Reactions As Man City Defeat Inter Milan To Win The Champions League And Historic Treble.

Manchester City have finally won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

It was Man City's second final in the Champions League, they had failed to win their first appearance back in 2021 in Porto against Chelsea, who prevailed thanks to a Kai Havertz goal in the first half in Porto.

This season though, City look even more formidable with the addition of Erling Haaland in their ranks. The Norwegian has scored 52 goals this season, 12 of them in the Champions League.

Opponents Inter have won the Champions League three times in their history but went into the match as underdogs.

The Italian giants have lost two Finals, one in 1967 against Celtic and the other one in 1972 against Johan Cruijff’s Ajax. 

Their last victory in the UCL came under Jose Mourinho in 2010 when they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Inter have had a late flurry of wins and have managed to win eight consecutive games in the lead up to the final on Saturday. In Serie A, the champions from two years ago, finished third whereas Simone Inzaghi and Co were able to win the Coppa Italia last month.

The game at the Ataturk Olympic stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday night, saw Simon Inzaghi’s Inter put up a vintage defensive display, full of bite and fury, that it wasn't going to be a walk over for the favorites Man City.

City's task was made more difficult when Kevin De Bruyne who is their creator-in-chief with 31 assists this season, trudged off injured in the first half. This would be the second time in three seasons that the Belgian has departed a Champions League final injured with the game in the balance.

The tensed first half ended goalless, with both teams coming into the second half looking more refreshed.

Rodri's side-footed finish midway through the second half (68th minute), broke Inter's strong defensive resistance.

Though Federico Dimarco hit the crossbar with a header before Ederson saved sensationally from Romelu Lukaku, City were able to hold on to the hard-fought victory to wrap up a historic treble.

Rodri had been left on the bench for the Champions League final against Chelsea in 2021, but not this time. His goal will rank among the most important goals in City's history, a moment to rival the Sergio Aguero title-winning strike of 11 years earlier.

Having already overhauled Arsenal to retain the Premier League trophy for three times running, had an FA Cup under their belt after beating neighbors Man United 2-1 at Wembley on June 3, before finally achieving the final jewel in their treble crown.

This victory saw them match the achievement of their heated city rivals as the only English teams to have won the treble, with Guardiola now emulating Sir Alex Ferguson, whose Red Devils side also swept to a Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League treble in 1999. 

Guardiola was in tears afterwards, as the 52-year-old Catalan coach has won it all at City but this was the one they have been waiting for - champions of Europe for the first time. 

For Guardiola, it ends his 12-year wait to win the competition for a third time as a coach and a fourth time overall, courtesy of his compatriot Rodri only goal against a dogged Inter Milan.

It’s the second treble for Pep Guardiola, who pulled it off with Barcelona in 2008-09 season. 

"Winning the Champions League final over Inter Milan was "written in the stars", Guardiola said after the game. 

"I am happy but, at the same time, they could have scored and we could have lost. We are satisfied about something unique: winning the treble."

Guardiola added that he had received a good luck message from Ferguson, whose 38 trophies for United still dwarfs Guardiola's haul of 17 with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.

"It's an honour for me to be alongside Alex Ferguson," Guardiola told reporters. "I had a message from this morning that touched me a lot, that was so nice."

Other Reactions After the Game;

Ilkay Gündoğan, City captain: "We are so happy. It's difficult to put into words what just happened. We knew everyone was talking about the treble. The pressure was there but this team is built to handle the pressure in the best possible way."

John Stones, City defender: "I feel so pleased. It's a pleasure to be a part of this team and create history. We've set the bar high. To come here, on such a difficult night, and win this – I can't put it into words."

Erling Haaland, City striker: "I feel unbelievable. In my wildest dreams, I never would have thought of me winning this as a 22-year-old. But it shows it's possible for a guy from a small town in Norway."

Rodri: 'It's the most important goal I've scored'

Kyle Walker, City defender: "I'm very rarely speechless but my dream has just come true. I made a speech before the lads went out; I was emotional and true to my word. This club means so much to me."

Kevin De Bruyne, City midfielder: "The team was good enough and we won. We have been working so long for this, it is amazing."

Simone Inzaghi, Inter coach: "It's normal to have regrets. Losing is the worst thing in sport. At the same time, the players need to be proud of the season and the performance in the final."

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