2023-05-18 · 3 min read · Champions League/Soccer
City cruise, Inter take down rivals to set-up unprecedented finals

Reuters/Carl Recine | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Inter Milan did exactly what they had to do against cross-town rivals AC Milan on Tuesday capping off a solid defensive performance with a Lautaro Martinez goal to win 1-0 and move on with an aggregate score of 3-0.
Manchester City, though getting the same result, did it in a much different way. Wednesday night at the Etihad City crushed Real Madrid 4-0 dismantling the European giants advancing to the Champions League final with an aggregate victory of 5-1 and possibly ending Madrid’s dynasty at the same time.
The two winning sides will now face each other on Saturday, June 10 at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. Manchester City is a heavy -400 favorite ($400 bet to win $100) to beat Inter Milan. This is the heaviest favourite we’ve ever seen entering the Champions League finals but it's easy to see why, starting with prolific goal scorer Erling Haaland. The Premier League's all-time single-season goalscoring leader (36 and counting with three matches left) has been a superstar in Champions League as well (12 goals in 10 appearances). Thanks largely to his efforts, Manchester City hasn't needed to break much of a sweat in the Champions League. They've outscored their opponents 31-5 overall, knocking out Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig along the way.
City did not need Haaland on Wednesday as Real Madrid hardly had any chances on yet thanks largely to Kyle Walker and John Stones. Real Madrid possessed the ball just 41 percent of the time and took just three shots on goal.
It will be a tall order for Inter Milan to hang with Manchester City, especially with there being doubt about Henrikh Mkhitaryan's availability after he was forced off the pitch due to injury before halftime of the second leg on Tuesday. Mkhitaryan scored Inter Milan's second goal in the 2-0 win in the first leg. Luck has also been on Inter Milan's side to a certain extent. According to Football Reference, Inter Milan has had a smaller expected goal amount than its opponent in five of its 10 Champions League wins or draws.
Inter Milan has held its opponents scoreless in five or six knockout round matches however. Lautaro Martínez has also scored some clutch goals for the team, including one in the 74th minute of the second leg against A.C. Milan that all but put that match away.
Ultimately, the Champions League final isn't a lock for Manchester City by any means even if it is the heavy favorite. Inter Milan can come out and play the game of their lives, or Manchester City can struggle mightily. Anything can happen in a single match. We will have a more detailed breakdown of the big game closer to kick-off.
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By: Aaron Cantin


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