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City win first UCL title thanks to key Romelu Lukaku goal-saving clearance… against his own team

Manchester City are UEFA Champions League winners for the first time in club history after defeating Inter Milan 1-0 on Saturday in the final in Istanbul, Turkey. The victory sees City complete the treble of winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup all in the same season.

Critics and pundits heavily favored City to win, however it was anything but easy for the EPL giants. Pep Guardiola’s City side came out flat while Inter were fantastic defensively to frustrate and push City to their limits.

City ended up getting some unexpected and accidental help during their victory when Inter’s Romelu Lukaku unknowingly produced a game-saving goal-line clearance against his own side.

Lukaku block vs Man City in Champions League final

Manchester City took the lead in the 68th minute, but just two minutes later Inter were inches from equalizing. Federico Dimarco looped a close-range header over Ederson that hit off the crossbar.

Dimarco looked poised to head in the rebound, but Lukaku couldn’t get out of the way in time.

Wrong place, wrong time for poor Lukaku. The Belgian had his shot at redemption in the 88th minute with a header from five yards out, but he couldn’t get it by Ederson.

Lukaku came on as a substitute for Edin Dzeko in the 57th minute. The Bosnian striker had little impact on the game and Lukaku arguably put himself in more dangerous positions and created better chances. It’s a shame for Lukaku that he was unable to find a goal.

The game’s lone goal came courtesy of Rodri and it will be remembered as a Champions League classic. When Bernardo Silva’s cross deflected toward the top of the box Rodri was there to score with a rocket shot that looked like it had enough power to rip open the back of the net.

With perennial goal scorers like Erling Haaland, Lautaro Martínez and more on the field, few would have guessed it would be Rodri to get the game-winner. The Spanish midfielder only had three goals this season coming into the final. It’s no question which one he’ll remember most this season.

City secured the title despite losing Kevin De Bruyne in the 36th minute to a hamstring problem. The Belgian midfielder had to leave City’s only other Champions League final in 2021 with injury too.

The UCL crown marks the end to a nightmarish run in the tournament for Guardiola and City.

City’s past Champions League defeats (last 7 years)

  • 2022: Lost in dramatic fashion to Real Madrid conceding twice in stoppage time in the semifinals.
  • 2021: Lost 1-0 in the final to Chelsea.
  • 2020: Lost 3-1 in shocking fashion to underdogs Lyon in the quarterfinals.
  • 2019: Lost a thrilling tie 4-4 on away goals to Tottenham in the quarterfinals.
  • 2018: Lost 5-1 to Liverpool in the quarterfinals.
  • 2017: Lost 6-6 on away goals to Kylian Mbappé’s Monaco in the Round of 16.
  • 2016: Lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in the semifinals. (Manuel Pellegrini was manager)

Manchester City have finally finished on top and become the second English club in history to win the treble and the first since Manchester United in 1999.

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