Champions League Final: It’s Man City Vs Inter Milan

Two goals hero, Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring City’s second goal

As Cityzens destroy Real Madrid 5-1 on the aggregate, English Premiership Champions in-waiting, Manchester City, on Wednesday night, took a huge step closer to ultimacy and immortality as they roared into this season’s Champions League final in style.

The Etihad Stadium presented the perfect stage for Pep Guardiola and his men to demolish Spanish giants and Champions League greats, Real Madrid 4-0 to deservedly book their tickets to Istanbul for the final against Inter Milan in 24 days’ time.

Two goals hero, Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring City’s second goal
On the night, City were exceptionally impressive and it was not even close as an eviscerating first half saw Bernardo Silva scoring two goals and reducing the Madrid visitors to quivering wrecks, who were fortunate that the damage was not heavier.

Without any doubt, the Etihad fans have feasted on the travails of visiting teams, with their darling sides having routinely overrun every opposition. It is almost as if they expect to win and be entertained richly along the way.

The record has been quite awesome all through the season. City smashed Germany’s RB Leipzig 7-0 in the last 16. Another German side, Bayern Munich got whipped 3-0 in the quarter-final and now unexpectedly, Madrid were made to look ordinary.

City have not lost at the Etihad in 26 Champions League matches. They are on a 23-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, peaking at the perfect time, playing the most destructive football of the Pep Guardiola era. It was yet another statement and they will be hot favourites to beat Internazionale in the final.

Aside from being one of the biggest nights in City’s history, in the background looms their likely capture of a fifth Premier League title in six seasons, along with the FA Cup final against Manchester United. However, the night was all about the Champions League, the trophy that they lack. And crave.

But with Madrid on these kinds of nights, partly because of their history, 14 European Cups, and all the rest, there is usually the sense that they are never dead, that they will find a way back.

Unfortunately, it was not to be as second-half goals from Manuel Akanji, via an Eder Militao deflection, and Julian Alvarez ensured the final scoreline reflected City’s dominance, and ensured Los Blancos suffered their joint-worst defeat in the competition.

For Carlo Ancelotti and his team, their European magic finally ran out, and time will tell whether the Italian coach will be retained given his side’s struggles in La Liga this season. On this evidence, they need more than just a new coach and Jude Bellingham to get to City’s level.

For City, though, their season and how successful it is will now be decided over the next 24 days. By the end of it, they may well add three more pieces of silverware to their ever-growing trophy cabinet. (Forefront magazine)

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