Manchester City clinched their first Champions League title and completed the club’s famous treble by beating Inter Milan 1-0 on a tense night at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
The Italian club did an excellent job of keeping their favorite opponents at bay for most of the game, but Rodri’s 68th-minute strike was enough for the Citizens to become European Football champions.
It was the third time City manager Pep Guardiola lifted the Champions League trophy, an honor that only Carlo Ancelotti can surpass thanks to his four competitive victories.
Sporting News has delved into the data behind the game, detailing all the key stats and facts below.
MORE: Result Man City vs Inter Milan: final result of Champions League, Rodri secures Guardiola’s team treble
Before the game
- At the start of this game, Manchester City and Inter Milan have never faced each other in a competitive match. It also meant that the 2023 Champions League final was the first time two teams have faced each other in the top final since 2005 when Liverpool faced AC Milan.
- Manchester City started as clear favorites as they reached the final unbeaten in their 12 Champions League games this season (W7 D5). Even when they reached the final for the first time in 2021, they were unbeaten in 12 games.
- Inter also came to Istanbul in good European form. The Italian side have been unbeaten in their last six knockout stages of this season’s Champions League (W4, W2). They also kept eight clean sheets in their 12 Champions League games all season – more than any other side in the competition.
- Inter Milan were in their 11th major European final, third most of any Italian team behind Juventus (16) and AC Milan (14), while Manchester City were aiming to be the 23rd and first club to win the Champions League Trophy since Chelsea in 2012.
- Pep Guardiola and Simone Inzaghi ruled the dugout. Only Carlo Ancelotti had reached more Champions League finals (5) than Guardiola (4), while Inzaghi became only the second Italian coach, after Giovanni Invernizzi in 1972, to guide Inter to the Champions League final.
- On the pitch, Ilkay Gündogan became the first German to captain a non-German team in a Champions League final. For Inter, Marcelo Brozovic became the first Croatian to lead a team at this flagship tournament.
The first half
From the start, the 2023 Champions League final proved to be a tense affair as Inter Milan made life for Manchester City far more difficult than most anticipated prior to the encounter.
- As expected, Manchester City had the majority of possession in the early stages but Inter’s Marcelo Brozovic managed well. He reclaimed the ball for his team four times in the first ten minutes – just one less than everyone else on the field combined (5).
- Inter started growing into the game soon after. In the 18th minute, they had played five passes into the Manchester City penalty area while Guardiola’s side failed to register a single one.
- The main topic of conversation for the first 45 minutes was Kevin De Bruyne’s injury. That meant Manchester City’s talisman had to leave the pitch in both Champions League finals.
- While the odds were slim, there were still some standout performances. No player had more touches in the penalty area in Manchester City’s first half against Inter Milan than Jack Grealish (4). The English midfielder also took second place (5) in duels won.
- For the opposing team, Marcelo Brozovic recorded both the most successful tackles (2) and the most ball recoveries for his team (7) than any other player.
- On the other hand, Erling Haaland found it difficult. In the first half he had only nine ball contacts – the fewest of all players who started in the final.
- As expected from the squad front, Manchester City were top in most categories at half-time. They made 278 successful passes to Inter’s 156 and had three times as many touches in the opponent’s penalty area (9), but the Citizens couldn’t find the breakthrough.
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The second half
As in the first half, the opening exchanges of the second half proved cautious, with Manchester City struggling to beat their Italian opponents until the 68th minute.
- After the ball fell to him on the edge of the box, Rodri scored only his second Champions League goal to give City the lead.
- The Spaniard scored his first goal of the competition earlier this season in a quarter-final win over Bayern Munich. The goal in the final doubled his tally in his 47 UCL appearances to date.
- Rodri also became the first central midfielder to score in the Champions League final since Real Madrid’s Casemiro in 2017.
- That goal meant that all seven goals scored in the Champions League final at Ataturk Olympic Stadium all came from the same end of the pitch.
- Emerson then held steadfast in the City goal, keeping Inter Milan off the goalscoring chart. He made two crucial saves to keep his team up front.
- One of them came from Romelu Lukaku’s header from close range. Despite coming on as a substitute in the 57th minute, the Belgium international had chances worth 0.64 x G – the second-most player of any player behind Federico Dimarco (0.68 x G) – but failed to score .
Manchester City complete the famous treble by winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season. It is only the tenth time in history that a treble has been achieved in Europe.
England now have the most individual Champions League winners at six: Manchester City join Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Chelsea to lift the famous trophy!
City boss Pep Guardiola has now won the treble for the second time in his coaching career, becoming the first manager to do so with two different clubs (Barcelona 2008/09 and Manchester City 2022/23).
Manchester City are the first team to go a full Champions League season unbeaten since rivals Manchester United in 2007/08.
The last four Champions League finals have now all ended 1-0, more than the previous 27 finals combined (3).
100 – Manchester City have scored more than 100 goals than conceded in three of the last five seasons (18-19, 21-22, 22-23) – before the arrival of Pep Guardiola, no English top-flight team had managed to score more than 100 More goals than they conceded in a single season. Summit. #UCLFinal pic.twitter.com/SX1t7EJFRc
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 10, 2023