The key games that brought Manchester City a treble
Manchester City are celebrating a trophy treble after their Champions League final win over Inter Milan.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the key games in their successful campaign.
October 2, Man City 6 Man Utd 3
City did not really find consistency until the spring but there were some awesome demonstrations of their firepower – and particularly that of Erling Haaland – in the opening months. Their thrashing of arch-rivals United was especially sweet. Haaland helped himself to a hat-trick, his third in successive home games and one of six in a record-breaking campaign, while Phil Foden also hit three.
January 19, Man City 4 Tottenham 2
Pep Guardiola let his anger at his side be known after they rallied from 2-0 down at half-time with goals from Julian Alvarez, Haaland and Riyad Mahrez (two). After defeats in the previous two games, the City boss felt the first half was another indicator his players – who he labelled ‘happy flowers’ – were not fully focused. City were beaten at Spurs a few weeks later, but it perhaps signalled a change in attitude.
February 15, Arsenal 1 Man City 3
Fixture disruption in the autumn meant the two leading title contenders were kept apart until February, when City landed the first blow. Kevin De Bruyne’s opener was cancelled out by a Bukayo Saka penalty but City upped the tempo in the second half with goals from Jack Grealish and Haaland. The win took City top, albeit only on goal difference and having played a game more, but it was psychologically important.
April 1, Man City 4 Liverpool 1
City started to show they really meant business when they put Liverpool, their chief title rivals in recent years, to the sword. Mohamed Salah put the Reds ahead but City’s response, without injured top scorer Haaland, was impressive as Alvarez, De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Grealish scored in a convincing win.
April 26, Man City 4 Arsenal 1
City outclassed the Gunners to take firm command of the title race. Arsenal’s advantage had been eroded by three successive draws, meaning the momentum was with City, and they emphasised that with a dominant display. De Bruyne scored two, both from Haaland passes, and the Norwegian inevitably got on the scoresheet himself. John Stones scored their other goal in an unexpectedly one-sided clash. Arsenal remained two points clear but, with two games in hand, City held the upper hand and did not relinquish it en route to a third successive title and fifth in six seasons.
May 17, Man City 4 Real Madrid 0
A thrilling first leg of the Champions League semi-final finished 1-1, De Bruyne’s thunderbolt cancelling out Vinicius Junior’s opener, but Bernardo Silva’s first-half double ensured the return match was a one-sided affair. Manuel Akanji’s goal and Alvarez’s stoppage-time clincher meant a scoreline every bit as eye-catching as the 7-0 win over RB Leipzig in which Haaland scored five.
June 3, Man City 2 Man Utd 1
Gundogan’s volley after only 12 seconds was the fastest FA Cup final goal on record and though United hit back with a Bruno Fernandes penalty after Grealish was harshly penalised for handball, the Germany midfielder struck again early in the second half to seal the spoils – and set up the chance to emulate one of United’s proudest achievements.
June 10, Man City 1 Inter Milan 0
A hard-fought first half saw City lose key playmaker De Bruyne to injury, an unwelcome echo of 2021’s defeat to Chelsea on the same Champions League final stage. They finally broke down their stubborn opponents with Rodri’s firm, composed finish midway through the second half and survived scares from headers by Federico DiMarco and Romelu Lukaku as they held on.