Having already celebrated success in the Premier League and FA Cup, Manchester City will strive to clinch a historic treble when they lock horns with Inter Milan in the final of the Champions League on Saturday night.
The Citizens have dominated the domestic front for a number of years, but success in the Champions League still eludes them, while Pep Guardiola last lifted the trophy of Europe's premier club competition back in 2011 with Barcelona.
Man City have admirably navigated their way past RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the knockout rounds, scoring 17 goals in the process, and they are now just one match away from emulating the 1999 treble-winning campaign of their bitter rivals Manchester United.
Standing in their way are 2010 Champions League winners Inter, who have never faced Man City in a competitive clash before, although the Citizens have had their fair share of meetings with Italian opposition over the years.
Ahead of Saturday's mouth-watering Champions League final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Sports Mole takes a closer look at Man City's record against Italian clubs.
Indeed, Saturday's showdown is the first-ever meeting between Man City and Inter Milan, and it is the first time an inaugural competitive encounter between two teams has taken place in a Champions League final since Liverpool faced AC Milan in 2005 – a contest that also took place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
Man City have faced Italian opposition a total of 16 times in their history and have experienced mixed fortunes having won six, drawn six and lost the remaining four matches, scoring 26 goals and conceding 18 in the process.
The Citizens' first-ever clash with an Italian side took place in the first round of the 1976-77 UEFA Cup against eventual winners Juventus. Under the tutelage of club icon Tony Book, Man City secured a slender 1-0 first-leg win at Maine Road courtesy of a diving header from Brian Kidd beyond legendary goalkeeper Dino Zoff.
However, the Turin-based giants turned the tie on its head with a 2-0 second-leg victory thanks to goals from Gaetano Scirea and new signing Roberto Boninsegna, who previously spent seven successful years at Inter.
Two years later, Man City were drawn against AC Milan in the third round of the UEFA Cup, and they let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 in the first leg at San Siro. However, a first-half onslaught helped the Sky Blues record an impressive 3-0 second-leg victory, with Tommy Booth, Asa Hartford and Kidd all on the scoresheet at Maine Road to help City progress to the quarter-finals, where they were eliminated by eventual winners Borussia Monchengladbach.
Thirty-one years passed before Man City locked horns with their next Italian opponent in 2010, with home and away fixtures against Juventus taking place in the Europa League group stage. Indeed, each of City's last 12 meetings with Italian teams have occurred in the group stage of European competition.
Following a 1-1 first-leg draw at the Etihad Stadium, Brazilian striker Jo rescued a point for City with a 77th-minute strike in another 1-1 draw in Turin. While Roberto Mancini's men went on to top Group A and reach the last 16, Juve failed to progress from the group stage.
The 2011-12 campaign is fondly remembered by every City supporter for winning their first Premier League title, but earlier in the season the Citizens were frustrated in two Champions League group-stage fixtures with Napoli. A trademark free kick from Aleksandar Kolarov rescued a 1-1 home draw for City in the club's first-ever Champions League game, before two Edinson Cavani goals either side of a Mario Balotelli equaliser condemned Mancini's men to a 2-1 defeat in Naples, with City eventually dropping down to the Europa League after finishing third in their group.
Three years later, Man City, managed by Manuel Pellegrini, were held to a 1-1 group-stage draw by Roma at the Etihad, with Francesco Totti cancelling out an early Sergio Aguero penalty, before second-half goals from Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta sealed a 2-0 away win for City at the Stadio Olimpico to book their place in the knockout rounds – ending their five-game winless run against Italian opposition in the process.
However, the 2015-16 campaign saw City endure two defeats against Juventus, with the Old Lady stunning the Citizens 2-1 at the Etihad in their opening group-stage fixture. Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata both scored in the final 20 minutes to turn the game on its head, and the former then netted the only goal in a 1-0 win in Turin. Nevertheless, Pellegrini's men still managed to top Group D ahead of runners-up Juve before going on to reach their first-ever Champions League semi-final.
Man City have not faced Juve since, but they managed to get their revenge over Napoli when they renewed acquaintances in the 2017-18 group stage. A 2-1 Etihad win, courtesy of goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus as well as a saved penalty from Ederson, was followed by a 4-2 triumph in Naples, with Sergio Aguero netting his 178th City goal to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer. Guardiola's side went on to suffer a disappointing 5-1 aggregate defeat to Liverpool in the quarter-finals.
The Citizens' most recent meeting with Italian opposition took place in the 2019-20 Champions League group stage against Atalanta BC. Despite going behind through a Ruslan Malinovskyi penalty, City recorded an emphatic 5-1 victory at the Etihad, with Aguero netting a brace before Sterling scored an 11-minute hat-trick in the second half; Phil Foden was also sent off in this clash eight minutes from time.
Man City also had to see out the return fixture with 10 men as goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off for a late tackle having replaced first-choice shot-stopper Ederson at half time. With nine minutes remaining, right-back Kyle Walker donned the goalkeeper gloves and jersey and made a smart save to keep out a late Malinovskyi free kick to ensure that the Citizens, who had seen an earlier penalty missed by Gabriel Jesus, held on for a 1-1 draw in Bergamo. City eventually topped their group but lost 3-1 to Lyon in a one-legged quarter-final amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
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