Rodri fired the winning goal as Manchester City finally claimed Champions League glory and completed the treble with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Inter Milan.
The midfielder rifled home in the 68th minute as the Premier League winners City wore down the Italians in a draining final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on Saturday.
The contest was a tight one, with City suffering a serious blow in pursuit of the prize that has eluded them for so long when they lost Kevin De Bruyne to injury in the first half.
The prolific Erling Haaland was also kept quiet by a stubborn Inter side but Rodri eventually made the breakthrough with a firm strike after a Bernardo Silva pass was deflected into his path.
Rodri’s side-footed finish midway through the second half broke Inter’s resistance and though Federico Dimarco hit the crossbar with a header before Ederson saved sensationally from Romelu Lukaku, City held on to make history in the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
Having already overhauled Arsenal to retain the Premier League trophy and beaten Manchester United to lift the FA Cup at Wembley, this victory saw them match the achievement of their city rivals in 1999. Pep Guardiola was in tears afterwards.
The Catalan coach has won it all at City but this was the one they have been waiting for – champions of Europe for the first time.
For Guardiola, it ends his 12-year wait to win the competition for a third time as a coach and a fourth time overall.
How Man City made history in Turkey
It was tight and it was tense. Fraught with jeopardy, of course, but difficulty too. Made more difficult when Kevin De Bruyne trudged off injured in the first half
The second time in three seasons that he has departed a Champions League final with the game in the balance
Ederson looked nervy early on, showing moments of sloppiness that hinted at the scale of the occasion. Rodri was misplacing passes.
Erling Haaland broke clear once but his shot was saved. It was City’s best chance in the opening 45 minutes against an organised Inter.
The task did not become easier once Lukaku replaced Edin Dzeko and Inter could have led had Ederson not denied Lautaro Martinez from a narrow angle after Manuel Akanji inexplicably allowed the ball to run through. Guardiola was on his knees in despair.
It was joy soon after. Akanji slipped a pass through to Bernardo Silva and his cut-back deflected into the path of the oncoming Rodri.
The midfielder measured his finish, bending it beyond two Inter defenders and into the corner of the net to break the deadlock.
Rodri had been left on the bench for the Champions League final against Chelsea in 2021. Not this time.
His goal will rank among the most important in City’s history, a moment to rival the Sergio Aguero title-winning strike of 11 years earlier. But it was not the end.
Dimarco capitalised on uncertainty inside the City box and his looping header beat Ederson only to come back off the crossbar.
The second chance looked more straightforward but this time Dimarco’s header struck the legs of Lukaku. A fortunate escape.
Lukaku had a clearer opportunity with just minutes remaining. Robin Gosens centred the ball and the striker just had to beat Ederson from close range.
His header was firm but not in the corner, the goalkeeper producing an astonishing stop to keep the ball out.
It is a save that will be talked about for years. A night that will be talked about for years.
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