2023 Champions League final results: Manchester City defeated Inter 1-0 to lift the Champions League trophy for the first time in their history and complete a treble winning season. The only goal of the game was scored by Rodri in the second half, as the midfielder passed the ball into the back of the net with pace from long range.
Inter managed to put up a strong fight against the Premier League champions, but were simply not clinical enough in front of goal in spite of having more total shots, as well as more of them on target. A stellar performance from Ederson helped shut Inter out, and the Champions League won with a clean sheet yet again.
5 key talking points from the 2023 Champions League final
De Bruyne DeJa Vu
The last time the Belgian played in a Champions League final in 2021 against Chelsea, he had to be taken off early after a nasty collision with Antonio Rudiger. This time around, his hamstring gave out and he had to be replaced early once again.
Phil Foden replaced the midfielder, and was able to put in a very bright performance in yet another final. However, the Champions League final has not quite gone according to plan for Manchester City’s talismanic midfielder on both occasions.
Inter squander their chances
Lautaro Martinez looked absolutely distraught after the final whistle blew. And for good reason. Inter came so close so many times to getting ahead, and even equalising with City. Federico DiMarco hit Romelu Lukaku in front of goal after the ball bounced back off the crossbar.
The striker had several opportunities to score himself, but snatched at all of them. The most glaring one he had was an open net to head into, but instead he found Ederson’s leg, after being passed to by Robin Gosens. And it just goes to show his lack of clinical edge on the big stage, when the strikers need to convert the opportunities they are getting.
Poetic for Rodri
The defensive midfielder made his 52nd start of the season, the most for any outfield player under Pep Guardiola, ever. And having been benched in the previous final against Chelsea, the Spaniard scored the winning goal in the 2023 Champions League final – writing the wrongs of their previous chance.
He didn’t have the best game, but was able to contribute with the match winner, which is more than what anybody could ask for. Especially when the likes of Erling Haaland and Phil Foden could not beat Andre Onana.
The 2023 Champions League final continues tradition
After Rodri’s only goal of the final, it is now four straight Champions League finals that have ended in a 1-0 scoreline. Liverpool were able to score two against Spurs when they won in 2019. But over the last 19 years, no winning team has won by more than two goals within 90 minutes.
So, the predictions of a free-flowing and open final have been put to rest once again. And even in the years to come, it seems probable that this tradition will continue when the pressure is at its highest for the players.
Manchester City finally end the debates
After their own historic treble winning season, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have finally silenced their critics. They have been unable to prove themselves on the biggest stage of them all for all this while. But in 2022/23, they have gone out and dominated all three competitions, and have the trophies to show for it. They must be acknowledged as the best team in the world right now, because there is no club that comes close to what they have been doing over the past few months.
Guardiola has also proven to the world that it wasn’t just possible with Barcelona. And he has become the first manager ever to win two trebles with two different teams, after Barca’s 2008/09 season.