City's 2022/23 champions
league journey

The 13 matches that saw Pep Guardiola's side conquer Europe

Pep Guardiola’s European champions begin the defence of our crown against Red Star Belgrade at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

The famous trophy, draped in blue and white ribbons, will again be proudly on show in front of the home fans alongside the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup silverware also in our possession.

With memories of Rodrigo’s winner on that iconic June night in Istanbul still fresh in our minds, it’s again time to face off against the best sides from across the continent.

In order to whet the appetite and reflect on how we did it last year, we’ve taken a look back at all 13 games on that journey.

Sevilla 0-4 City, 6 September 2022

Manuel Akanji’s first City start, just days after signing and then rushing home to meet his newborn baby, could hardly have been more composed.

The Swiss defender had little in the way of off-the-ball work to do, instead tasked with threading passes through to the midfield.

City’s build up throughout the night was excellent and it was the familiar combination of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland that first unlocked our opponents, with the Norwegian tapping home De Bruyne’s whipped ball across goal.

The second came just before the hour mark when Phil Foden worked a yard of space in the box and fired into the bottom corner with his left foot.

Haaland made it an excellent first Champions League showing in City colours by tapping home the rebound from Foden’s drilled effort shortly afterwards.

The icing on the cake came in added time when an unmarked Ruben Dias diverted Joao Cancelo’s home into the net.

City 2-1 Borussia Dortmund, 14 September 2022

Haaland’s second Champions League game for City would be against the Club he had left just a few months earlier. He was quick to remind everyone in Dortmund exactly what they were missing with a spectacular goal to win this one.

It was our visitors who scored first on the night though, with Jude Bellingham heading home in the 56th minute.

A stubborn Dortmund defence was proving frustrating for City until John Stones hammered the ball at goal from 25 yards. The power of the strike forced it through Alexander Meyer in the Dortmund goal and City had just over 10 minutes to find a winner.

In the end, we only needed three. Straining to reach a Cancelo cross, Haaland extended his left boot above his head to flick home acrobatically with the outside of his boot – instantly drawing comparisons with an iconic Johan Cruyff strike from Pep Guardiola.

“The moment Erling scored I thought: ‘Johan Cruyff’. It was quite, quite similar,” he said.

City 5-0 Copenhagen, 5 October 2022

The champions of Denmark were swept aside by powerful City performance in this one.

Haaland got the ball rolling in the seventh minute by curling the ball home with his weaker right foot. He added his second just after the 30 minute mark when he was quickest to the loose ball after Sergio Gomez’s volley was parried away from goal.

Copenhagen retreated further and further back to their own goal as the first half wore on and were punished when a deflection off David Khocholava bounced into his own goal.

Riyad Mahrez scored a penalty on his 200th City appearance before setting up Julian Alvarez to finish the night.

Copenhagen 0-0 City, 11 October 2022

City needed just a point to guarantee safe passage to the knockout stages and that’s exactly what we got from our trip to Denmark.

A spectacular 10th minute Rodrigo strike was overturned by VAR after Riyad Mahrez was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.

Another VAR call by referee Artur Dias then saw City awarded a 24th minute penalty – only for Mahrez’s subsequent spot-kick to be saved.

And the TV monitor again took centre stage on 30 minutes when Sergio Gomez was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Copenhagen’s Hákon Haraldsson after referee Dias was again advised to refer to the VAR monitor.

Despite being a man down though, City looked the more likely to score but ultimately settled for a goalless draw at the Parken Stadium.

Borussia Dortmund 0-0 City, 25 October 2022

A second goalless draw in succession and another milestone hit – this time we confirmed top spot in Group G.

A Riyad Mahrez penalty could have made it four wins from five in the competition, but the Algerian was denied from the spot by goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.

The Blues kept our German hosts at arm’s length throughout the night, with debutant goalkeeper Stefan Ortega Moreno rarely called into action.

While the 3,526 in the away end, including supporters from 40 different nations, left without seeing a goal, they could be content that the hard work in the group stage was complete with a game to spare.

City 3-1 Sevilla, 2 November 2022

It was a night to savour for 17-year-old Academy graduate Rico Lewis as we ended the group stage by completing a double over the eventual Europa League winners.

Sevilla striker Rafa Mir had opened the scoring on the half hour mark but second half strikes from Lewis, Julian Alvarez and Riyad Mahrez turned it around for the Blues.

The Lewis strike was particularly memorable, stepping forward from full-back to power a shot high into the net and become the youngest player to score on his first Champions League start.

He was later substituted and received a standing ovation from all four corners of the Etihad as he made his way off the pitch and to the bench.

RB Leipzig 1-1 City, 22 February 2023

City navigated a tricky looking trip to eastern Germany and ensured any victory in the return match at the Etihad would suffice in taking us to the last eight.

Riyad Mahrez fired us ahead with a clinically taken finish in the 27th minute after City were on top in the first half.

But the Bundesliga side equalised midway through the second half when Croatian international Josko Gvardiol – now impressing in his early days as part of City’s defence - headed in from a corner.

Ilkay Gundogan went close to snatching a winner but neither side could force an advantage ahead of the second leg.

With a few weeks until meeting again, City had plenty of time to get into shape.

City 7-0 RB Leipzig, 14 March 2023

Those few weeks perhaps proved pivotal as a City at the peak of our powers tore through Leipzig almost at will.

Haaland became only the third man in Champions League history to score five goals in one game – and the first since 2012.

The victory, on an electric Etihad Stadium evening, helped us qualify for the quarter-finals of the illustrious competition for a sixth consecutive season.

His quintet, allied to a fine second half finish by captain Ilkay Gundogan and a late blast from Kevin De Bruyne, saw us progress 8-1 on aggregate.

City 3-0 Bayern Munich, 11 April 2023

Pep Guardiola’s side put one foot in the semi-finals of the Champions League with an exceptional performance against the German champions and perennial contenders for the biggest trophy in Europe.

Rodrigo scored the opener on 27 minutes in front of an expectant Etihad crowd – and what an effort it was.

Collecting the ball from a pinpoint Bernardo Silva pass from the right, Rodrigo swivelled past Jamal Musiala and sent a rocket left-foot drive past the helpless Yann Sommer in the Bayern goal.

Bernardo doubled the advantage with a thumping header on 69 minutes, powerfully meeting Erling Haaland’s cross from the left.

Haaland made it three with a right-foot effort on 76 minutes, his 45th of the season ensuring he had scored the most goals in all competitions by a player at a Premier League club.

The win ensured we were unbeaten in 25 Champions League home games, the longest run by an English team in the competition's history.

Bayern Munich 1-1 City, 19 April 2023

After the hard work was done at the Etihad eight days earlier, City kept our cool in Bavaria to guarantee safe progress to the semi-finals.

Pep Guardiola’s side drew on the night to add to our 3-0 win in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium eight days earlier.

Erling Haaland missed a first-half penalty but scored a brilliant 57th-minute strike to dent Bayern’s hopes of a turnaround.

Joshua Kimmich scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot but City moved into the Champions League semi-finals for a third successive year and set up a last-four clash with Real Madrid in May.

Real Madrid 1-1 City, 9 May 2023

Another draw in the first leg of a knockout tie, just like the RB Leipzig fixture in the last 16, meant it was all to play for at the Etihad eight days later.

However, this game at the Bernabeu and all that entails – an intimidating, iconic arena where City had suffered heartbreak just over a year earlier – proved the mettle amongst Guardiola’s 2022/23 crop.

Vinicius Junior’s first-half rocket was cancelled out by Kevin De Bruyne’s second half drive in an enthralling encounter in the Spanish capital which saw City show plenty of character to come back.

The fully-deserved draw extended our unbeaten run in all competitions to 21 games and also lengthened our unbeaten run in this competition to 11 matches.

City 4-0 Real Madrid, 17 May 2023

Viewed by many as one of the greatest nights in the Etihad’s history and best performances by a City side, this game will live in the memory.

City were simply scintillating from the first moment and made the defending European champions look like a shadow of themselves.

Bernardo Silva scored twice in the first half before a Manuel Akanji header and Julian Alvarez’s late strike confirmed a wonderful win over the 14-times winners of the trophy.

It prompted huge celebrations as the City players enjoyed a lap of honour after securing a place in the final where would face Italian side Inter.

City 1-0 Inter, 10 June 2023

Magnificent City carved our name into history as we completed three steps to footballing immortality by sealing a first-ever Champions League title – and with it the Treble – on an unforgettable night in Istanbul.

A brilliant 69th minute strike from Rodrigo sealed a dramatic and hard fought 1-0 victory over Inter of Italy at the Olympic Ataturk Stadium to ensure Pep Guardiola’s fabulous side were crowned European champions for the first time.

On what was the greatest night in the Club’s long, proud 129-year history, victory also set the seal on the Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League and sparked emotional scenes of unbridled joy amongst players, staff and fans alike here in Turkey.

Fittingly, for what was Pep’s 300th victory as City manager, the triumph also saw the visionary Catalan become the first manager in football history to oversee a Treble twice, with Guardiola having also led Barcelona to the unique feat in 2009.

And after a marathon season, City secured the greatest prize in Club football by marrying the brand of attacking football that has been the hallmark of Guardiola’s storied seven-year Etihad reign along with a bucketful of grit and desire against an Inter side who pushed us all the way.

For Pep, it was the 14th and greatest major prize of his incredible City reign.

And for those privileged to be in Istanbul to share in the joy along with the army of City fans eagerly watching on from around the world, it was an experience no-one will ever forget.