After a wait of 45 years, FC Internazionale Milano were crowned European champions for the third time as Diego Milito's brilliantly taken double put paid to FC Bayern München in Madrid.
Both sides came into the final having won domestic doubles and it was Bayern who initially looked the more likely to force a breakthrough. Inter have shown their clinical side throughout this season's UEFA Champions League, however, and demonstrated it again in the 35th minute as Milito outstripped the Bayern defence to score. Though the German side continued to dominate territory and possession, there was no way back when Milito again broke through with 20 minutes left to secure Inter's first European Champion Clubs' Cup victory since their consecutive triumphs of 1964 and 1965 and, with it, a special treble.
Both finalists had endured notable absences from this final stage, albeit Bayern's nine-year wait paled next to Inter's 38 long years and there were fewer signs of stage fright from the newly-crowned German champions early on. They settled faster, only Walter Samuel's timely intervention turning away Ivica Olić's dangerous cross before Bayern's Croatian forward shot wide at the near post after Arjen Robben had skipped away from Cristian Chivu and Walter Samuel down the right.
Although Wesley Sneijder's free-kick deflected off the head of Hamit Altıntop to bring the game's first save from Jörg Butt, Bayern enjoyed 60% of the possession in the opening half-hour. However, Inter swiftly proved how quality counts for more than quantity. Júlio César's long kick was flicked to Sneijder by Milito, who raced onto the Dutchman's perfectly-weighted return to clip his shot over the advancing Butt.
A variation of the same combination nearly put the match beyond Bayern before half-time, Milito's defence-splitting pass from the left leaving Sneijder with just Butt to beat only for Inter's No10 to shoot straight at the goalkeeper. Bayern should have capitalised on their reprieve less than 20 seconds into the second period, Altıntop drawing two defenders before slipping a pass to Thomas Müller, but César preserved Inter's slender advantage, blocking with his legs.
Bayern continued to push Inter back into their own half, with Robben running at the Nerazzurri defence with increasing regularity. It was the winger's free-kick that led to Müller firing in another goalbound shot which was unwittingly kept out by Esteban Cambiasso, before Robben took matters into his own hands, cutting in from the right again and working space for a shot that César clawed away from the top corner.
Yet as so many have before them, Bayern were foundering on the rock of Inter's defence and were duly undone again on the counterattack in the 70th minute. Once more Milito proved their nemesis, collecting Samuel Eto'o's pass and leaving Daniel Van Buyten floundering in his wake before nervelessly beating Butt again. The Argentinian's second unerring finish effectively ended the contest and, though Bayern continued to strive for a way back in the closing stages, Robben flashing another attempt across the face of goal, Inter's sharper cutting edge had already proved decisive.
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.