Manchester City won the Champions League title for the first time in history after beating Inter Milan 1-0 at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympiastadion on Saturday.
Rodri scored in the 68th minute to put the Premier League and FA Cup champions on course to complete a treble of trophies this season.
Although it is the first time that City have won the main club competition in European football, it is the third time that Pep Guardiola has lifted the trophy as manager. And although he didn’t take part in the match, Julián Álvarez completed an impressive footballing year, with a third of the City title and the World Cup he won with Argentina in December.
Guardiola was in tears as he celebrated with his players on the pitch. The win ended a long wait for the Spanish coach, who has not been a European champion since 2011, the last time he was crowned with Barcelona.
He received his 30th relevant trophy as a coach. And he completed a treble for the second time, emulating his 2009 feat with Barça.
City won despite an injury to midfielder Kevin De Bruyne in the first half.
The victory meant the club finally achieved its goal of climbing to the top of European football, 15 years after Abu Dhabi’s ruling family made the team one of the richest in the world.
The owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was present to witness the coronation of his team. It was the second time in 15 years that he had visited a stadium to see the club.
Romelu Lukaku had a chance to equalize in the dying minutes, but his header went straight at goalkeeper Ederson from less than four metres.
City’s goal came when Rodrigo rebounded from Bernardo Silva’s shot and took the shot, beating several defenders in the box.
City heaved a sigh of relief and the Spaniard ran to celebrate with the City fans kneeling before them.
Inter came close to leveling a few minutes later, but Federico DiMarco’s shot from point blank hit the crossbar. He looks to get the rebound, but his shot hits Lukaku from behind.
For days City were considered heavy favourites. But the final was settled by a narrow margin. And if Lukaku had been more accurate in those crucial moments, Inter could have at least taken the match into extra time.
When the final whistle blew, it was the city that celebrated. Europe was conquered after a mission that began 15 years earlier.