There must be a defining moment for athletic greatness to be attained. Manchester City’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul was the place on Saturday where an obsession finally materialized and history was made.
Winning the major cup competition in Europe has been the club’s ultimate goal ever since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Abu Dhabi United Group acquired ownership of the organization in 2008.
After spending hundreds of millions of dollars and being the subject of criticism over the past 15 years, the club has finally won the Champions League after defeating Inter Milan 1-0 in a game that will be remembered more for the significance of the outcome than for the actual play.
This was not just the night when City won the Champions League for the first time. Pep Guardiola’s team defeated three-time champion Inter to win the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in the same season, making them just the second English team to do it.
The first team to do so was Manchester United in the 1998–1999 season, and while it is pointless to compare teams from different periods, current City team is unquestionably just as dominating at home as that Alex Ferguson–led United squad, having won five league titles in six seasons.
The current challenge is to amass titles as mercilessly in Europe. After all, those that consistently win the competition are remembered and celebrated the most.
It was a game with limited opportunities but lots of suspense.
For City, Bernardo Silva came near in the opening five minutes. For Inter, Erling Haaland had his finest opportunity of the game in the 26th minute, forcing André Onana to make a diving save.
The Norwegian’s effort came a few minutes after Nicol Barella saw City goalkeeper Ederson off his line and shot at goal but misfired horribly on his first attempt.
That was as good as it got in the first half as City had a ton of possession but little to show for Inter’s intense, aggressive pressure.
The second half was just as tense, with City continuing to look for gaps and Inter continuing their excellent defense.
Inter could have at least scored twice after Rodri gave City the lead in the 68th minute with a curling first-time shot from a Bernardo Silva cut-back that beat many Inter players.
Romelu Lukaku was struck by Federico Dimarco’s follow-up shot from six yards out after his header hit the crossbar. Ederson made a diving save to deny Lukaku a header in the last seconds, giving City the victory and the trophy.
2020: Bayern Munich 1-0 PSG 2021: Chelsea 1-0 Man City 2022: Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool 2023: Man City 1-0 Inter Milan The last four Champions League finals have finished 1-0 .