On This Day - Inter Make It a Treble


Gareth Messenger 

The 2010 UEFA Champions League was a significant moment for more reasons than one. It was the first Champions League final to be played on a Saturday, rather than the traditional Wednesday.

The venue was the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid – the teams were Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. Both teams went into the final chasing the treble, an achievement never before reached by teams from their respective countries; Inter came closest in 1965, when they won the Serie A and the European Cup but lost 1–0 to Juventus in the Coppa Italia Final.

Bayern Munich, meanwhile, claimed their 22nd Bundesliga title on the last day of the season with a 3–1 win away to Hertha Berlin on 8 May 2010, before claiming their eighth domestic double with a 4–0 win over Werder Bremen in the 2010 German Cup on 15 May.

Inter beat Roma 1–0 for their sixth Coppa Italia on 5 May, and then won their fifth Serie A title in a row and their second Double on 16 May with a 1–0 win away to relegated Siena. 

There was also an interesting subplot with the managers too. Louis van Gaal was a previous winner of the competition, and now leading Bayern Munich. In the other corner, was Jose Mourinho who won the title with Porto, and rather ironically, would replace van Gaal at Manchester United years later.

The winning manager would therefore become only the third in European Cup history to win as manager of two clubs, following Ernst Happel and Ottmar Hitzfeld. Mourinho named a team with no Italians in the Inter starting line-up, while Bayern left Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez on the bench.

That left centre stage to Inter’s Diego Milito. Inter employed a counter-attacking strategy that saw them have less possession than Bayern but Inter were able to comfortably defend their lead.

Milito’s counterpunch hit Bayern hard who were unable to recover after the Argentine’s two goals either side of half-time. His first came after sharp interplay with Wesley Sneijder. His second came after being played in by Samuel Eto’o and powering past Daniel van Buyten. Inter won the game 2-0.

The unprecedented treble was Inter’s first in their history, but it marked the end of a period of success. Despite winning the treble, Jose Mourinho resigned as manager of Inter six days later to take over from Manuel Pellegrini as manager of Real Madrid, citing a desire to become the first manager to win the Champions League with three clubs.