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Champions League final sees Erling Haaland Super Boost land

Manchester City finally overcame their Champions League hoodoo as they defeated Inter in Saturday's final to record a piece of history by completing their own treble-chasing dream.

Having already been crowned Premier League champions and last weekend won the FA Cup, the pressure was on to add the missing piece of the jigsaw and finally claim some Champions League silverware. 

Pep Guardiola's side were always destined to be crowned kings of Europe but it has been a long time coming and there have been a series of narrow misses, including in the 2020/21 final when they were beaten to the prize by Premier League rivals Chelsea. 

But Rodri's second-half strike against Inter in Istanbul was enough to complete the feat and ensured the Citizens became the sixth English side to win the European Cup. 

While Erling Haaland extended his 'drought' to one goal in his final eight games of the season, he did manage a shot on target, landing the pre-match Super Boost for plenty of happy punters.

bet365's Steve Freeth said: "If Manchester City were going to win then a 1-0 victory for the red-hot favourites with an unfancied holding midfielder scoring the goal would’ve been the result I’d have asked for. 

"However, there was a rather large dent with the Erling Haaland Shot on Target Super Boost (1/9 >> Evens) landing as well as our Soccer Substitute Guarantee on Kevin De Bruyne where we returned stakes as Bet Credits on a whole host of markets including Anytime Goalscorer, Man of the Match, Player Assists and To Score from Outside the Box when he trudged off after 35 minutes, but this was a Champions League final very much for the bookmakers."

Manchester City are 2/1 to defend their Champions League crown next season while Inter are 33/1 to go one better. 

Bayern Munich, City's quarter-final victims, are second best in the betting at 7/1 with a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain 9/1 and La Liga heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid both 12/1.

WhatChampions League 2023/24
WhereVarious
WhenFinal to be played Saturday 1st June 2024
How to watchTNT Sports
OddsMan City 2/1, Bayern Munich 7/1, PSG 9/1, Barcelona 12/1, Real Madrid 12/1, Arsenal 12/1

Citizens a cut above the rest

It was far from a vintage display in the final from City, but it was only ever the result that mattered. 

They have won seven Premier League titles, three FA Cups and six League Cups since coming under Abu Dhabi control, but this is their maiden Champions League triumph. 

Goalscoring sensation Haaland had been kept uncharacteristically quiet in the final while talismanic Belgian De Bruyne was forced to limp off injured after 36 minutes. But City still found a way to grind things out, which highlights their strength in depth, as Rodri's 68th-minute strike settled the contest. 

That goal sparked some sort of response from Inter, who first saw Federico Dimarco's header hit the bar before Ederson saved excellently from Romelu Lukaku. 

However, City stood firm and ultimately, it was a deserved success as their route to the final also saw them outclass Bundesliga champions Bayern 4-1 on aggregate and make light work of reigning European champions Real Madrid 5-1 on aggregate. 

It also saw City silence fierce rivals Manchester United, who for 24 years had been the only English team to have won the treble. 

Guardiola's conquerors went through the Champions League unbeaten in 13 matches, and now having passed that hurdle, may have plenty more European titles in them.

Italian football in a healthy place

Inter may have come up short in this season's Champions League final but their achievements suggest Italian stock may again be on the rise. 

The Nerazzurri came through an all-Italian semi-final against their fierce rivals Milan, who had booked their place in the last four with a shock quarter-final win over Serie A champions Napoli. 

That means of the four Italian representatives in the Champions League this term, only Juventus failed to make it to the quarter-final as they dropped out in a group featuring Benfica and PSG. 

Given Serie A also had a finalist in the Europa League and the Europa Conference League as Roma and Fiorentina suffered defeat, there is plenty of hope amidst the disappointment for Italian supporters to latch onto. 

Italian champions Napoli are expected to fare best of the Italian quartet in next season's Champions League and are 16/1 to reign supreme. Meanwhile, Inter are 33/1 with Milan 40/1 and Lazio a 50/1 chance to spring the surprise.

Third time lucky for Premier League

Real were the reigning European champions and although they were brushed aside 5-1 on aggregate by City in the semi-final, they had earlier inflicted their own damage on two other English hopefuls. 

In the last-16, a ruthless Los Blancos dispatched Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate as a Karim Benzema brace saw them run riot in a 5-2 thrashing at Anfield. 

Then again in the quarter-final, Carlo Ancelotti's side outclassed Chelsea in a 4-0 aggregate win, highlighting that City aside, the Premier League has plenty of work to do. 

Tottenham, the Premier League's other representative, limped to a 1-0 aggregate loss to AC Milan in their last-16 encounter. 

There will be three different English clubs in the Champions League next season, though, as Arsenal, Newcastle and Manchester United join City alongside Europe's elite. 

The Gunners, who were City's biggest challengers in the Premier League title race, are 12/1 with United a 14/1 chance and a heavily-invested Newcastle 20/1 to cause a stir on their European return.

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