MX23RW : Saturday, June 10 05:18:34| >> :120:7073:7073:
[monks data]
Manchester City logo
Champions League | Final
Jun 10, 2023 at 8pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Inter logo
Man City
Inter Milan

Champions League: Manchester City's road to the final

Sports Mole takes a closer look at Manchester City's route to the 2022-23 Champions League final ahead of Saturday's showdown with Inter Milan in Istanbul.

Treble-chasing Manchester City will endeavour to end the campaign on an almighty high when they do battle with Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul on Saturday.

History beckons for Pep Guardiola's side who are looking to become the first English club since rivals Manchester United back in 1999 to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season.

While Man City have been a dominant force on the domestic landscape for several years, Europe's most prestigious club competition still eludes Guardiola and co, who enter Saturday's showpiece event seeking to avoid a repeat of their heartbreaking loss to Chelsea in the final two years ago.

Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated clash at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Sports Mole takes a look at Man City's road to the 2022-23 Champions League final.


Manchester City's Erling Braut Haaland scores their second goal on September 14, 2022© Reuters

For the sixth consecutive season, Man City claimed top spot in the Champions League group stage and were one of only four clubs, along with Bayern Munich, Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain who completed the 2022-23 group phase unbeaten.

The Citizens secured their place at the summit of Group G with a game to spare ahead of runners-up Borussia Dortmund, third-placed Sevilla and fourth-placed Copenhagen after winning four and drawing two of their six fixtures, scoring 14 goals and conceding only twice in the process.

Summer signing Erling Braut Haaland enjoyed an electric start to the group stage as he scored five goals in City's first three matches. The Norwegian scored twice in emphatic 4-0 and 5-0 victories over Sevilla and Copenhagen respectively, either side of netting a late acrobatic match-winner against his former club Dortmund to secure a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in matchweek two.

Man City then failed to find the net in back-to-back goalless draws away against Copenhagen and Dortmund. The Citizens played for over an hour with 10 men in Denmark against the former after Sergio Gomez was sent off for a foul as the last man, while Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty in both fixtures. Nevertheless, the stalemate against BVB was enough for City to qualify for the knockout rounds as group winners.

Guardiola's side concluded their Group G campaign with a 3-1 home win against Sevilla at the beginning of November, a match in which academy graduate Rico Lewis scored his first-ever Citizens goal to became the youngest-ever player (17 years and 346 days) to score on his Champions League debut.


Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring for Manchester City on March 14, 2023© Reuters

Man City were unsurprisingly regarded as strong favourites to beat RB Leipzig over two legs, but few would have predicted Guardiola's side obliterating their German counterparts in such emphatic fashion.

A game of two halves was played out at the Red Bull Arena in February's first leg, with a dominant Citizens outfit deservedly ahead at the interval courtesy of a Riyad Mahrez strike – the Algerian's 20th goal in the Champions League across spells with Man City and Leicester City.

However, Leipzig valiantly fought back and highly-rated defender Josko Gvardiol – allegedly one of Guardiola's primary transfer targets this summer – restored parity with a bullet header 20 minutes from time to ensure that the tie was finely poised for the return fixture at the Etihad.

In stark contrast, the second leg a month later was anything but a tight affair and five-star Erling Braut Haaland stole the headlines after scoring a remarkable five goals in City's 7-0 demolition job of their Bundesliga opponents – becoming just the third player in Champions League history to score five goals in a single game after Lionel Messi for Barcelona in 2012 and Luiz Adriano for Shakhtar Donetsk in 2014.

Captain Ilkay Gundogan and playmaker Kevin De Bruyne were also on the scoresheet to help the Premier League giants equal their biggest-ever Champions League victory, matching the thumping 7-0 win over another German club in Schalke 04 in March 2019.


Manchester City's Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring against Bayern Munich on April 19, 2023© Reuters

Man City were handed arguably one of the toughest quarter-final draws on paper in April as they were paired up with perennial Bundesliga champions and Guardiola's former club Bayern Munich. However, any fears of enduring a tricky two-legged test were quickly eased thanks to a masterful first-leg performance.

Indeed, the Citizens ran out comprehensive 3-0 winners at the Etihad, with a superb long-range opener from Rodri just before the half-hour mark followed by second-half strikes from Bernardo Silva and Haaland to move Guardiola and co one step closer to the semis.

The onus was on Bayern, who were just five games into Thomas Tuchel's reign, to quickly gain control of the second leg and score one or two early goals to motivate the Allianz Arena faithful, but they ultimately lacked a clinical edge in the final third and squandered a number of decent opportunities.

City weathered an early storm from the Bavarian hosts, and Haaland made amends for blazing a first-half penalty over the crossbar when he placed a composed finish high into the net to open the scoring on the 57-minute mark and become the youngest player to score 35 Champions League goals.

A harsh handball decision against Manuel Akanji inside the box then allowed Joshua Kimmich to convert an 83rd-minute penalty to no avail, with Man City booking their place in the semi-finals for the third year in a row.


Manchester City's Julian Alvarez celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Bernardo Silva on May 17, 2023© Reuters

Dispatching Bayern in such a dominant manner was no mean feat, but Man City managed to outshine their quarter-final superiority with a resounding 5-1 aggregate triumph over 14-time Champions League winners and current holders Real Madrid.

Twelve months on from their heartbreaking semi-final exit at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Citizens played out a 1-1 first-leg draw in the Spanish capital, with Vinicius Junior's stunning first-half strike from around 25 yards cancelled out by an equally excellent effort from Kevin De Bruyne midway through the second half.

City had lost their last two semi-final meetings with Real, but they made no mistake in front of a jubilant Etihad crowd as Guardiola steered his side to an utterly dominant 4-0 second-leg victory to book their place in Istanbul for their second-ever Champions League final.

Few would have envisaged the sheer gulf in class between the two teams, especially with Real Madrid being the ones on the receiving end of a humiliating defeat in a tournament they have conquered like no other side in history.

Bernardo Silva scored a brace as the Citizens outclassed Carlo Ancelotti's side in all departments during a special first-half showing, before Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez both scored after the break to rub salt into Real's wounds and move Man City one step closer to a historic treble.

Read more on Manchester City vs Inter Milan

ID:515920:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect13793:No Data Analysis info
Data Pass: [t, uefa-champions-league, odds, 3546006]
Advert - more content below:

Who will win Saturday's Champions League clash between Man City and Inter Milan?

Manchester City
Inter Milan
Manchester City
Inter Milan
Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring for Manchester City on March 14, 2023
Read Next:
Champions League: Man City's road to the semi-finals
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.
rhs 2.0
Man City 2023-24 kit with 'DJ Grealo'
Real Madrid Until The End
Today's games header


Group A


Group B

3B. Leverkusen61235

Group C

QInter Milan631210

Group D

3Sporting Lisbon62137

Group E

QAC Milan631210
4Dinamo Zagreb61144

Group F

QReal Madrid641113
QRB Leipzig640212

Group G

QMan City642014

Group H

4Maccabi Haifa61053

Man City 2023-24 kit with 'DJ Grealo'
Real Madrid Until The End
Ted Lasso creative

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!