On a Saturday evening when emotions were already frazzled, Manchester City capped off a remarkable season by defeating Inter Milan by a score of 1-0 to win the Champions League for the first time and complete the triple.
At the Ataturk Stadium, the Spanish midfielder Rodri scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute to break the deadlock in a tense match that a far-from-fluent City team dominated without ever feeling comfortable against the three-time champions from Italy.
Ederson made a diving stop on a header from Romelu Lukaku, who came on as a substitute for Inter, to prevent the game from ending in a tie.
But City would not be denied, even though they had fallen to Chelsea in the championship game two years previously.
“Emotional. A dream came true. I don’t even want to guess how many years all of these guys around here waited. They deserve, and we deserve it just as much,” Rodri added.
They accomplished the same treble as Manchester United did in 1999 when they won the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League by virtue of their victory in the European Championship.
Pep Guardiola, the manager of City, is now a three-time champion of the Champions League, bringing his total number of trophies won with City to 12.
However, against a tenacious Inter team who seemed like they were capable of pulling off an upset, City’s performance was everything but fluid.
During the first half, City’s play was stifled, and their fans’ nerves were beginning to fray as a result. At moments, there was almost complete stillness from the City faithful.
City had trouble creating opportunities and were shaky defensively when Kevin de Bruyne left the game with an injury; nevertheless, the ever-reliable Rodri came through for them in the end to save the game.
For once, Inter were unable to close down the openings, and the cutback from Bernardo Silva was finished off by the Spanish player.
Even so, City were forced to fight to the wire at the conclusion of the lengthy season, with Lautaro Martinez hitting the bar for Inter, and Lukaku being denied by Ederson’s outstanding save at the end of the game.
Guardiola became the first manager in the history of European football to win two trebles with the same club, having previously done it with Barcelona in 2009 when they won the Spanish equivalent of the triple. He did this by eventually guiding Manchester City to the European crown they so coveted after a few gut-wrenching near misses since Sheikh Mansour acquired the club in 2008.
Since he took over as manager of the club in 2016, he has led City to 12 trophy victories, and now that the club has finally broken its curse in the Champions League, any feelings of inferiority that City may have had in comparison to the established European royalty of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool have vanished.
However, City must continue to defend themselves against more than one hundred suspected violations of Premier League financial standards dating back to 2009. However, it is a task for a another day.
On Saturday, when City’s jubilant fans celebrated the club’s first European trophy since the now-defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969–1970, it was the last thing on their minds as they celebrated the club’s victory alongside the Bosphorus.
It was two years ago in Porto that Guardiola’s team lost to Chelsea in the Champions League final. This loss was largely blamed on Guardiola’s strategies, and it occurred when Guardiola’s team messed up their lines.
This time, he and his men came through for him, despite the fact that it was far from easy going up against the crafty Italian team.