Man City face Inter Milan in Champions League final for treble

Manchester City’s reign over English football is undeniable, having secured numerous trophies under Pep Guardiola’s management. Now, they have the opportunity to conquer Europe as they face Inter Milan in the upcoming Champions League final on Saturday. Guardiola has already brought 11 trophies to the club in seven years, including the recent FA Cup victory against Manchester United and a fifth Premier League title in six seasons.

The only obstacle remaining for City to achieve a treble, akin to Manchester United’s unique feat in 1999, is Inter Milan. This would not only help to dispel any lingering feelings of inferiority but also fulfil the ambitions of City’s Abu Dhabi owners, who have heavily invested in the club since 2008 with the goal of securing the European trophy.

Guardiola is eager to win the Champions League for a third time, having previously led Barcelona to victory in 2009 and 2011. City came close in 2021, but ultimately fell to Chelsea in the final. This time, however, Guardiola is determined not to let victory slip through his fingers against an Inter side that is considered an underdog, having last reached the final in 2010 when they defeated Bayern Munich 2-0.

City are the clear favourites, having outperformed European giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid on their journey to the final. Their squad is packed with talent, including Norwegian forward Erling Haaland, who has scored 52 goals this season, playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, a solid defence, and captain Ilkay Gundogan. Inter Milan will undoubtedly have their work cut out for them.

However, Guardiola is well aware that the final hurdle is never a given, especially when facing an Italian team. Inter Milan, led by Simone Inzaghi, finished third in Serie A, a considerable 18 points behind champions Napoli. Nonetheless, they have embraced their underdog status and demonstrated their resilience by conceding only three goals across six Champions League knockout stage matches, defeating Porto, Benfica, and AC Milan to reach the final.

Inter’s defence, comprised of Alessandro Bastoni, former Manchester United player Matteo Darmian, and Francesco Acerbi, is well-versed in Italian tactics and will relish the challenge of stopping City’s formidable attack. Darmian, in particular, is excited about the prospect of facing his former rivals, stating, “It will be good to play against them. It will be like a derby for me.”

Midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, another ex-Manchester United player, will also be highly motivated for the final. Additionally, Inter’s attacking duo of Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez pose a significant threat to City’s defence.

Inzaghi has described Inter’s journey to the final as “a dream,” but they are not in Istanbul merely to make up numbers. Manchester City’s players will have to earn their place in the annals of sporting history by overcoming a determined and capable Inter Milan side.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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