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10 Jun 2023

Ederson saves champions league final

TOPSHOT - Manchester City's Brazilian goalkeeper #31 Ederson saves a shot during the UEFA Champions ... [+] League final football match between Inter Milan and Manchester City at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, on June 10, 2023. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Over an hour’s worth of Manchester City tension was released when Spanish midfielder Rodri broke the deadlock against Inter in the Champions League final.

The goal secured City’s first-ever Champions League trophy and its third major competition win of the season, adding to the FA Cup and Premier League titles to complete a Treble.

City joins Manchester neighbours United as the only English teams to win a Treble in this manner.

Pep Guardiola’s side did not have it as easy as many thought they would in this final in Istanbul on Saturday night. Inter proved a tough obstacle to overcome and also suggested a threat in attack.

And it went beyond a suggestion on several occasions. City goalkeeper Ederson saved initially from Lautaro Martinez and dramatically from Romelu Lukaku, while Federico Dimarco hit the bar and a great chance on the rebound was blocked by his teammate, Lukaku.

A pass slid through to Bernardo Silva by Manuel Akanji led to a rare occasion where the Inter defence was tracking back, trying to organise themselves on the fly with a City player free in the area in possession.

Silva’s cross was cleared but there was enough disorganisation for Rodri to be free on the edge of the area. The defensive midfielder bent a shot around the stranded defenders, leaving the otherwise impressive Inter goalkeeper André Onana a spectator.

In the last second of the game, Ederson made a save more notable than his earlier stop from Lukaku, showing instinctive reactions to keep out Martinez’s header.

It was as important as the goal, and contributed to a final 15 minutes for the Brazilian goalkeeper, including a safe reception of a high ball under pressure, which played a big part in the victory.

Despite their domestic dominance, winning five league titles in the last six seasons, and the last three consecutively, success in Europe’s premier continental competition had eluded City, until now.

For a long time in this game, it looked like it would continue to elude them, but the narrowest of victories made it all the more emotional when it was finally achieved.

That emotion was evident on the pitch at the end of the game. A feeling almost of relief mixed with elation for this world-class team that has been one of the best in Europe for some time and finally has the trophy to prove it.