Manchester City and Inter's roads to the Champions League final

Manchester City and Inter's roads to the Champions League final
Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his fifth goal against RB Leipzig
Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his fifth goal against RB Leipzig
The 2023 Champions League final will be played in Istanbul on Saturday evening between treble-chasers Manchester City and unlikely underdogs Inter Milan.

Both sides have faced tests to reach the final, overcoming difficult opponents in the group stages and knockout rounds.

Their respective routes have lead them to Istanbul, where either team is one match away from making history.

With that said, here's City and Inter's journey to the Champions League final.

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola's side were drawn into Group G alongside Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and FC Copenhagen with the expectation that they would finish in top spot and reach the knockout stages in comfortable fashion.

Sure enough, City won four and drew two of their matches to see them finish top of the group on 14 points - scoring 14 goals and only conceding twice.

Both the high and low point of their group stage came against Copenhagen, defeating them 5-0 at the Etihad but only managing a 0-0 draw away from home.

That draw also saw Riyad Mahrez miss a penalty and Sergio Gomez sent off.

Come the round of 16 and City were pitted against a tricky RB Leipzig side - proved by their 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Erling Haaland came to life in the second leg, though, scoring five times in a dominant 7-0 win that set City out as the team to beat in Europe.

A tough quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich followed but again City blew the competition away with ease, winning 3-0 in the first leg before securing a comfortable 1-1 draw in the second against the German champions.

Their toughest games were still to come - being drawn in the semi-finals against 14-time winners Real Madrid.

While the first fixture was tightly contested and only decided through two incredible goals from Vinicius Junior and Kevin De Bruyne (ending 1-1 at the Bernabeu), Guardiola's side defied expectations again in the second leg and produced some of the best football the competition has ever seen.

The first half in particular was near-perfect and a solid showing in the second period saw the Manchester club come out as 4-0 winners on the night and 5-1 victors on aggregate.

In terms of their best performers, Haaland is the clear stand-out after netting 12 goals but the entire team has essentially wiped the floor with whoever is put in front of them - making a potential treble win likely.

City's team for the second leg against Madrid

Inter Milan

Inter faced a far tougher group than City, coming up against Bayern and Barcelona in Group C - as well as Czech club Plzen.

While they seemed destined for a third-placed finish and a trip down to the Europa League, the Italian giants defied the odds and finished second behind Bayern.

Despite a worrying opening 2-0 defeat to the Germans, they bounced back with strong performances and wins against Plzen(2-0) and Barcelona(1-0).

A dramatic 3-3 draw against the Catalan side followed before an emphatic 4-0 win against Plzen meant that they did enough to qualify for the knockout stages - even with another 2-0 defeat against Bayern in the final group game.

The round of 16 draw saw them face Porto over two legs, narrowly coming out on top after a 1-0 win at the San Siro and a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture - with the Portuguese side having a man sent off in both ties.

Another club from Portugal followed in the quarter-finals in the form of Benfica.

A comfortable 2-0 win in the first leg meant that a dramatic 3-3 draw in the next game ultimately had little impact on the overall scoreline.

After beating two sizeable opponents from Portugal, the semi-final saw them face a side much closer to home in AC Milan.

One of European football's biggest games followed and was set up to be an incredibly close tie yet Inter rose up to the occasion and beat their arch-rivals 3-0 over two legs.

Quick-fire goals from Edin Dzeko and Henrik Mkhitaryan in the first leg gave them a solid platform to build on, and Lautaro Martinez scored the only goal in the second leg to book their spot in Saturday's final.

Inter's players celebrate a historic win against AC Milan

While they have struggled for one stand-alone goal scorer in Europe this season (Dzeko has the most with four), both Martinez and Romelu Lukaku have hit form at the right time heading into their biggest match in over a decade.

Both strikers have found the net seven times each in their last eight Serie A games and will be looking to cause problems for the City defence in Istanbul.

Champions League final preview

Follow the final here live with Flashscore.


France gouvernement

Les jeux d’argent et de hasard peuvent être dangereux : pertes d’argent, conflits familiaux, addiction…

Retrouvez nos conseils sur (09-74-75-13-13, appel non surtaxé)

Do you want to withdraw your consent to display betting ads?
Yes, change settings