Manchester City made history on Saturday night as they beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the Champions League final to secure a famous treble.
Rodri fired home what proved to be the winner in the 68th minute of a cagey affair in Istanbul.
Despite dominating the early proceedings, things didn’t exactly go to plan for City in the first half. Kevin De Bruyne was forced off with a hamstring problem and they struggled to break down the Serie A side, whose energy and intense pressing caused them problems at times.
But Pep Guardiola’s men held their nerve and when Rodri’s composed finish flew past Inter Milan goalkeeper André Onana, they started to believe.
Inter continued to push and but for the crossbar, smart reactions from Ederson and Romelu Lukaku blocking his own teammate’s shot, they would have forced an equaliser.
But City held on to clinch their third trophy of the season. And while they can have no regrets after a dominant campaign, there may just be one thing playing on their minds: how on earth did Nathan Jones and Southampton manage to knock them out of the League Cup and prevent the quadruple?!
After going head-to-head with Arsenal for most of the season, Manchester City eventually won the Premier League by five points to win the first of their three trophies and their fifth league title in six seasons.
Erling Haaland settled into life in England quickly, breaking almost every record that lay in his wake and scoring 36 league goals to win the Golden Boot.
Guardiola’s side then added the FA Cup to their collection last weekend, beating arch-rivals Manchester United in the final thanks to two goals from Ilkay Gundogan.
With only the Champions League remaining, all roads led to Istanbul and to the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, the scene of Liverpool’s iconic comeback against AC Milan in 2005.
City had done the hard work already, comfortably seeing off Bayern Munich in the quarter-final before blowing Real Madrid away in the semis with a humbling 4-0 second-leg win at the Etihad.
But Inter are no pushovers, having qualified from the group stage ahead of Barcelona before seeing off the likes of Porto, Benfica and AC Milan en route to the final.
City were the clear favourites going into the showdown but there were fears that the occasion could prove too much for them, as it did against Chelsea two years ago.
However, their imperious form continued and they finally landed the elusive treble, matching rivals United’s achievement from 1999.
You could argue that as far as Pep Guardiola is concerned, his work at City is done. The 52-year-old has finally added the Champions League to his City CV having not won it since his 2011 triumph with Barcelona.
Guardiola has two years to run on his contract and there’s every chance he’ll carry on and possibly even extend it. Alternatively, he may feel there’s nothing left to achieve and a new challenge could appeal to him.
As for City, their future is bright, even if Guardiola were to move on. In Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden they have a core of young, exciting players that are only going to improve. And they’ll undoubtedly add quality to their squad, with the likes of Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva linked with moves away.
A lot could change for City in the next year or two but two things are for certain, there will be top-quality football on display, and you can watch it all with Engage!
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