The occasion is set, Chelsea and Manchester City will battle it out for the right to be crowned Champions of Europe in an all English tie at Wembley. But let’s look back at the Manchester clubs journey to the final which was confirmed to be played at the Estadio de Dragao. Lets start from all the way back at the beginning, the group stages and go right the way to the final.
Manchester City were drawn in Group C in a favorable group for the new Premier League Champions, alongside Porto, Marseille and Olympiakos, a group everyone expected City to walk comfortably. Walk it comfortably they did winning five out of their six games in the group, starting off with a 3-1 victory over Porto at the Etihad followed by back to back 3-0 wins against Olympiakos and Marseille. The Citizens traveled to Greece for the return fixture knowing if they were to win they would be comfortably cruising in the group and returned to Manchester narrow 1-0 winners. The last two games were a 0-0 dull affair against Porto and a another 3-0 win against Marseille leaving City atop the group and looking very strong as they advanced to the Knockout Stages. The star man of the group stage for Manchester City was no doubt the new signing Ferran Torres who managed to find the net in four of the six games in the group, he looked to have been settling in well at City.
Round of 16 (Gladbach)
The Sky Blues were given a more favourable draw in the Round of 16 avoiding the bigger sides but drawing against a side that had performed phenomenally in the group stage, Borussia Mochengladbach. The German side had already come against Real Madrid and Inter Milan in the group stage and advanced as runners-up in their group. It was never going to be easy for Manchester City on paper but since the turn of the year Gladbach had hit poor form in the league and saw them free-falling rapidly down the league, it was the perfect time to play them. With the Germans not at their best City dispatched them 2-0 at Borussia-Park with goals from Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus. In the return leg it was another 2-0 victory for City but this time the goalscorers were Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan. Gladbach were picked apart by an on fire City side who had really come of age since Christmas time under Pep Guardiola.
Quarter-Final (Borussia Dortmund)
It wasn’t long before City were back in Germany again, this time to face Borussia Dortmund after they dumped out Sevilla in the last round. An on fire Erling Haaland was put up against a very resilient City backine that had only been breached 11 times since the turn of the year. The first leg was full of controversial VAR calls and Dortmund probably left Manchester feeling a little bit robbed after a goal for young ,English starlet, Jude Bellingham was ruled out after he allegedly fouled keeper Ederson, the replays showed the Dortmund player didn’t touch the Brazilian. City took the lead in the tie when Kevin De Bruyne finished a lovely team move off just after the 20th minute mark. It took Dortmund a while to really get into the game in the second half but were handed a massive boost when Marco Reus found himself one on one with Ederson and coolly slotted past him to give his side a crucial away goal. The tie was all in the balance for City’s trip to Signal Iduna park with Dortmund knowing if they were to win they would have a massive chance of advancing to the semi-finals. It was the Germans who took the lead in the tie when Jude Bellingham scored after the 15th minute. It was all City however and the Dortmund defence finally caved in with Emre Can being adjudged to have hand-balled the ball deliberately in the area awarding City a penalty. Riyad Mahrez dispatched it with ease giving City the away goal they needed. It was soon all over when Phil Foden sealed the deal for City in the 75th minute putting the Citizens into the Semi-Finals and setting up a crunch tie with either Bayern Munich or PSG.
After the French Champions defeated Bayern Munich in the last round many expected this tie to be one of the best the competition had seen for a long time. The tie was very entertaining and full of drama from start to finish. Both sides at the beginning of the competition were at the top end of the bookies odds to win the competition behind the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid but the odds quickly shortened the more the sides performed and looked real threats. The first leg was played in France and it was a real firecracker at the Parc des Princes, especially after PSG were dominating the first half of the game and even managed to take the lead when Marquinhos nodded the Parisians ahead from a beautifully delivered Angel Di Maria corner. It was very much a tale of two halves for PSG though as they looked a shadow of the side that performed so well in the first and were made to pay by a rampant City side. Pep Guardiola’s half-time team talk must have been a good one because City were right out of the gates from the off and looked were really threatening PSG’s slender lead. The goal finally did come when Kevin De Bruyne’s long cross into the area went through everyone including Keylor Navas and found its way into the bottom corner to level proceedings. It wasn’t long before City were ahead either when a smart free-kick routine ended with Riyad Mahrez firing the ball home and giving City a huge push towards the final, City left Paris with two away goals and a 2-1 victory on the night. The second leg was slightly less entertaining with City resting on their morals a little and being a little bit more conservative on the ball, it didn’t take long for the Citizens to find the lead however when Riyad Mahrez scored from a beautiful pass from Phil Foden after only 11 minutes. PSG couldnt get a foothold in the tie and with Kylian Mbappe injured struggled to have any pace in behind, Neymar was isolated and marshaled well by the City back line. The tie was soon over however, with Mahrez doubling City’s lead and putting an end to PSG’s chances of the Champions League for another year. City advance to the final in the newly announced Portugal at the Estadio de Dragao to face Chelsea.
Who will lift the Trophy?