Manchester City’s mission to win a treble of major trophies stayed on track after beating Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Saturday, with the first of Ilkay Gundogan’s two goals coming after a record 13 seconds.
With City having already retained the Premier League, now only a first-ever Champions League title stands between Pep Guardiola’s team and immortality in English football.
Gundogan, City’s captain, scored the quickest goal in an FA Cup final — timed by British broadcaster BBC at 12.91 seconds — only for United midfielder Bruno Fernandes to convert a 33rd-minute penalty against the run of play after Jack Grealish was adjudged to have handled the ball.
If Gundogan’s opener was probably his best goal for City, his 51st-minute winning goal might be one of his scrappiest as he met a cross from Kevin De Bruyne from a free kick with a left-foot volley that bobbled between two United defenders and past goalkeeper David De Gea.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City lifted the FA Cup, with its 2-1 win over Man United in the final taking the side one step closer to a historic continental treble. Here’s a closer look at the highs and lows of this exciting summit clash, in pictures.
This was the first time the FA Cup final saw a Manchester Derby. A City win would ensure their treble hopes remained alive and well (they did and it does).
A United victory would have given the side a domestic cup double for the first time in the club’s history and another piece of silverware for Erik Ten Hag.
Wembley was packed for another chapter in the famed rivalry between the two sides which, this time, had a lot at stake for both teams.
Perhaps, the player who understood the assignment the most was City skipper Ilkay Gundogan. The midfielder opened the scoring for City merely 13 seconds after kick off! All David de Gea could do was watch.
Gundogan’s opening strike was the fastest goal scored in FA Cup final history.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s header into the box struck Jack Grealish’s raised hand as he jumped to challenge for the cross. A penalty was awarded to United after a VAR review confirmed the handball, much to Grealish’s displeasure.
This allowed United back into the game in the 33rd minute, with Bruno Fernandes making no mistake from the spot.
Despite City’s protestations, Tierney pointed to the spot and Fernandes coolly sent Stefan Ortega the wrong way. The Portuguese’s celebrations in front of the City fans were met with a flurry of objects thrown from the stands, one of which struck Lindelof.
Guardiola was also seen showing his fury at the officiating as VAR did not intervene seven minutes before half-time when Kevin De Bruyne was wiped out by Fred inside the area and no penalty was awarded.
But the City captain, in what could be his final game for the club on English soil with his contract expiring at the end of the season, volleyed home the winner six minutes into the second-half.
Alejandro Garnacho introduction pumped some life into the United attack as the youngster constantly tested City’s defense and threatened to make meaningful advances and find the back of the net. However, City did just enough to keep him and others like Scot McTominay.
More questions will be asked of whether David De Gea remains the right man to be United’s number one goalkeeper after the 32-year-old Spaniard’s sluggish attempt to keep it out.
De Gea did at least make a big saves to keep United in the game from De Bruyne and Haaland.
Gundogan was denied a rare FA Cup final hat-trick by the offside flag.
Erik ten Hag said his team was broken after the loss. “This team showed resilience, character and personality. We know we have a way to go but this will make us better. It was a test for us -- we didn’t succeed but we can take a lot of positives into next season.”
The Red Devils broke their six-year trophy drought in February, beating Newcastle in the League Cup final, and finished third in the Premier League in Ten Hag’s first season at the helm. But they were second best in the London sunshine as Premier League champions City remained on course for a treble.
Prince William handed the trophy and medals to the victorious City side, but the manager admitted that the job was still half done.
“The players know what we have ahead of us,” said Guardiola. “After every hug everyone said: ‘one more to go’. “We are in a position we will probably never be in again. “Everybody knows we’ve done incredible seasons, but we have to win the Champions League to be recognised like the team deserve to be recognised.”
The Champions League title has so far eluded City despite the billions invested since an Abu Dhabi-backed takeover transformed the club’s fortunes 15 years ago.
The Red Devils could not find the goal to deny Guardiola an 11th major trophy as City boss and protect the unique legacy of Alex Ferguson’s great side 24 years ago.
Only Inter in Istanbul in a week’s time now stand between City and matching the greatest achievement English club football has ever seen.
England manager Gareth Southgate watched on as Manchester City completed a famous win over its city rival.
There were a number of celebrities watching along as City edged United out 2-1. Indian cricketing superstar Virat Kohli, his wife and actor-producer Anushka Sharma and budding cricketing star Shubman Gill were among those in attendance at Wembley.
Actor and Wrexham AFC co-owner Ryan Reynolds was also at the game, hosted by Manchester United. Wrexham was part of the festivities with striker Paul Mullin adjudged the top goalscorer in this year’s edition of the tournament. Mullin’s nine goals were crucial in helping Wrexham reach the fourth round before its campaign was cut short by Sheffield United.
The world’s number one T20 batter, India’s Suryakumar Yadav was also watching the game along with his wife Devisha. The duo were seated in the City end. The Indian team is currently in England for the World Test Championship final where it will take on Australia. Suryakumar is a reserve player in the Indian squad.
Yuvraj Singh, a lifelong Manchester United, was there sporting the colours on his suit as he cheered for his team in Wembley. He was part of the broadcast team’s coverage and even made sure to sledge Chelsea fan and fellow cricketer Kevin Pietersen on air for his team not making the final.
United was looking to protect its proud status as the only team to win the league-FA Cup-European Cup treble, in 1999, but now needs a favor from Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul on June 10.
It was the 142nd FA Cup final and the first between the two Manchester clubs, with Prince William and United great David Beckham among those in attendance at England’s national stadium.
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