Historic treble: Today in history: Sulley Muntari wins Champions League with Inter

Historic treble: Today in history: Sulley Muntari wins Champions League with Inter

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On 22nd May, 2010 Sulley Muntari’s Inter Milan won the European soccer title for the first time in 45 years, beating Bayern Munich 2-0 Saturday night on a pair of goals by Diego Milito in the first Champions League final played on a weekend.

Muntari became the first Ghanaian to win the treble – the Italian league, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League – and the fourth Ghanaian to win the top European title after Abedi Pele (Marseille), Samuel Kufuor(Bayern Munich) and Ibrahim Tanko (Borussia Dortmund);

Muntari came on as a substitute with 15 minutes to go.

On the road to the final
A goalless draw at San Siro and a 2-0 win against the Italian champions at Camp Nou gave Barcelona pole position heading into the knockout phase, but it was Mourinho who would have the last laugh – after first overcoming his former club Chelsea FC in the Round of 16. Former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti endured a painful return to San Siro in the first leg when Inter ran out 2-1 winners, but worse was to follow at Stamford Bridge, where Mourinho enjoyed the perfect homecoming thanks to Samuel Eto’o’s 78th-minute strike which secured a 3-1 aggregate victory.

PFC CSKA Moskva, the first Russian side to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, then became Inter’s next victims as a pair of 1-0 wins set up a reunion with Barcelona in the last four. The Nerazzurri had never previously scored against the Catalan club but this time they would have the upper hand following a 3-1 first-leg success at San Siro. Even the sending-off of Thiago Motta 28 minutes into the Camp Nou return was not enough to break Inter’s focus, as a rugged rearguard action took them through to the final despite a 1-0 defeat.

Bayern, meanwhile, took time to hit their stride and, after twice losing to FC Girondins de Bordeaux in Group A, needed a dramatic 4-1 victory away to Juventus in their final outing in the section to secure progress. Arjen Robben’s stunning strike against ACF Fiorentina took Bayern through the next round on the away-goals rule, and he did it again as they ousted Manchester United FC in identical fashion in the quarter-finals, battling back from 4-2 down on aggregate at Old Trafford with Robben again making the difference via a brilliant volley. Another Robben goal saw off Olympique Lyonnais in the first leg of their semi-final. The French side were in the last four for the first time after eliminating Ligue 1 rivals Bordeaux in the last eight but their hopes were killed off by Ivica Olić, who ensured Bayern’s first final appearance since winning the competition in 2001 with a stunning hat-trick in the return.

In the first final played on a Saturday,  Diego Milito opened the scoring for the Italian league and cup holders in the 35th minute and added a second 20 minutes from time to secure the treble for Jose Mourinho’s side and give Inter their third Champions League triumph after successes in 1964 and 1965.

For more sports news visit allSports.com.gh

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