At long last, Manchester City have clinched a famous Champions League title as Pep Guardiola’s side secured a narrow victory over Inter Milan in Istanbul.
It has been a long time coming. The Cityzens have hunted European football’s holy grail since the Abu Dhabi United Group bought the club in 2008.
After letting it slip in Porto, Guardiola’s side were not to be denied at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium as Rodri rifled home the goal that finally brought the elusive trophy to the Blue side of Manchester.
Having clinched the Premier League and FA Cup titles earlier, Man City have enjoyed the most successful season in their 143-year history, joining eternal rivals and next-door neighbours Manchester United in England’s exclusive treble-winning club.
Here’s Manchester City’s 2022/23 season review.
Player of the Year: Erling Braut Haaland
Erling Braut Haaland was the final piece of Guardiola’s jigsaw and was responsible for the single-most devastating goalscoring season in Premier League history.
It would be easier to count the records Haaland did not break, with the Norwegian force of nature spearheading Man City’s treble-winning campaign after racking up a staggering 52 goals in 53 appearances across all competitions.
His goalscoring prowess more than covered for his somewhat unremarkable ball-playing ability, with the 22-year-old finishing as the top scorer in the Premier League (36) and the Champions League (12).
Performance of the season
Man City were indomitable throughout the campaign, swatting aside nearly everyone that stood in their path and leaving a pile of casualties in their wake.
There are a plethora of victories to choose from, not least the 6-3 humbling of Man United in October, the 7-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig in March, or swatting aside title rivals Arsenal 4-1 in April.
However, humiliating Real Madrid 4-0 in the Champions League semi-final was a statement victory that sent shockwaves throughout European football.
Los Blancos are the greatest side in the competition’s history, but their legacy meant nothing at the Etihad Stadium as they were comprehensively dismantled by the Blues.
Disappointment of the season
Despite enjoying the greatest achievement any football club can hope for, Man City’s success will be tainted by the plethora of fraudulent charges levelled against them.
The Cityzens still have more than 100 charges hanging over them related to breaching the Premier League’s financial rules between 2009 and 2018 despite vehemently denying any wrongdoing.
Striving to prove their innocence, the club have taken steps to fight the case. But until they put those allegations firmly behind them, they will have to celebrate their success while looking over their shoulders.
What do the stats say?
Man City were heads and shoulders above the rest of the pack as they finished first in the Premier League table after accumulating 89 points (W28, D5, L5) – five points ahead of Arsenal.
With the indomitable Haaland leading the line and Kevin De Bruyne as his partner in crime, it is unsurprising to see Man City rack up a league-high 94 goals (2.5 per match) after creating 103 big chances (3.5 per game).
What will come as a surprise is that they fell short of the 100-goal mark, although their attacking return could have been considerably higher if they did not hit the woodwork 19 times.
Man City also boasts the joint-best defence in the league (alongside Newcastle United), having conceded 33 times (0.9 per match) while managing 13 clean sheets.
Guardiola has taken the Premier League by storm since he arrived in 2016, sweeping up every accolade and trophy available in the English top flight, and his relentless Blues will take some stopping next season.
The Citizens have won three successive titles, becoming only the second club in the Premier League era to complete a hat-trick of league trophies since Man United between 2006 and 2009.
They have won five of the last six, completely monopolising domestic honours since Guardiola’s arrival, and now they have added the Champions League trophy to their cabinet.
Man City will be favourites to retain their titles next season, but they will need reinforcements from the transfer market, with certain key players headed for the Etihad exit this summer.
With the Community Shield, Super Cup, and Club World Cup now also on their schedule, Guardiola’s side could end next season with up to seven major honours.
It would be unwise to bet against them upgrading this treble into a septuple.