Man City lifts maiden UCL trophy in Istanbul

Man City lifts maiden UCL trophy in Istanbul

Man City lifts maiden UCL trophy in Istanbul

Manchester City won the first Champions League in their history on June 10 and secured a treble of trophies by beating Inter Milan 1-0.

In a far closer match than many pundits had predicted, Rodri's sweetly-struck goal proved the difference for Abu Dhabi-backed City, who have already won the Premier League and FA Cup this season.

Rodri sidefooted in on 68 minutes after Bernardo Silva pulled back a cross that fell perfectly for the unmarked Spaniard at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

It sealed the third Champions League for City manager Pep Guardiola, who won it twice with Barcelona.

The outcome could have been different had Romelu Lukaku's header not been stopped by Ederson's leg minutes later.

Earlier in the second half, City also enjoyed a slice of luck when Federico Dimarco's goalbound header was blocked by his own player, Lukaku.

In another Inter chance, Lautaro Martinez raced away after a misunderstanding in the City defence but goalkeeper Ederson tore out of his goal to narrow the angle and stop the shot.

Inter had kept City goalless in a cagey first half marked by the injury-enforced exit of Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne in the 36th minute, to be replaced by Phil Foden.

In City's best chance of that half, the otherwise muted Erling Haaland shot straight at Andre Onana in the Inter goal and Silva curled a shot just wide before that.

City had to re-organise when De Bruyne pulled up, crouching on the turf before leaving the pitch a dejected figure five minutes later.

The Belgian suffered the same fate when City lost the 2021 Champions League final to Chelsea.

“It was written in the stars. It belongs to us," said Pep Guardiola after the 1-0 win against Inter Milan, as tears flowed again from the manager, his players and a sea of blue-shirted fans.

This was the final frontier for Guardiola's team, which also completed a rare treble of trophies after winning the Premier League title and FA Cup this season.

Guardiola joked about being “just 13 Champions Leagues away” from Real Madrid.

“If you sleep a little bit we will catch you,” he said. “But I don’t want after one Champions League to disappear, so work harder next season and be in there."

This trophy will also strengthen the case to declare Guardiola the greatest coach ever as he collected his third Champions League title and 30th major piece of silverware.

It was his second treble of trophies, having emulated the feat he achieved with Barcelona in 2009. City became just the second English club to complete a sweep of the three biggest trophies after Manchester United did it in 1999.

“We didn’t deserve to lose,” said Inter coach Simone Inzaghi. "We played against a top team, but even Inter played a great final. Manchester City has deserved the Champions League considering what it has done in the past years. But tonight it played against a great Inter which cornered them.”

City found a way through on a night when it was far from its best and showed few examples of the flowing play that saw it blow away Bayern Munich and Real Madrid on the way to the final.

Sheikh Mansour was in attendance to see the crowning moment, watching his team in person for only the second time since buying the club in 2008.

“One of the main reasons why this club became what we are is because people from Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mansour, take over the club,” Guardiola said. “Without that we would not be here. They are the most important people. ... They support me unconditionally in the defeats in this competition. At many clubs when that happens you are sacked.”

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