Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

After the final whistle blew, signaling Manchester City's players to rush onto the pitch, the cameras captured Pep Guardiola. It seemed like he was being pulled in different directions, perhaps to congratulate his team's players. But who was he heading towards? 

In the next frame, Erling Haaland appeared, wearing a smile on his face. However, the immediate burst of joy wasn't entirely understood. How does one express elation after winning the Champions League? He probably didn't know either, as he wasn't a part of Manchester City. This marked their first-ever Champions League trophy!

City didn't conquer Inter Milan as easily as predicted. The first half of the match was an intense back-and-forth, and Inter put up a decent fight. Haaland failed to find the net, but when it comes to winning a trophy, it takes more than just one player's goals. Sometimes, a single goal is enough, and today, that solitary goal was scored by Riyad Mahrez for City.

With a 1-0 victory, City not only brought home the Champions League trophy for the first time but also secured a treble, becoming the tenth club in European history to achieve this feat. Prior to this, only Manchester United held such a distinction among English clubs.

Pep Guardiola, leaving Kyle Walker on the bench, fielded an eleventh consisting of Manchester City players. Initially, it seemed like a gamble to not include a traditional right-back, but later, he himself acknowledged it as a tactical decision. Walker's position was taken by João Cancelo, who played on the left side of the defense, leaving Nathan Aké on the right.

This triumphant victory in the Champions League not only solidified Manchester City's place in history but also proved their prowess as one of the dominant forces in English football. The treble win was a testament to their exceptional abilities and strategic decision-making, guided by Pep Guardiola himself.

Before the final, City had maintained their lead, and it didn't feel like Inter Milan had a chance to surpass them in the match. Inter Milan displayed some exceptional football skills and dominated the midfield right from the beginning. City's players, especially Simon Inzaghi's disciples, didn't allow them much space for passing. Inter didn't give City more than a few passes. Especially in the midfield, Inter Milan took complete control and prevented City from launching successful attacks. City couldn't find an opportunity to invade with their natural ball possession. On the other hand, Inter's left winger Federico Dimarco enjoyed himself throughout the match. He made some fantastic crosses. Inter midfielder Nicolò Barella seemed to be playing all over the field.

Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

In the first half, both teams had their chances. Although Erling Haaland was almost invisible, he had a brilliant opportunity in the 27th minute with a pass from Kevin De Bruyne. However, he couldn't find the net and hit the outside of Inter Milan's goalkeeper Handanovic's leg. Just a minute before that, City defender Ederson made a mistake, providing Barella a great chance to take a shot from outside the box. Despite these moments, City struggled to play their planned football in the first half, while Inter seemed unfamiliar to the pitch. City suffered a major setback with a injury to Kevin De Bruyne in the 36th minute. He had to leave the field, and Phil Foden replaced him. What a substitution! Prior to that, City had faced De Bruyne's injury in the final of the 2021 Champions League against Chelsea, where they lost 1-0.

Once again, Guardiola faced a test of his tactics in the final, and once again, De Bruyne suffered an injury. Istanbul had been an unlucky place for City until then. The City supporters' anxiety grew further in the 59th minute of the match. Akankji, City's defender, left the goalkeeper Ederson stranded after a back pass, and Inter Milan's Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez seized that opportunity. He was one-on-one with Ederson. Pep Guardiola was anxiously pacing on the sidelines. After Ederson's save, he stood up. It was a relief for City.

The Istanbul crowd had been waiting for a goal for a long time, and it finally came in the 68th minute of the match. Bernardo Silva, who had been left unmarked on the right side, received a pass from Manuel Akanji. Silva's cross hit the leg of Inter's midfielder Radri, who was in City's penalty area. Radri's brilliant shot from a distance found its way into the net. It was Radri, the same player Guardiola had benched in the final of 2021 against Chelsea!

Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

Manchester Citys Treble Triumph in the Champions League

However, in that very moment, Inter found the opportunity to equalize. Denzel Dumfries headed the ball into City's box, executing a fantastic header. But the ball bounced back to City's goal post. It was Dumfries again with a header, but this time the ball landed in his own net, giving City a fortunate goal.

Not only did Dumfries find himself in an unfortunate situation with the header, but he also caused a missed opportunity that he will be criticized for in the days to come. In the 89th minute, Robin Gosens delivered a superb cross with the ball to the Belgian striker. Lukaku was in front of Dumfries, with empty space on both sides. But it was Inter's striker who took the header, right in front of Ederson. The ball was beyond Ederson's control, but instead of coming back out, it found its way to the corner of the net, saving City. Lukaku's miss ended Inter's hopes.

City's sigh of relief came after the last blast of the whistle. When the clock hit the 95th minute, that whistle echoed across Istanbul's Olympic Stadium, as if it turned the field into the deep blue sea!

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