By Sam Wallace, Chief Football Writer at the Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul
There are not many fans who turn up for only the second game of their supporting lives and watch their club seal the greatest treble with Europe’s greatest club prize, but then Sheikh Mansour has sunk the best part of £2 billion into Manchester City, and perhaps even more.
The clock stops, the curtain falls, the last pillar of resistance falls: football belongs to Abu Dhabi’s club in the east of Manchester for now at least. Fifteen years to reorder the game, defeat Uefa at their own regulatory game and build a team that no-one else can beat. They have already been champions of England seven times in 12 years and now Pep Guardiola’s team have repeated the epic 1999 single-season achievement of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United – Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League.
In all that time, their mysterious benefactor from Abu Dhabi has only found time to watch his creation once before this night on the outskirts of Istanbul. But he was here this time to see the final conquering, this time of Internazionale, who put up a splendid fight until the ball broke loose in the box on 68 minutes and Rodri swept it home to remind everyone this is how it usually goes.
This was more memorable for not being the perfectly grooved, unstoppable City performance, but they also have a solution for those nights. They rode it out and then in the minutes before Rodri’s goal you could hear the distant rumble of another City victory.
Guardiola has won it all now for his bosses in the Gulf. Twenty-four years have passed since Ferguson’s thrilling win at the Nou Camp in the same year that City emerged from the third tier. The 21st century has been much kinder to City. They found themselves at the perfect confluence of money, politics and power and the talent that it can bring, and now they have their own treble. It felt inevitable with this team – if not now then soon.
There is still the book of Premier League’s 115 charges against them, the replaying of the case that Uefa could not make stick three years ago. This is not a glory story without its caveats. Yet with every trophy, each resetting of the geopolitical order, City feel more powerful. This final had some of the jeopardy that finals are supposed to have. There was an early injury for Kevin De Bruyne that forced him out another final amid a poor first half for City. There was a great late chance for Inter’s Romelu Lukaku which he steered into exactly the spot that Ederson could save.
Even great teams can fall at the last yet although there were only a few moments of doubt for City. Guardiola’s third Champions League title, his second domestic treble 14 years after the first with Barcelona, was executed by his players according to the agreed strategy. That was no doubt why Sheikh Mansour found the time to attend. With this man in charge of his team, the chances of suffering some great unplanned-for embarrassment was unlikely in the extreme.
The late missed chance from Lukaku, a substitute, on loan following that ruinous move to Chelsea, was another reminder of the missteps others have made while City have called it right decision after decision. They are formidably good at this and fifteen years is not that long a time to get so much right. How they have done it, is a matter still to be decided.
This was Guardiola’s 300th win as City manager, in his 413th game in charge. By way of comparison the team with the second most wins in a similar period have 63 fewer. Although this felt like an end in some respects it will also seem to many like a start of something even more formidable for Guardiola. A wall has been broken through and Guardiola said later he wanted much more.
Internazionale took the courageous option to try to probe City for errors and they got much closer than many expected. Simone Inzaghi’s team were a surprise finalist but this is not exactly one of Europe’s lightweights. Inter have three European Cups of their own – and yet these days the opposition who are expected to bend themselves out of shape to try to beat City. Inter had a strong first half, and in Federico Di Marco on their left side, one of the game’s outstanding players. They hustled City out of their rhythm and capitalised on the small advantages of a heavy pitch and a referee determined to pass as much as he could.
Afterwards Guardiola paid tribute to City’s hierarchy for choosing not to sack him when he failed to deliver the Champions League in previous years. It is hard to reconcile that gratitude with what we know about City and the Abu Dhabi ownership. They have bet the house on Guardiola and shaped the club to accommodate him. They are right to do so and whatever they have planned for life after him it will never be as good. The question is how that Premier League investigation might affect the relationship between them.
Guardiola could be seen shouting “Relax! Relax!” to his players in the first half but he looked most unrelaxed himself. De Bruyne would come off with a strain that adrenaline and the occasion could not overcome. In last Saturday’s FA Cup final City had been ahead in 13 seconds. This time Ederson was launching balls into touch and Rodri, later Uefa’s man of the match, found himself pounced on in midfield.
Guardiola would say that the usual passing channels had been shut down and that his players had not anticipated the movement of Inter’s players. He said he knew that Inter’s shape had left John Stones free when he moved into midfield – it had just taken a while for the penny to drop with his team.
Erling Haaland finishes the season with just that final 52nd goal in his last eight games. He only had one chance. Phil Foden, who replaced De Bruyne, had one fine turn that got him in on goal but the finish did not match the build-up. It was Rodri who was decisive from Bernardo Silva’s deflected cross to score the winner. Left out the starting line-up Kyle Walker played the last few minutes. Guardiola said later that his team struggled at the end – but it is all relative. They would have found another way to win.
Pep Guardiola: Sir Alex Ferguson sent me a “touching” message before City sealed Treble
Pep Guardiola said that he received a “touching” message from Sir Alex Ferguson on the morning of the Champions League final on Saturday night, that saw Manchester City’s Catalan coach repeat the achievement of the treble season of Manchester United in 1998-99.
Guardiola said: “One of the main reasons why this club became where we are is the people from Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mansour, take over the club. Without that we wouldn’t be here. They are the most important people. They support me unconditionally in the defeats in this competition. In many clubs that would not happen and you are sacked. So I give incredible credit to my hierarchy, to my CEO [Ferran Soriano] but I am not going to be confused. Today we could have lost the game and when you lose you are ‘failures’ - all those adjectives. This year was written in the stars we win.”
He joked that City now had Real Madrid’s 14 European Cups in their sights. “We are just 13 behind them. Be careful Real Madrid because we are on our way. If you sleep a little bit we will catch you.”
Guardiola added: “You cannot compare, but now we have the first. I don’t want after one Champions League to disappear. We have to work hard next season and be there. There are teams who win the Champions League and disappear in one or two years. We have to avoid that. Knowing me it is not going to happen but it is a big relief to have this trophy. Now we don’t get asked about winning the first one.”
“The entire world say if we don’t win the Champions League we will not be complete and I agree. I have to accept it. Maybe it is me that is wrong and winning five Premier Leagues and arriving in three [Champions League] semi-finals is [not] exceptional. But everyone says you have to win. People say I have to win trebles every season. I am a good manager but not good enough to win trebles every season.
“I like this competition for the fact we won it, and we are part of history. Players will be remembered for the rest of their lives but now give credit for five Premier Leagues won in six years. It is important. Now people forget, so create a museum. What we have done in the last years is unbelievable.”
There was no reference from Guardiola to the 115 Premier League charges against the club for breaching financial regulations that threaten the legacy of this era. The club defeated a similar set of charges from Uefa on appeal three years ago although they were fined €10 million for failing to cooperate with that investigation.
Jack Grealish said to BT Sport: “This is what you work your whole life for. I played so bad today, I was awful. But I don’t care. To win the treble with this group is so special. I am a family person and this is so special, you dream your whole life of this. You think back to all the people that have helped you along the way. I am feeling emotional thinking about it, thinking about my family.
“The manager is a genius. I said to him just now ‘thank you, thank you for buying me and allowing this to happen for me’.”
The captain, Ilkay Gundogan, said it had not been City’s best performance. He said: “It is difficult to put into words. Today, we made history. It was difficult for both teams. We weren’t at our best in the first half, although we did have a couple of good chances.
“We were better in the second half. It was a 50-50 game, we feel very fortunate. It hasn’t sunk in yet. Obviously we knew everyone was talking about the treble so there was pressure. But this team is built to withstand pressure.”
John Stones said that the treble was a high bar for any club in any era. “I feel so pleased,” he said. “It is a pleasure to be part of this team. There has only been one other treble. I am holding words back because I am on camera. We have set the bar high now. From where we were in the Premier League, to come back and do this.
“I played more of a No 8 today. I don’t think I am the best in there but I tried. Eddie [Ederson] saving that one off the line, I don’t think I would be standing here talking to you if he hadn’t saved that. The party later? Well I have got to do doping control first! But after that.”
Man City edge out Inter in nervy Champions League final – as it happened
Thank you for following
Sam Wallace’s match report now appears on this page. Congratulations to Man City for lifting this trophy for the first time, and for their Treble. A wonderful football team and one of the greatest coaches of all time, maybe the best. Cheers for reading.
James Ducker on Kevin de Bruyne
They did not need Kevin De Bruyne to say anything. They just knew. The painful look etched large on his face as he made that long, lonely walk off was enough and said more than words ever could: the anguish, the disappointment, the heartbreak, the knowledge of another Champions League final cut cruelly short before he had been able to leave an imprint on the game.
🎙️🗣️ Inzaghi : "I complimented the lads, they were great. Had a great game. I know it's a difficult moment, we lost a final that we wanted to win but they must be proud. Yesterday I said I wouldn't trade these players for anyone and today the whole world saw why. They were… pic.twitter.com/60oSEIDXyX
— Italian Football News 🇮🇹 (@footitalia1) June 10, 2023
“I am tired, clam. Satisfied. This ****ing trophy is so hard to win.” (Poor old Humphrey has to apologise again).
“They are really, really good. They bring you up, they find the striker, they run. We had a free man in Stones but we were anxious, and we couldn’t find him.
“This competition is a coin (toss).
“I think we are defending better in the box, we are not making mistakes as much, we are more solid. We had momentum.
“We maybe were not at our best level. After the World Cup the team made a step forward.”
“Now my players go off to play with their countries. Come on Fifa. It is too much. There are too many games.”
“We look forward to the parade in Manchester tomorrow and be with our people.”
has joined the BT Sport group.
Rodri: “he is a ***ing legend.”
Sergio: “I am so happy. I love to see this. We lost the last Champions League,”
Jake Humphrey: “I am being told to apologise for the swearing. But I think we can understand it.”
Now he has got Fabregas to translate for him. Aguero, not Jake. Balotelli is teasing Aguero for not being to speak English!
Humphrey: “I think he speaks English when he wants to.”
Rodri is player of the match
I thought Stones had a good game. Ederson had an excellent first half (after a shonky start). But no complaints about giving it to the goalscorer.
Man City are having a parade on Monday
from press release
Manchester City will hold a trophy parade in Manchester city centre on Monday 12th June to celebrate the Club’s treble win.
Pep Guardiola and the squad will depart from Tonman Street, Deansgate, at approximately 6:30pm and travel to St Mary’s Gate. The parade will then travel through Cross Street and King Street, before finishing on the corner of Princess Street and Portland Street.
A live stage show will then take place on Oxford Street, with onstage entertainment starting at 5:30pm with the players expected to arrive at approximately 7:30pm.
Kevin de Bruyne talks to BT
“It has been a hard two months for me. I have had a lot of issues with my hamstring and it snapped today.
“It is a shame because I was feeling good in the first half an hour. But the team was good enough.
“It wasn’t the best game but finals are always difficult. It is huge, the amount of games you have to play to win the Treble.”
“I am very seldom speechless but I am at a loss for words. A Treble. It is unbelievable. I try to be a leader. Disappointed not playing. I am 33 now, so my example sets onto the younger lads. I gave a speech before they went out.
“I said to them my dream is in your hands. You cannot say that we deserved it more than Inter but there has to be a loser. I said to the lads we haven’t worked so hard this season to throw it away now. Emotions and the occasion maybe got to us.”
“The club means so much to me. I’ve been here six years now but to give me what it’s given me and for me to have experienced the experiences that I’ve experienced, I’ll be forever in debt to them.”
“I am living the dream. From where I have come from in Sheffield it is not easy. I remember when my mum didn’t have a pound for the ice cream van.”
“I will drink anything that they put in front of me. I will destroy it. Sorry Gareth!”
John Stones on BT
“I feel so pleased. It is a pleasure to be part of this team. There has only been one other Treble. I am holding words back because I am on camera. We have set the bar high now (laughs). From where we were in the Premier League, to come bacl and do this.
I played more of a number eight today. I don’t think I am the best in there but I tried.
Eddie saving that one off the line, I don’t think I would be standing here talking to you if he hadn’t saved that.
The party later? Well I have got to do doping control first! But after that.”
Gundogan talks to BT
“It is difficult to put into words. Today, we made history. It was difficult, for both teams. We weren’t at our best in the first half, although we did have a couple of good chances.
“We were better in the second half. It was a 50-50 game, we feel very fortunate. It hasn’t sunk in yet. Obviously we knew everyone was talking about the Treble so there was pressure. But this team is built to withstand pressure.”
Curious moment now as Des Kelly, who is wearing a media/pitch access armband, takes it off and asks Gundogan to sign it. “People think I am doing a John Terry or something.” Er, okay.
Pep Guardiola emotional
Ilkay Gundogan lifts the European Cup!
They have done it! City have reached the summit.
Martinez leads the Inter guys
up for their runners up medals. They’ll feel this was a case of what might have been, I suppose. They got the tactics right, they could easily have pinched a goal at the end. Lukaku had a glorious chance with his head from a few feet out. They hit the bar.
There were some who thought they might get a hammering tonight and it certainly wasn’t that.
Steve McManaman has just said: “Nobody remembers the losers, they only remember the winners.” Not sure that’s really true is it?
Here's your final stats
● Manchester City have become the sixth English team to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League, after Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Nottingham Forest – twice as many sides than any other nation (3 – Germany, Italy and Netherlands).
● Manchester City are just the second English side to achieve the treble (league title, FA Cup and European Cup/UEFA Champions League), after Manchester United in 1998-99. It is the second time their manager Pep Guardiola has won the treble, making him the first ever manager to do so with two different clubs (Barcelona in 2008-09 and Manchester City in 2022-23).
● The last four UEFA Champions League finals have all been won by a 1-0 scoreline (Bayern Munich in 2019-20, Chelsea in 2020-21, Real Madrid in 2021-22 and Manchester City in 2022-23), more than in the first 27 finals in the competition since the re-brand in 1992 (3).
● Manchester City’s victory was their 300th across all competitions under Pep Guardiola, in what was his 413th game in charge of the club. Their 300 wins in this time is 63 more than the English team with the second-most in this period (Liverpool, 237).
● Manchester City have scored 100+ goals more than they’ve conceded in three of the last five seasons (2018-19, 2021-22 and 2022-23) – prior to Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the club, no English top-flight side had ever finished a season having scored 100+ more than they had conceded.
● Manchester City midfielder Rodri was the 19th different Spanish player to score in a European Cup/UEFA Champions League final, the most from a single nation. In addition, he was only the second Spanish player to do so for an English side, after Xabi Alonso for Liverpool in 2005.
● Erling Haaland ended the UEFA Champions League campaign with 12 goals to his name, however he didn’t score in any of his final three appearances in the 2022-23 edition – his longest ever run of games in the competition without a goal.
● Rodri made his 52nd start of the season for Manchester City in all competitions - across Pep Guardiola’s managerial career, the only outfield player to have started more games in a single campaign under him was Lionel Messi in 2011-12 (57).
● The average age of Internazionale’s starting XI was 29 years and 105 days - the oldest for a team in a UEFA Champions League final since Real Madrid in 2017-18 (29y 108d). Indeed, six of the eight oldest starting XIs in UEFA Champions League finals have been by Italian teams (two each for Juventus, Milan and Inter).
● Ilkay Gündogan captained Manchester City in this match, becoming the first German player to captain a non-German team in a European Cup/UEFA Champions League final.
The big man
What's your reaction to the City win?
Are you entertained? Happy for them? Indifferent? Let us know in the comments below.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) June 10, 2023
Jack Grealish talks to BT
“This is what you work your whole life for. I played so bad today, I was awful. But I don’t care. To win the Treble with this group is so special. I am a family person and this is so special, you dream your whole life of this. You think back to all the people that have helped you along the way. I am feeling emotional thinking about it, thinking about my family.
“The manager is a genius. I said to him just now thank you, thank you for buying me and allowing this to happen for me.”
Rodri talks to BT Sport
“I am emotional, this is a dream come true. I have just been here for four years but these fans have been waiting 30, 40 years. It was not easy tonight. Inter are a great team, they defend very well and they counter attack.
I was not good in the first half but you have to use your mentality and fight. There were nerves and emotions out there. But the lads competed until the very end.
I think we have made history. We want more, we have more ambition. We have to enjoy this moment. Obviously we have next year but it is so difficult to do.
This is for all the players in the past who have made the club big.”
Full time: Man City 1 Inter 0
Manchester City have won the Champions League and they have completed a Treble.
Thought Inter were going to equalise at the death there. Lukaku will have nightmares about that header. City have won that elusive Champions League and become only the second English club in history to win the Treble #mcfc #intermilan
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) June 10, 2023
90+ mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
A near post header and Ederson has made another fantastic save. Was that Brozovic with the flicked header? City hack it clear - and they have done it!
90+ mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
The five minutes of added time are up. Here’s Inter’s last chance... they get a corner. Inzaghi is wrestling with a chap in a suit!?!
Here it comes, the Inter corner.....
90+ mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Ederson has been booked for diving, but now produces an excellent bit of goalkeeping as he comes a long way off the line and grabs the ball out of the air.
90+ mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Haaland with another foul, and that gives Inter a chance to launch the ball into the area. It’s half cleared, it drops for Barella but he slices it wide.
90+ mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Onana and Haaland tangle. Haaland has been booked.
90 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Lukaku is in the game again, powers through and takes a shot. Drags it well wide.
89 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Ederson has had a dodgy game but he has pulled off a vital save here! Gosens nods the ball across the area and here is Lukaku with the header from point blank range but Ederson somehow gets his knee in the way. Lukaku should have scored.
A career-defining save for Ederson.
In the same goal as Dudek’s wonder stop vs Shevchenko in Liverpool’s win here...
85 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Lukaku and Mkhitaryan link well but Inter’s final ball lets them down.
Inter not able to effect any sustained pressure or play on the City nerves.
83 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
D’Ambrosio is on for Darmian. Mkhitaryan is on.
80 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Bernardo hauled down. He delivers the freekick in himself but not productively.
John Stones is down, he looks in pain. He’s ripped his shirt.
Stones comes off and Walker comes on.
79 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
City are all over Inter now. Foden is dictating terms. Nearly fiddles it through to Haaland.
76 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
City suddenly looking commanding and comfortable. They’re stroking the ball around. Rodri slips it to Foden, who skips away from his man with a silky bit of skill, surges forward. Haaland takes a defender out - literally, he’s sort of rugby tackled the guy - and Foden drives into the box. He hits his shot at the keeper, however.
Dumfries off. Bastoni off. Gosens on. Bellanova on.
73 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Inter trying to step it up. Here’s Lukaku, decent opportunity this, but he has hit his effort straight at the City keeper.
70 mins: Man City 1 Inter 0
Inter nearly hit back right away. The ball is lofted into the City area, Dimarco meets it with a looping header that lobs Ederson. The rebound falls for Dimarco again, and he has headed the ball onto his teammate Lukaku. Oh Inter! How is your luck?
GOAL! Man City 1 Inter 0 (Rodri 68)
City have Inter under pressure. They cannot clear. Akanji slips it into Bernardo Silva, who gets the byline and cuts it back... Rodri arrives perfectly and cracks the ball hard and true into the back of the net. No chance for the keeper.
65 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Chris Sutton on the BBC: “I’m worried for City. They’re getting jittery. I can’t remember watching a Manchester City team under Pep Guardiola where they’ve been so sloppy.”
City have the ball now, play it forward to Haaland who powers forward in that Jonah Lomu style he has. Superb defending from Bastoni to rob the big yin.
62 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Bastoni and Stones tangle in the Inter box from a corner, the ref finds in favour of the Italian side.
61 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Guardiola, flamboyant chap that he is, hurled himself to his knees in despair when Ederson and Akjani got in that “after you Claude” style mix up.
The Man City keeper has been nervy all night.
59 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
City waste the freekick.
58 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
City break quickly, danger here, and Barella chops down Foden for a tactical foul. Yellow card.
57 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
City shocker! Ederson and defender Akanji in a mix up. Martinez has a chance to cross it for Lukaku but elects to shoot himself. I think Dias was back covering Romelu actually. Shoots straight at the keeper....
55 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Lukaku is coming on. Replaces Dzeko, who has led the defence from the front, as it were.
52 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Foden delivers a freekick but gets it all horribly wrong.
51 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Some chunky fouls going in. Calhanoglu on Gundogan. Darmian, I think, on Grealish.
49 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Bit sloppy from Inter at the back, keeper gives it away. Bernardo cannot do much with the moment though and soon loses it.
I’ve seen City look sharper than this, I must say.
Guardiola is trying to gee up the City fans!
47 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Dzeko tries to find Barella but Akanji nips in and tidies up.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 10, 2023
46 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Some good Rio quotes on BT Sport earlier
“I genuinely think Pep is the best coach of a football team that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Who puts something on the pitch, lays it out and coached them to play a certain way and the whole pyramid of football tried to do it?
“Centre-backs standing on the corner [of the box] to receive the ball, that’s unheard of. The goalkeeper only saw their number as they ran up to the halfway line.
“With all due respect, Carlo Ancelotti, a Champions League legend, has done ridiculous things - Sir Alex Ferguson… but the whole pyramid didn’t change from their style of football, even given how great they are. That’s his greatness and his legacy.”
State of it
While Burna Boy did some sort of entertainment, the real show was behind the stand as heads of state roll up just in time pic.twitter.com/xy7TaZOKGt
— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) June 10, 2023
One of the key moments of the first half
— Juliet Bawuah (@julietbawuah) June 10, 2023
André Onana had more touches in the first half (29) than:
◉ 27 - John Stones
◉ 27 - Jack Grealish
◉ 25 - Bernardo Silva
◉ 9 - Erling Haaland
Only two Inter teammates had more. 🧹#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/PNSuuzoZRe
— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) June 10, 2023
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 10, 2023
Who will be happier?
Pep Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference: “The most important thing is to not think at 0-0 you are losing. Italian teams can think at 0-0 they are winning and they are not.”
Half time: Man City 0 Inter 0
City have had 61% of the ball but not had Inter on the wrack much to speak of. Inter busy and committed in their press. Haaland had the best chance. KDB had to go off.
A tense tactical battle but not a match to thrill the neutral so far.
45+ mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Halfway through the two minutes of added time, Akanji comes forward and tries his luck with a long shot. Never looked like troubling the scorers.
45 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
That freekick didn’t come to much. City having a long period of possession now. Steve McManaman on BT Sport reckons that they are trying to tire Inter out.
42 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Denzel Dumfries and Jack Grealish are having a good battle. Ref adjudges that the Dutchman has fouled the Prince of Birmingham. Handily placed freekick.
41 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
It’s tight, it’s hotly contested and it is closer than we had feared. That said, there isn’t a masssssive amount currently happening.
37 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Good moment here for Inter as they get the ball launched forward and find themselves with numbers down the left... sadly, they tarry too long and City can regroup.
35 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Shame, sorry to see this: De Bruyne has had enough. Still, Phil Foden is some replacement. Haaland comes over to console KDB. Poor Kevin had to go off early in their previous Champs League final, fractured eye-socket courtesy of Mr Rudiger.
33 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
De Bruyne is playing on. A flat period in the game. City have the ball, they are at walking pace, composing themselves in their own half.
30 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Kevin de Bruyne is down injured. He doesn’t look too comfortable. Foden is warming up...
KDB is trying to carry on.
29 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Inter are suddenly reeling. Grealish now, has found space down the left. Weakly donks the ball into the box.
Manchester City fans are waving for help. Think there is an emergency in their end and stewards being called.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) June 10, 2023
Fan is being taken away on a stretcher, to applause from that section.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) June 10, 2023
28 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Now it is De Bruyne’s turn to shoot after a powerful run. Poor effort.
26 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
That was City’s best chance yet. De Bruyne slips it through to Haaland, who uses his power and pace to hold off a defender. He fires at goal, but sadly also straight at the keeper. It’s repelled. City keep the pressure on.
The last only time Sheikh Mansour attended a City game was in 2008 against Liverpool. And he didn’t have a single grey hair. I was at that game, too, and I also didn’t have grey here. While I can’t say the same, the sheikh doesn’t appear to have aged in the 15 years since. pic.twitter.com/kMXUhA2qsD
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) June 10, 2023
25 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Ederson has gone walkabout, City lose the ball, and Barella tries a pot-shot from 40 yards. You know what? He should probably have scored there. The goal was wide open, and untended.
24 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Grealish draws a foul, a long way from goal. City begin to build.
22 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Game not had an edge to it as such but some snappy tackles coming in.
20 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Inter are impressing. They are tearing around at high speed and any time a City guy gets the ball he has got company. It’s stifling and sticky inside the stadium so one wonders if they can keep that up.
17 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Bastoni is paying very close attention to Grealish, and shuts him down here. Jack hasn’t quite got going yet.
15 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Inter again keeping it simple, long ball launched at Martinez. Ruben Dias clears.
13 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Barella receives a long, looping ball. Crosses from the right. Ake deflects it behind for a corner.
11 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Inter with an up-and-under into the City area. Keeper under pressure. Stones and Martinez having a good battle.
Inter are pressing high, quick and aggressive.
Inter have started with an aggressive press on City. They've looked reasonably confident. Five at the back out of possession. But it only takes a second ...
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) June 10, 2023
10 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Inter haven’t just come to defend. Quick, decisive attack here ends with a dangerous ball into the City box from the left. Dias heads it clear.
7 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Denzel Dumfries is pushed very high up his flank. He is one of Inter’s best and most common outlets.
4 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Dangerous looking move from City. Gundogan prompting. It’s played out to Bernardo who is allowed to snake through the area from a narrow angle, some very strange decision making from Darmian, who is standing off him. Bernardo shoots from a tight angle and that is not far away at all..
2 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Haaland pounces! Nice little through ball and he wellies the ball over the bar... ah, offside.
Kevin De Bruyne the man who played that clever wee pass. EH was offside but not by much. A sighter for him, a warning for Inter.
1 mins: Man City 0 Inter 0
Inter’s goalie has been fit enough to play. The men in blue and black hump it long.
reviews the pre-match entertainment,
“Smoke from the fireworks from the Pepsi sponsored opening ceremony mingling with the smoke from the massive blaze a few miles away that has been floating over the stadium for hours. Hard to make out what the music was because the PA system at the Ataturk is as rattly as the infamous Stadium of Light PA system.”
The teams again
Man City: Ederson, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Stones, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish, Haaland. Subs: Walker, Phillips, Laporte, Ortega, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Perrone, Carson, Foden, Palmer, Lewis.
Inter Milan: Onana, Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni, Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco, Dzeko, Martinez. Subs: Gagliardini, de Vrij, Gosens, Correa, Bellanova, Asllani, Cordaz, Mkhitaryan, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Lukaku, Handanovic.
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
The Champions League anthem place. Erling H said he loves the song and it inspires him.
Marciniak did the World Cup final too.
Nathan Ake update
James Ducker writes: “Just a word on Ake. It’s easy to forget that it’s only more recently that Walker has forced his way back into the starting XI. Ake has been one of Guardiola’s go to men and most consistent players for much of the campaign. There was a time around the winter when the City manager admitted they simply couldn’t afford to play without Ake at the time.
Grealish loves playing with him on the left and he’s been the model of consistency. Injury as well as Walker’s return to form has limited his involvement a little in the last six weeks but he’s been a very dependable figure for City.”
Bae's in. Of course he is.
Salt Bae, a necessary part of any final. pic.twitter.com/PwlYMmUyzE
— Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) June 10, 2023
Workload for Inter hitman
57 - Lautaro Martínez is playing his 57th match in 2022/23, considering all competitions, a season record for an Inter outfield player in the Nerazzurri's history (since 1929/30). Ubiquitous.#ManchesterCityInter #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/olq8V4b6cf
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) June 10, 2023
It is my solemn duty to report that there is now some pre-match hoopla. The Pepsi Kick Off Show, it sez ere.
Football betting offers
Take advantage of these offers on our best football betting sites before kick-off in 15 minutes time.
Looks like kick off
will be on time. Some concerns about the traffic.
with news of a possibly major setback for the Italians.
“Potential injury scare for Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana? He has just walked off the pitch and down the tunnel and was not moving easily. Every other player still out there warming up. Definitely one to watch.”
“It is a good thing to be good at, tapping balls in. I don’t want to have too many touches, when you have players like Grealish, Bernardo, KDB then you don’t want me interrupting. The should be the ones contacting the ball a lot.”
Will that tricky journey to the ground
impact on Man City?
Here is Jason Burt at the stadium
“Forty minutes to kick off and, thankfully, the stadium is filling up nicely. Inter end has been full for a long time but now the Manchester City fans have arrived. Like their supporters, their team also arrived later than expected but both sides are now out on the pitch warming up. City were out seven minutes after Inter which will be a relief given how they struggled through the traffic.”
“It took the Manchester City team bus an hour and a half to make it from their team hotel to the Ataturk Stadium. It could have been a lot worse - as some fans have suffered - but not ideal preparation for a Champions League Final given you are only supposed to be travelling through a city.”
Having a bet on the match?
Find the best Champions League Final free bets.
Champions League Final
The Champions League Final is on BT Sport 1 and is also available to view on the BT Sport YouTube channel. The kick off between Manchester City and Inter Milan is at 8pm.
Nice one from Micah
Could be fireworks tonight! pic.twitter.com/UiLneljNjx
— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) June 10, 2023
Smoke from a nearby building
Fire from a nearby building visible over the Ataturk pic.twitter.com/7Sz5RjAsyX
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) June 10, 2023
This will be BT
Sport’s last game of note, right? Jake Humphrey seems to be in #legacy mode.
Jake Humphreys can't quit...he simply can't. Has brought so much joy. Like Jack Nicklaus retiring at St Andrews. Farewell my friend. Will never be the same
— James Corrigan (never had a blue tick) (@jcorrigangolf) June 10, 2023
There is a bottleneck trying to get to the stadium for tonight’s Champions League Final and some Manchester City fans have resorted to walking!
Fingers crossed they make it for kick off!! 😨pic.twitter.com/9au2IOoYKA
— Football Away Days (@FBAwayDays) June 10, 2023
says that City will look to out number Inter in midfield. Joleon Lescott says Grealish and Silva will push up very high to force the Inter wing backs back.
Rio: “Inter play the same way Brentford do, and Brentford have beaten City twice this season.”
Jason Burt writes
“Pep Guardiola asked the Manchester City fans not to boo the Champion League theme... it has just been played and was met with a chorus of boos.”
Pep Guardiola on BT Sport
“The most important game in our history. We talk about football, football and football. I hope the last final makes them more experienced.
“Kyle Walker is so important, it was really tough to leave him out. For the way we want to defend we need a different kind of player.” (Pep says this change wasn’t made due to a back injury of KW)
Sam Wallace on the City pre-match attire (spoiler alert: he's not a fan...)
Manchester City players and staff are in the building. All the players are wearing team-issue distressed jeans and white polo shorts for their big day, presumably at the behest of their official clothing supplier Dsquared. Doesn’t work for me. Looks like a corporate team-bonding away-day, or a very abstemious stag do.
Jason Burt on Kyle Walker not making the XI
Huge blow for Kyle Walker to miss out on a starting place in the Champions League Final. He is on the bench after being an injury doubt with Manuel Akanji - probably - at right-back and Nathan Ake at left-back. Otherwise Manchester City as expected... and no tinkering from Pep Guardiola (as promised)!
Stevie G back by the Bosphorus
I am no mind reader but I rather fancy that Steven Gerrard has happy memories of being in Istanbul — the scene of his greatest night as a Liverpool legend. Would the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ have happened had he not been at the very top of his game? I reckon not...
Those teams in old-fashioned black and white
MAN CITY XI TO FACE INTER MILAN: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish, Haaland.
Pep Guardiola has made two changes from the FA Cup final. One we expected the other one we did not. The expected one is Ederson coming in for Stefan Ortega. The one that’s come as a big of a shock is Kyle Walker dropping to the bench with Nathan Ake taking his place.
INTER MILAN XI TO FACE MAN CITY: Onana, Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni, Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco, Martinez, Dzeko.
As expected Edin Dzeko gets the nod over Romelu Lukaku up front. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (thigh) and Joaquin Correa (calf) are on the bench after recovering from injury.
Here are both the XIs
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) June 10, 2023
How can Inter shock City?
Here’s the last of Mike McGrath’s five things the Italians need to do if they are to get in the way of City’s Treble bid.
Man-mark unsung danger man Rodri
There is a danger of opponents focusing too much on Haaland. With 52 goals this season, he is clearly their biggest goal threat, yet it is Rodri who makes the team tick from the base of midfield. Last season in the Premier League alone he completed 2,977 passes, shifting the ball quickly and showing his range of distribution. Plenty of City’s moves go through the Spaniard, who dictates the pace of the game and allows De Bruyne to create further forward.
Sitting on Rodri will cut off the supply to City’s most dangerous attacking players and would leave Inter’s defenders to go one-on-one with Haaland, De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva as they attack from different angles. Focusing on Rodri would make it a midfield battle that would suit Inter’s way of playing.
Here's the Man City XI
XI | Ederson, Akanji, Stones, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, Gundogan (C), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Grealish, Haaland
SUBS | Ortega Moreno, Carson, Walker, Phillips, Laporte, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Perrone, Foden, Palmer, Lewis#ManCity | #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/6eYE8aTGTH
— Manchester City (@ManCity) June 10, 2023
Not sure how he got an invite...
He’s back: After his antics after the World Cup final in Qatar (which sparked a FIFA investigation), Turkish chef Salt Bae arrives at the VIP entrance at tonight’s CL Final in Istanbul https://t.co/BoGhNW7u7I pic.twitter.com/y4ZzblS3GP
— Dan Roan (@danroan) June 10, 2023
From Sam Wallace in Istanbul
The Manchester City bus is approaching the stadium as per the helicopter shot on the monitor. City end is still a long way from being full of fans. Internazionale end is full already and noisy.
How Inter can shock City, parts 4 & 5...
More from Mike McGrath on what the Italians need to do to get their hands on the club’s fourth European Cup.
City will be expecting a battle at Ataturk Olympic Stadium. Inter fought their way to victory in the semi-finals against their great rivals AC Milan. There was footage of Francesco Acerbi looking around before planting his studs on the foot of Sandro Tonali. He got away with the stamp, even with Var, and the Italians will be employing all of the dark arts to get the better of Guardiola’s team.
There is recent history of tactical fouling in this showpiece. In Kyiv in 2018, Sergio Ramos targeted Liverpool’s greatest threat — and it resulted in Mohamed Salah being carried off in tears as he could do nothing to prevent Real Madrid winning that evening. De Bruyne suffered fractures and concussion after a collision with Antonio Rüdiger when City lost to Chelsea.
Inter should have a height advantage over City when the corners and free-kicks get swung into the penalty area, with Acerbi, Lukaku and Dzeko among those with aerial ability to meet Hakan Calhanoglu’s delivery. City have only conceded five goals in the Champions League all season and four of those were from set-pieces.
Jude Bellingham headed in for Borussia Dortmund when a corner was not cleared, while Sevilla’s Rafa Mir scored with a towering header also from a corner. RB Leipzig took a short corner which led to Josko Gvardiol climbing the highest to head home. The other set-piece goal they conceded was against Bayern Munich when Joshua Kimmich scored a penalty. It may be clutching at straws to suggest City have a weakness, but four of their five goals conceded in Europe have been from set-pieces.
Jason Burt on those Istanbul traffic woes
Definitely a growing sense of nervousness inside the Ataturk Stadium that fans are struggling to get here. Stories starting to filter through of supporters stuck in horrendous traffic jams and having to abandon vehicles to walk here. They were urged to get to the stadium early with two fan zones close by and interestingly the Inter fans are already inside in far greater numbers. Uefa will be monitoring the situation carefully but it again highlights how questionable it is to hold a final in such an inaccessible venue.
From James Ducker at the Ataturk Stadium
A fire has broken out and is blowing plumes of thick black smoke towards the Ataturk Stadium, which hosts tonight’s final.
There's a feeling that there's not a lot of love for City
For all their obvious brilliance, for all the fact they are great to watch there is undoubtedly an ambivalence bordering on outright disdain for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Here Oliver Brown asks why...
“City are on the cusp of an accomplishment only seen once in the history of English football, so rare that Sir Alex Ferguson likened it to flying to the Moon. Acclaim for the Treble should transcend the traditional boundaries of club loyalty. It did for Ferguson, who received a knighthood only a fortnight later. It did for David Beckham, who became a national icon as a consequence, and for homegrown talents including Paul Scholes and Gary Neville. Somehow, the moment felt more authentically “made in England” than the coronation awaiting Guardiola’s all-stars.”
City fans playing catch up - Jason Burt in Istanbul
More than two hours to kick-off at the Ataturk Stadium and the Inter Milan end is already more than half full with the supporters in fine voice. By contrast the area behind the goal where the Manchester City fans will be seated is virtually empty.
How can Inter beat City?
Here’s the second of five things Mike McGrath says the Italians have to do to shock Pep and Co tonight.
Use Dumfries as an outlet
While Pep Guardiola had Kyle Walker on the bench at times this season and does not trust him to play as an “inverted full-back” moving inside, the England full-back still has the pace to get the better of any winger in Europe. Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior could not get past Walker when he ran at him one-on-one in the semi-final. For pace and positioning, Walker is at the top of his game and Inter would get more joy from the other flank.
Denzel Dumfries times his runs well on Inter’s right flank and has the pace to get behind City’s backline. The Holland international is a better route to Ederson’s goal, given that City have not been playing with an out-and-out left-back. Manuel Akanji has done excellently in that position but will be tested if Dumfries can get a run at him. Nathan Ake is the other option as a traditional centre-back who has played left-back.
A reminder of how the the first (and, to date, only) English Treble was won
The 1999 Champions League final. pic.twitter.com/XoFYpkzzc8
— 90s Football (@90sfootball) June 10, 2023
How can Inter beat City?
It’s a question many are asking ashed of today’s match and here’s Mike McGrath with the first of five things the Italians need to do to produce a shock.
Play two strikers close together
City will know all about Edin Dzeko as one of their players from the “Aguerooooo” title-winning triumph of 2012. He has been preferred to Romelu Lukaku for Inter’s big Champions League matches this season and has positional intelligence to disrupt Pep Guardiola’s defensive system. His physical presence needs Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez making runs around him and having them close together on the pitch will be a source of attack.
Brentford did the double over City in the Premier League and won their two matches playing with two strikers: Bryan Mbeumo was partnered by Ivan Toney at the Etihad, then Yoane Wissa on the final day of the season.
While most teams play with a lone striker, playing a pair gives City more defensive questions. It is a brave move but also suits Inter’s 3-5-2 formation.
City could be more inclined to stay in their 4-3-3 formation rather than shift into the 3-2-4-1 system where John Stones moves forward into midfield and has been skilled at taking the ball on the turn and starting moves from his position in front of a back three.
More from James Ducker in Istanbul
The Ataturk Stadium may hold happy memories for Jamie Carragher, a winner here with Liverpool in 2005 after the “Miracle of Istanbul” and back at the ground tonight, but it’s an odd choice of venue for a Champions League final in 2023. The infrastructure remains virtually unchanged from 18 years ago and getting to and from the ground is not a pleasurable experience for anyone. There’s one road in, one road out, which is why it’s no surprise it’s a total bottleneck around the stadium and traffic is at a standstill. I left at 4pm local time — to get here in good time for a 10pm kick-off — knowing it would be carnage on the roads and arrived shortly after 5pm. Fans leaving it late to get from the heart of Istanbul to the stadium face a long wait.
— Adriano Del Monte (@adriandelmonte) June 10, 2023
James Ducker in Istanbul
The great, good - and eccentric - of City’s recent past are all at the Ataturk Stadium tonight hoping to see the club finally lay hands on the Champions League.
Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure and colourful Mario Balotelli — members of the first Premier League title winning team back in 2011/12 — plus former captain Fernandinho have made the trip to Istanbul.
Balotelli, best remembered for revealing the T-shirt “Why Always Me?” after scoring twice in City’s 6-1 rout of Manchester United in 2011, 24 hours after setting off fireworks in his bathroom, is probably the only one who will have split loyalties. The former Italy striker joined City from Inter in 2010.
Aguero hopes he sees fellow Argentine Lautaro Martinez, who won the World Cup with the country in December, scores — but ends up on the losing side.
Spot the famous City fan
Clue: he’s a former boxer...
Oliver Brown in Istanbul
Any City or Inter fans still sweltering in the sunshine at Taksim Square would be well-advised to start their journeys to the Ataturk Stadium early. Istanbul traffic is diabolical at the best of times, but on the day of a Champions League final it is positively dystopian. There are warnings of three- to four-hour delays on the roads if supporters leave their departures from the city centre too late. It has the potential to be a major headache for Uefa, who are desperate to avoid a repeat of last year’s shambolically organised final in Paris, which began 37 minutes late due to French police kettling Liverpool fans outside the Stade de France gates.
Fancy a flutter?
Having a bet on the match? Find the best Champions League Final free bets here.
Champagne-sliding kitmen to Olympic gold medallists – the backroom staff driving City to glory
By Mike McGrath
Manchester City players totalled 23 when they boarded the plane for Istanbul for the final leg of their Treble attempt. But plenty more than that number comprise the team behind Pep Guardiola’s success over the past seven years. When the key personnel huddled for a team photo after the FA Cup triumph last weekend (see pic above), the backroom staff looked big enough to fill a centre circle.
Some of the unsung members of the City team have been so important to their success. The staff keeping players fit, led by head physio James Baldwin, managed to avoid serious injuries and just tended to the usual bumps and strains of a campaign.
Sports scientists, analysts and therapists add to the level of detail Guardiola demands from his squad. There are chefs cooking food at the Etihad Campus that compare to the finest restaurants in Manchester and player liaison officers to work with the players. Staff from the operations team arrange everything needed for a club to travel around Europe and compete for three major trophies.
But it is Guardiola’s inner circle of trusted co-workers that has been the heart of his success since arriving in English football in 2016. Many of his original backroom team are still with him. They include Manel Estiarte, who is seen with Guardiola at every press conference that he undergoes, often sitting near journalists. An Olympic gold medallist at water polo, “a lifelong trusted friend and confidante” is how City described him when he arrived. He was appointed head of player support and protocol seven years ago but is Guardiola’s right-hand man.
Rodolfo Borrell, 52, is Guardiola’s assistant and was Lionel Messi’s first coach at Barcelona. The Spaniard held a senior position at Liverpool’s Academy so has known plenty of City’s first team for years from playing against them, or with them in Raheem Sterling’s case when he was at City.
Xabier Mancisidor, the goalkeeper coach, has been at City from the start of the Guardiola era, as has performance analyst Carles Planchart, who has worked with Guardiola’s players, often on a one-on-one basis, since 2007 at Barca and Bayern Munich. Fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura is still Team Guardiola after 15 years together, another trusted member of the backroom staff.
The ones no longer at City have looked to be No1s in their own right. Mikel Arteta was the most high-profile case, the apprentice learning from the master and then going his own way in 2019 and putting what he learnt to use at Arsenal, which saw him challenge his old boss for the title this season.
Domènec Torrent was particularly highly regarded at the City Football Group, the club’s owners, while he was a coach under Guardiola. He went on to coach at sister club New York City and his latest job was a brief stint at Galatasaray. At one stage he was regarded as a potential future coach of the City first team.
That raises the question of who on earth could follow such a manager whenever Guardiola decides he wants to leave? Finding the right person from within the structure makes sense, given how intricate the system of success is. Players often need a year to adapt to Guardiola’s methods, the exception being Erling Haaland. The people with the best knowledge of winning are the people Guardiola has worked with.
This season in the Premier League, Erik ten Hag worked with Guardiola when they were together at Bayern Munich. Patrick Vieira never worked with the former Barcelona coach but was within the CFG umbrella when he went to New York City after heading up the City Academy.
Those who have worked closely with Guardiola and his team have been given first-hand experience of his way of winning. One member of the team who predates any of the players is the kitman Brandon Ashton, who started at the club in 2009 as a 16-year-old. He knew Les Chapman, kitman at the time, and after one pre-season stayed at the club and has been there ever since.
Ashton is the character sliding across the dressing room when the champagne is flowing. He is on the chairs swinging a shirt around his head when the songs are going. “Brandon is the heart and soul of the dressing room, he has the ability to take pressure off,” said Vincent Kompany in the Amazon documentary All Or Nothing. Kevin De Bruyne gets on with him as he is not a typical football person. But he is one of the constants during the Guardiola era, with an intimate knowledge of how success is created.
City fans expectant and in fine voice
Some people like to get there early...
As well as a feast of football (hopefully...) expect a festival of flags this evening.
History or another final slip up for Manchester City?
So it’s the culmination of yet another exceptional season for Manchester City, but, one that, if they win this evening, will be considered the greatest season of the club’s trophy-laden, petrodollar-funded era.
The Treble is at stake for Pep Guardiola’s side and very few — bar the most optimistic Inter Milan fan and, perhaps, the most-blinkered Manchester United supporter — predict anything other than glory for Erling Haaland and Co. Should the Italians create a shock on the Bosphorus then it would be another Miracle of Istanbul to rival the Liverpool win over AC Milan back in 2005.
All season, especially, as it entered the business end, the mantra at the Etihad has been that they’re ‘taking it one game at a time’. Well, there’s only one match left and what is at stake has never been in such clear view.
That’s something not lost on Haaland.
“If you’d said this scenario before the season I wouldn’t think of it,” the record-breaking striker said. “But, again, when you look at the team, how close they’ve been with every single trophy every single season it’s not like it’s been not possible.
“We have been believing in ourselves ever since I came here. Just one game left, I don’t know what more to say.”
If there are United, and Inter, fans reading this then here’s a morsel of hope. Two years ago City similarly went into the final as big favourites, albeit against a well-known foe, and came a cropper, losing 1-0 to Chelsea, a team they finished 19 points ahead of that season in the league. They also looked on course to reach last year’s final, but conceded two goals in stoppage time against Real Madrid before going out through extra time.
This year, City’s route to Istanbul has been serene, despite being drawn against Bayern Munich and Madrid in the knockout rounds. But in a one-off, knockout match anything can happen and Guardiola will doubtless, in his inimitable intense way, have reminded his players of that fact.
To find out if history is made or whether ‘Champions of Europe’ is a title that alludes the cash-rich club once again, please stay here where we’ll have all the build-up, team news, and, of course action.