Gosens, who initially sat on the bench, came onto the field in the closing stages (76′). Shortly thereafter, Foden missed the chance to make it 2-0 (77th). Lukaku missed the equalizer shortly before the end (88th) in an almost dramatic way. He headed the ball to Ederson’s foot on the goal line. Rúben Dias then clarifies in dire need. Ederson also had to clarify again in the sixth minute of stoppage time. An insane finale.