In case you didn’t hear, Manchester City didn’t just beat Real Madrid last night, they absolutely battered them, booking a place in their second Champions League final just two years on from their last.
Although many might have thought Wayne Rooney’s prediction that Man City would “blow Madrid away” was a bit bold, especially after a much more closely contested first leg, we don’t think anyone was quite expecting the result that Pep Guardiola‘s men delivered on Wednesday evening.
With Bernado Silva putting the Blues 2-0 up with a quickfire double inside 37 minutes before Manuel Akanji and Julián Álvarez rounded off an emphatic 4-0 win, the 13-time European champions looked like a completely different team and basically let the home side romp into the final against Inter Milan.
Moreover, sealing the trip to Istanbul also means that City are now within touching distance of winning a treble. In fact, it’s now so close that despite trying to remain as modest as possible throughout the season, even Pep and his players are starting to admit it’s on their minds.
They only need three points from their remaining three games to lift their ninth league title and seventh Premier League in just over a decade, four of those have come under Pep. In fact, even if they only get two more points, they’d still win on goal difference, let alone if Arsenal drop any more themselves.
But what exactly are the chances that the Catalan coach not only lifts his fifth English league title, second FA Cup and third-ever Champions League? Well, if you ask Jamie Carragher, City’s chances were around 75% before the semi-final but are now at 90%.
Speaking after the game, Jack Grealish said he was too speechless to think about the likelihood but you get the feeling that everyone around the club is now starting to believe it’s going to happen.
There are seven teams that have won a ‘proper’ treble of the league title, main domestic cup and European cup in football history — Celtic, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan; Bayern Munich and Barcelona (twice each) and, of course, Manchester United — and Pep has already done it once back in 2008/09.
Admittedly, Pep did it one of the greatest teams ever assembled, with Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and countless other legends at his disposal. On the other hand, many have already described this current City squad in similar terms, boasting some of the most generational talents on the planet right now.
Furthermore, with them basically a dead cert to win the league as early as this weekend and 2/7 to beat United in the FA Cup final in a couple of week’s time by most bookies’ estimates, it really does just look like a question of whether or not they can go and win their first Champions League trophy.
Many are already calling it ‘their year’ and despite plenty of fans saying that for the last couple of seasons now, most teams that build towards it like City have, gradually progressing further and further each season, do tend to go on and win it. Especially with stats like this:
City have also been an absolute fortress at home, winning every single home match in 2023 and not losing a single UCL game there for five years, but travelling away to another ground for a history-defining match against three-time European champions is an occasion that could get to anyone.
Furthermore, Inter clearly have a lot of experience in this tournament and, who knows, derby days really are a different beast and Erik ten Hag‘s side has already beaten them 2-1 once this year. Then again, the same team did also get spanked by Pep’s lot 6-3 too…
For many United fans, a lot of the sentiment seems to be that it’s pretty much inevitable now and they just have to start coming to terms with it; whether they like it or not, it’s now just them and Inter that stand in the way. What do you reckon, are City finally going to do it in Europe and maybe even match United’s sacred treble?
Featured Image — Man City (via Twitter)/Dave (via Flickr)
Manchester City fan gets treble tattoo before Champions League final
We’ve seen plenty of tattoos gone wrong down the years and even more football fans getting ahead themselves, but it must have taken a special kind of confidence for this Manchester City fan to get the treble tattooed on his body before the Champions League final has even been played.
Nevertheless, after yet another stellar domestic season and with two-time UCL winner Pep Guardiola at the helm, most fans, rivals and neutrals alike all think this is the year they’re going to lift their first Champions League — in fact, this man is certain of it.
The diehard City fan, simply known as Stuart on TikTok, shared multiple clips on his account on Tuesday, the first of which showed the treble tattoo in progress and has already had nearly 200,000 views in less than 24 hours.
Naturally, the comments underneath the videos are as you’d expect, with people remarking, “you’ve just made Inter win”, “he’s gonna regret that”, “RIP bro”, “pov: 2021” — the last CL final they qualified for and lost to Chelsea despite being heavy favourites — and so on.
However, responding to haters in the comments, Cityzen Stuart’s confidence looks to be unshakable, stating that it’s now “impossible” for them to lose and there’s “not a chance” Pep goes another yet without winning another Champions League.
Having already flown over to Turkey for the final in Istanbul this weekend, he shared a more recent video showing the tattoo in more detail, complete with full colour and shading.
Football fans are often superstitious (it’s such an unpredictable sport that it’s hard not to be) but it’s fair to say a lot of people are now worried he might have jinxed it, not to mention every single Red hoping that he has. For his sake, he better hope the footballing gods don’t take this kind of stuff into account.
This year’s final kicks off at 8pm on Saturday, 10 June and City fans everywhere will be hoping to Pep and co. lift the Champions League trophy in the club’s history and win a historic treble in the process.
They are already going to go down as one of the best squads ever assembled but, for many, this could see them held up there as the greatest of all time. The question is, can they take that final step?
Featured Image — @stuart1308 (via TikTok)/Comedy Central/UEFA
There’s a full day of FREE outdoor yoga classes happening in Manchester city centre this month
There’s a full day of free yoga classes taking over an outdoor amphitheatre in heart of Manchester city centre in a couple of weeks time.
As a way of marking the summer solstice and welcoming in the new season, all while suitably-celebrating International Yoga Day at the same time, Manchester‘s famed ‘Yogathon’ is returning to Great Northern Warehouse later this month with a whole host of free outdoor yoga sessions, and it’s giving Mancs the chance to “get on the mat and work on the mind”.
Taking over the amphitheatre outside the historic city centre warehouse, you can join in with a full day of yoga classes led by award-winning instructors from The Life Centre from morning through to evening.
Early birds can kick-start the day with Sun Salutations from 7:30am, which is perfectly-timed as the sun rises over the city on the longest day of the year, while a lively functional flow class will follow as the ideal way to spend your lunch hour from 12:30-1:15pm.
You can then close out the day and unwind after work with a fun and friendly Vinyasa class from 5:15-6pm.
Suitable for all ages and abilities to get involved with, each of the classes happening throughout the day are free of charge, and ultimately encourage Mancs to “treat your muscles and mind” and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of yoga in the great outdoors.
Yoga mats will be provided in the amphitheatre, but you should bring your own if you have one.
All proceeds from will go to Eat Well MCR to support people living in poverty across the city by delivering meals and providing much-needed respite during difficult times.
Yogathon 2023 is taking over the amphitheatre at Great Northern Warehouse, just off Deansgate in the heart of the city centre, on Wednesday 21 June from 7:30am right through to 6pm.