Manchester City have won a lot of things, but never the Champions League. Until now.
The heavyweight of English football went where it hadn’t before; fought, scrapped and clawed in the final against Inter Milan at Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul. It wasn’t the most attractive trophy decider and the heavy favourite lost a key midfielder after just 30 minutes, then very nearly conceded a late goal… twice.
But City ground out a tough 1-0 win in the end.
Their fans can rest easy at last.
And the history doesn’t just end there.
Manchester City’s Champions League victory also clinches history not seen since 1989; a treble of major trophies, in the one season, for an English football club. Nobody managed a triple treat since cross-town rivals Manchester United did it in the 1988-89. And that’s literally it; the two Manchester-based juggernauts are the only clubs in England to tick it off.
City’s Champions League final victory came a week after securing the FA Cup final, funnily enough a win over United. Before that, Manchester City had clinched the Premier League crown. A season of both wins and controversy ends mostly on major highs.
While it wasn’t quite smooth-sailing and a highlight-packed final outing, like many games in the build up, it was a near faultless chase for their first Champions League crown. The Sky Blues fearlessly dominated defending champions Real Madrid in the Semis, setting up the opportunity.
Real Madrid, who went on an insane run last year, couldn’t keep the magic alive in Manchester. It was a collision course UEFA tournament organisers could’ve only dreamt of. But the English outfit hit the accelerator midway through the first half when Bernardo Silva netted a brace inside 38 minutes.
City star Erling Haaland had already landed in the Premier League record books for his goal scoring prowess and so far that form has carried over to Europe competition as well. What a signing he’s been; and now vindicated. He didn’t score in Istanbul, but it’s been a campaign to cherish.
And on the other side of the draw, it was an all-Milan encounter; also decided in reasonably comprehensive fashion. But Inter Milan stood tall against their city rivals and reached the decider for the first time since 2010.
Champions League Final result
MANCHESTER CITY 1-0 INTER MILAN (Rodri 68′)
VENUE | Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul
DATE & TIME | June 11, 5am AEST (Saturday night, June 10 local time)
Champions League Semi-Final results
Real Madrid, Manchester City, AC Milan and Inter Milan was the final four.
LEG 1 | Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City, Wednesday May 10, Santiago Bernabeu (Madrid) | Here are the Stan Sport highlights
LEG 1 | AC Milan 0-1 Inter Milan, Thursday May 11, San Siro (Milan) | Here are the highlights
Aggregate: 1-0 (Inter)
LEG 2 | Inter Milan 2-0 AC Milan, Wednesday May 17, 5:00am AEST, San Siro (Milan)
LEG 2 | Manchester City 4-0 Real Madrid, Thursday May 18, 5:00am AEST, Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
How to watch the Champions League Final
Stan Sport is also streaming the Europa League action, which is also at the Semi-Finals stage. There are some massive games featuring enormous football clubs coming up. Bring it on.