Man Utd secures stunning victory over Man City in FA Cup final

By Majesty 4 Min Read

Erik ten Hag overrode much uncertainty about his future to lead Manchester United to an unexpected FA Cup final victory over rivals Manchester City, capping off a disappointing season on a bright note. 

The Dutchman’s future dominated the build-up to the second consecutive all-Manchester final, with a report on Friday claiming he would be fired regardless of the outcome at Wembley. 

But United skillfully silenced rumours that this Saturday may be Ten Hag’s final game, thanks to goals from teenage sensations Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo. The team also outlasted the opposition, winning 2-1 thanks to a late goal from substitute Jeremy Doku.

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It is the Red Devils manager’s second trophy in as many seasons, but after finishing eighth in the league, it will have to be seen if the trophy and Europa League qualification satisfy the aspirational Ineos. 

Joel Glazer and Sir Jim Ratcliffe observed the action at Wembley, and it is safe to assume that Ten Hag’s strategy and his team’s performance delighted United’s co-owners.

After winning an extraordinary fourth consecutive top-flight title, most believed City would become the first English team to win back-to-back domestic doubles, but there seemed to be a hangover.

In contrast, United were disciplined and focused right from the start, and at the half-hour mark, Garnacho took advantage of a defensive blunder to give Ten Hag’s team a startling lead.

Before the break, Mainoo coolly increased their lead with a well-executed team move. City responded forcefully, with Erling Haaland hitting the crossbar under duress.

Ten Hag, who will be aiming to avoid being fired after winning the FA Cup like Louis van Gaal was in 2016, will be hopeful that the Red Devils complete a miserable, injury-plagued year with a win.

There was late suspense as the otherwise outstanding Andre Onana let in a late Doku strike, but the Red Devils were not to be denied. 

A year after Ilkay Gundogan’s incredible goal that put City ahead only seconds after kickoff, another electrifying start took place at Wembley in front of an electrified crowd. This time, Marcus Rashford’s risky run behind was stopped, resulting in a City break that saw Haaland go to the ground in the box as Lisandro Martinez applied pressure. 

Play soon calmed down as United maintained their defensive form and the holders subtly controlled possession. 

No penalty was given. When it came time to press, Ten Hag’s soldiers were equally prepared. Pep Guardiola’s team was a shell of the team who won the championship the previous weekend and gave their opponents an early lead in the 30th minute. 

Under pressure from Garnacho, Josko Gvardiol headed over Stefan Ortega instead of back to his custodian, as Diogo Dalot’s hopeful pass forwards caused problems. In front of the stunned City supporters, the 19-year-old joyfully converted the loose ball into an empty net before sprinting off in triumph.

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