Manchester City won their very first C1 on Saturday, in Istanbul, dominating Inter Milan (1-0). Find the Tops and Flops of a final more hooked than expected.
Rodri, a historic goal for City
Long neutralized by Inter in this closed final, City finally found the fault in the heart of the second period. Rodri was in charge of concluding one of the rare good collective movements of the champion of England. Following a cross from Bernardo Silva blocked by Acerbi, the midfielder applied to roll up a nice shot, which left Onana no chance after bypassing two defenders. Overjoyed at the bend occupied by Mancunian supporters, the 26-year-old concluded an exceptional season this Saturday and plays a key role in this long-awaited coronation.
Often considered City’s weak link, Ederson got off to a bad start in the final, missing several kicks in the first period. But the Brazilian goalkeeper made up for it after the break. Saved by his bar on a dimarco header, he pulled out all the stops at the end of the match to fend off Lukaku’s headers (88e) and Gosens (90e+5). Two oh so important rescues for Citizens who have never been able to master the debates.
slides to level
Despite the victory, many Citizens did not show their usual level during this final. Ruben Dias was one of the few to make a big game. Solid in duels and precious in the air, the Portuguese defender has held his rank as boss of the Mancunian defense well. His serenity impressed. Especially since at his side, Aké and especially Akanji have shown real excitement on several occasions.
Lukaku on a bad night
As often this season, Romelu Lukaku was used as a joker during this final. The Belgian striker, who came on in place of a Dzeko quickly crippled with cramps (55e), could have changed the course of the match. First unhappy by involuntarily countering a header from Dimarco (72e), he then got a huge chance, but his header landed directly on Ederson (88e). Still just as clumsy in the process, on a shot that was too crossed (89th), the former Chelsea player can have big regrets.
Calhanoglu little in sight
Beaten by the smallest of margins, Inter were able to stand up to City in this long closed final. Solid, the Lombard club has long competed in midfield, despite the disappointing performance of Hakan Çalhanoglu. Associated with Barella and Brozovic, the Turkish international did not have the same performance as his friends. Discreet on recovery, and imprecise on certain transmissions while interesting counterattacks were emerging. Logically replaced at the end of the match, while the Lombards pushed to snatch the equalizer.
De Bryune maudites finales
As in 2021 against Chelsea, Kevin De Bruyne had to leave his teammates prematurely in this final. This time due to a muscle injury to the thigh, contracted half an hour into the game. After receiving treatment from the medical staff, the Belgian, author of a very disappointing performance so far, tried to resume the game, but he finally decided to leave the lawn after a final acceleration. Annoyed then tense on the bench, the 31-year-old displayed, this time, a broad smile after the final whistle.
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