Historic treble: Today in history: Sulley Muntari wins Champions League with Inter
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 OliÄ‡, 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.
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