He Manchester City of Pep Guardiola secured the triple crown of the season, consecrating himself for the first time in history as the winner of the Champions League after beating Inter Milan 1-0 in a final match that was played at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.
During the match, the British team did not justify the assigned favoritism but in the end it was done with the victory that ensured a dream closing of the campaign after the conquest of the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Guardiola, who won the Champions League again after reaching it with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011, kept the Argentine on the substitute bench for the entire game Julian Alvarez.
The “Spider”, however, left his mark in this historic conquest of Europe, adding three goals and two assists in ten appearances throughout the tournament.
The other Argentine world champion, Lautaro Martinezcould not lead Inter to the fourth “Orejona”, thirteen years after the last one in Diego Milito’s brilliant night against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Manchester City, who celebrated the 14th. title in the Guardiola era, became the 23rd. European football champion club after Real Madrid (14), Milan (7), Bayern Munich (6), Liverpool (6), Barcelona (5), Ajax (4), Inter, (3), Manchester United (3) , Juventus (2), Benfica (2), Chelsea (2), Nottingham Forest (2), Porto (2), Borussia Dortmund (1), Hamburg (1), Celtic Glasgow (1), Olympique de Marseille (1) , Steaua Bucharest (1), Aston Villa (1), PSV Eindhoven (1), Feyenoord (1) and Red Star (1).
City could not develop the football that led them to Istanbul, an aspect attributable as a merit to a diligent Inter, who executed their game plan as thought by DT Simone Inzaghi.
The Italians closed the passing lanes to the rival midfielders, exerted intelligent pressure organized by the Croatian Marcelo Brozovic and tried to damage with a direct game, in which Federico Dimarco excelled on the outer lane on the left.
Manchester’s tenure was expressed away from Onana’s goal, with all the opponents behind the line of the ball, without freedom for the possible receivers of Rodrigo, who was in charge of the start.
Haaland was only able to meet De Bruyne once; Bernardo Silva was isolated on the right; Jack Grealish was controlled by Denzel Dumfries and Gundogan did not gravitate to the inside game as it happened in the previous games.
As two years ago in the final against Chelsea in Lisbon, De Bruyne was injured and left his place to Phil Foden, faster in his movements but without generating changes in the course of the game.
Inter, always more comfortable with the conditions of the game, had all its players in a high degree of concentration to balance forces a priori favorable to the rival.
Lautaro played away from Ederson’s goal and was unable to combine with his teammates to the extent necessary to generate scoring opportunities in his team’s offensive transitions.
The game was slow at times, a characteristic that worried City more than Inter, prepared for a long game.
In the first minutes of the final part, with the feeling of the game controlled by the Italians, Pep Guardiola asked for the encouragement of the British fans who took over half of the Atatürk stadium.
The Spaniard was looking for a motivating factor for his players, who were unable to connect on the pitch and looked at each other at times with frustrated faces.
At that time, Inzaghi opted for the Belgian Lukaku, the best partner for Lautaro, who entered after 11 minutes for Dzeko. Immediately, Inter had a clear chance that the goalkeeper blocked the Argentine after a bad delivery from Bernado Silva.
The expectation for the entry of Julián Álvarez began to increase on the Turkish night when the score unexpectedly tilted for the British.
Manuel Akanji drove to the vicinity of the area, detected a space in the area between Bastoni and Dimarco, Bernardo received with advantage, sent a cross behind and Rodrigo hit with an accurate shot from the inside.
Inter immediately set up another double chance on Dimarco’s head but first the crossbar and then Lukaku himself, with an involuntary block, prevented Ederson’s goal from falling.
At the end, in a dramatic denouement, the Brazilian had a couple of memorable interventions to sustain the victory. At 43, he blocked Lukaku’s goal and in the last play of the game he rejected a header from Gosens with all the rival inside the area.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.