Football remains one of the world’s most popular sports and has billions of fans all over the planet. One of the main reasons for this is the number of exciting leagues, tournaments and competitions to keep tabs on. One of the most well-loved on a global scale is the UEFA Champions League, which sees the top teams around Europe battle it out to see who’s best.
2022/23’s edition has served up another feast of goalmouth action and is fast drawing to a close. This sees the final between Manchester City and Inter Milan set to take place on 10 June 2023. Followers of the beautiful game are already looking forward to this matchup and are busily predicting who could win the trophy.
If you like to wager on football, then you may also be thinking about who to back or which markets to get involved with for this game. Although the ‘Win’ market is always popular, the chance to bet live on a game is also something many bettors get a kick from.
While we wait for City and Inter to battle it out in June, there is time to reflect on what has happened in the Champions League so far. But what have been some of the top highlights?
Manchester City blowing Real Madrid away in semifinals
One real talking point from this year’s tournament is the way Manchester City steamrollered Real Madrid in the semifinals. This was particularly true in the second leg, when the English club made home advantage count.
In an absolute masterclass of attacking football, they roared past a top-class Madrid team, 4-0. This included two goals from Akanji, one from Álvarez and one from man of the match, Bernardo Silva. Silva was truly inspirational in this match and was behind everything good that City did. This made them too hot to handle for Carlo Ancelotti’s side and they pulled off a second-leg result that stunned the footballing world.
Inter Milan overcoming fierce rivals AC Milan to make final
There are lots of passionate local rivalries across football but the one between Inter Milan and AC Milan stands out. This made their meeting in the other 2022/23 semifinal a rousing affair for fans to enjoy.
Ultimately, Inter came out on top to make it to their sixth European Cup/Champions League final. Their performance in the first leg really set the tone and allowed Simone Inzaghi’s troops to build up a 2-0 lead for the next game.
The second leg saw them clinch a close 1-0 win and the victory was down to a goal from arguably their most important player, Lautaro Martínez. He played especially well in this game and not only got the decisive goal but was full of running, pace and hold-up play all night.
Benfica enjoy a memorable run in 2022/23
The latest football news shows that there are no truly small teams in the Champions League but some are not quite as huge as sides such as Inter. Benfica fall into this category but certainly gained a few new followers for their eye-catching performances.
When they were initially drawn in a qualifying group with Juventus and PSG, it is fair to say not too much was expected from them. Two wins against Juve, two more against minnows Maccabi Haifa and two draws against PSG, though, saw them make it through their group. This was followed up by a convincing win over Club Brugge in the last 16 to make it into the quarterfinals.
While coach Roger Schmidt’s side ultimately fell to Inter, their run to this stage of the competition was a real highlight. From the goalscoring threat of Gonçalo Ramos to the creativity of Rafa Silva, this was a team that knew how to play.
Lots of emerging talent on show
It is always exciting to see the big names such as Haaland, Lukaku, Leao and Osimhen play in the UEFA Champions League. Keeping an eye out for emerging talent is also fun, though, and the 2022/23 edition had plenty of new players to marvel at.
Ryan Gravenberch is a great example and showcased the massive talent he possesses when playing for Bayern this season. Only 20 years of age, his impressive midfield performances for the German side saw him become a player appreciated by many fans. When you also add in people like Gavi at Barcelona or Kvaratskhelia from Napoli, it is clear why the opportunity to watch the next generation of superstars was such a highlight in the Champions League this year.
2022/23 UEFA Champions League another classic
It is safe to say that the Champions League is a competition that delivers the best footballing action each season. 2022/23’s instalment has been no exception and has brought us some memorable moments so far. With the final between City and Inter looking to produce more of the same, the ride is not yet over!