Pep Guardiola has finally risen to the ranks of coaching: with Manchester City the Spaniard clinched the treble against Inter Milan in the final of the Champions League on Saturday evening (10.06.23). The Citizens won 1-0 (0-0) in the final in Istanbul. It is Guardiola’s third title in the premier class and his second treble after triumphing with FC Barcelona.
For the city owners from Abu Dhabi, the immense investments paid off over the years thanks to Rodri’s goal (68th) for the first time in the premier class. Rodri scored the decisive goal in the second half at a time when the pendulum seemed to be swinging in favor of the Italians in the previously goalless game (68′). “Like in a fairy tale, it doesn’t get any better”Gündogan enthused at Dazn, “It’s a great privilege not only to be the captain of this team, but also to play under pep, to be part of this great club.” Captain Gündogan, who was very committed in the final, finally fulfilled his long-cherished dream of a handle pot in his third final.
inter with confident beginning
Inter Milan, who lost twice to Bayern Munich in the group stage, started without Romelu Lukaku and Henrik Mkhitaryan but actively pressed against the Citizens. This had two effects: First, the Italians, who had been in a top-flight final for the first time since beating Bayern in 2010, put a stop to the feared dominance of Manchester City. And secondly, “Internazionale” usually kept the attacking opponent far away from their own goal.
Apart from a slipped attempt by captain Marcelo Brozovic (20th), the “Nerazzurri” from the northern Italian city did not manage to score. At the other end, Bernardo Silva had previously created a chance to shoot with a single action (6′), but aimed past the far post coming from the right.
Great opportunity through … Haaland
Had by far the best goal opportunity – who else? – Man City’s star striker Erling Haaland. On a pass from German captain Ilkay Gündogan, Kevin de Bruyne served the Norwegian with a nice pass in the center of the attack, but the attacker didn’t put enough pressure behind his left-footed shot, which André Onana was able to easily parry in the Intertor.
It should have been the last good action by the Belgian driver de Bruyne in this final: As in the 2021 final (loss to Chelsea), he had to be substituted with muscle problems in his thigh.
Kevin De Bruyne receives treatment in the Champions League final and has to leave the field injured.
Substitute Foden with standard weaknesses
City increased the pressure before the break, but thanks to the concentrated defense of the Italians nothing countable came out.
Even after the break, both teams fought a battle of attrition between the attacking lines. De Bruyne’s substitute Phil Foden failed to convert two promising free-kick situations into dangerous crosses (43′, 53′).
Inter with advantages after the break
Inter Milan also acted concentrated after the change of sides and even developed – also through increased physicality – more goal danger. The first good chance for Inter came after a misunderstanding between the previously good ex-Dortmund man Manuel Akanji and his colleague Ederson: Lautaro Martinez approached City goalkeeper Ederson alone from a tight angle on the left, but in contrast to three careless mistakes, this time he went ahead strongly parried. The attacker Romelu Lukaku, who has since been substituted, was completely free in the center and complained loudly to the Argentine, who had not wanted to allude to his fellow striker.
Huge relief then brought Rodri in the 68th minute: after an attack initiated by Akanji from the right, Bernardo Silva Rodri found a slightly deflected cross on the edge of the penalty area, who shot in with a good eye on the bottom right and gave Onana no chance to defend himself in the Milan goal.
But Inter Milan seemed to be able to answer immediately: In a somewhat confusing situation, Federico Dimarco seemed to be able to overcome goalkeeper Ederson from the stand. But the header hit the crossbar, Dimarco wanted to use the rebound again, but only hit Lukaku (70th).
Inter fights back
Always driven by coach Inzaghi, who sometimes crossed on the sidelines, Inter tried to land the quick counterattack. A long ball from goalkeeper Onana reached Martinez, who served Lukaku exemplary this time. But again City’s goalie Ederson showed his class (73rd).
But again, Manchester used the space now offered by the more open style of play of the Italians behind. Haaland blocked the way for Foden, who took a hidden shot just behind the edge of the penalty area and aimed for the right corner. But this time Onana guessed the right corner.
Closing phase: Ederson records the triumph
Inter Milan does not give up after that either. Especially not in the 90th minute, when the substitute German national player Robin Gosens got through nicely on the left of the British penalty area and served the beefy Lukaku perfectly on the edge of the six-yard box. But Ederson, with a bit of luck and a lot of skill, fended off his centrally placed shot and held on to Manchester City’s narrow lead. And finally the triumph of the “Skyblues”.