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Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United: What Were The Main Talking Points As The Red Devils Are Crowned FA Cup Champions At Wembley?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, FA Cup 25 May 2024

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With all eyes falling on Wembley this weekend, Manchester United sprung a famous FA Cup upset as they secured a 2-1 victory against bitter local rivals Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.

While there might have been plenty of speculation over the past 24 hours that Saturday’s trip to north London would be Erik ten Hag’s final game in charge, the Red Devils produced what was an iconic display in the capital.

With Alejandro Garnacho pouncing on a defensive clanger on the half-hour mark as the Argentina international tapped home into an empty net, United quickly doubled their lead as midfield starlet Kobbie Mainoo finished off a wonderful build-up just nine minutes after Garnacho’s opener.

Although Pep Guardiola’s men might have produced a far more polished performance after returning from the half-time break, both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez missed respective golden opportunities.

While Belgium international Jermey Doku might have pulled one back late on as his effort found a route past Andre Onana, United held firm as they secured a season-defining victory at Wembley.

On an afternoon when Manchester United secured a 13th FA Cup trophy and their first since 2015, we have taken a look at the main talking points from the capital.

A piece of silverware in what could be ten Hag’s final game

While Manchester United might have signed off the 2023/24 campaign with back-to-back victories against Brighton and Newcastle, nobody was giving the Red Devils much of a chance on Saturday afternoon.

Coming under a huge amount of scrutiny this season as they eventually limped their way to an eighth-place finish, the Premier League heavyweights have also broken a string of unwanted records.

With reports prior to Saturday’s showpiece event suggesting that ten Hag will be sacked no matter the outcome here, the former Ajax boss cut a defiant figure as his squad produced what was a season-defining display in north London.

If ten Hag is to be removed from the Old Trafford dugout over the coming days, he will be going out on the back of the finest day of his two-season spell in the red half of Manchester.

Guiding United to EFL Cup success at Wembley last season and now clinching back-to-back pieces of silverware, it will be interesting to see if the new hierarchy at Old Trafford have a change of heart.

City will have a bitter taste in their mouth

Although Manchester City might have avoided Arsenal’s title charge last weekend as they became the first English club in history to win four consecutive Premier League trophies, Guardiola’s side will have a bitter taste in their mouth now the 2023/24 campaign has officially drawn to a close.

Relinquishing their maiden Champions League crown last month as they suffered European heartbreak at the hands of Spanish giants Real Madrid, City will be disappointed to end the season with just a single piece of silverware to their name.

Missing out on the chance to be crowned double-winning champions here, Guardiola cut a visibly frustrated figure in the dugout as his superstars squad failed to find any kind of fluidity at Wembley.

Travelling to the capital on Saturday afternoon having not suffered a single defeat against Premier League opposition since the start of December, City certainly came crashing back down to earth in north London.

With their post-title celebrations taking a potential toll on them here, City failed to live up to their billing as a landslide contender on Saturday afternoon as they missed out on the chance to make one final statement.

Mainoo tops off what has been a sensational breakout campaign

While Manchester United might have endured a public Premier League nightmare this season, there is no doubt that their homegrown starlet has been their brightest note of the campaign.

Although the likes of Casemiro and former Chelsea star Mason Mount might have come under a hefty amount of scrutiny this season, Mainoo has been at the heart of everything positive United have produced and finds his stock at a red-hot high.

Rightfully winning United’s Player of the Season award over the past week, Mainoo made 24 Premier League appearances and has enjoyed a remarkable rise to superstardom.

Putting in a Man of the Match performance at the heart of ten Hag’s midfield and gaining a reputation as one of the most talent youngsters to come out of United’s academy, the 19-year-old sensation will now have his sights firmly set on featuring at this summer’s European Championships.

Receiving a string of plaudits from across the continent, it is no surprise that Mainoo is expected to be part of Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad when the Three Lions travel over to Germany next month.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ortega, Walker, Stones, Ake, Gvardiol, Rodri, Kovacic, Silva, De Bruyne, Foden, Haaland

Subs: Doku, Alvarez, Akanji

Manchester United: Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Dalot, Mainoo, Amrabat, McTominay, Garnacho, Rashford, Fernandes

Subs: Lindelof, Evans, Hojlund, Mount

Goals: Manchester City: Doku (87’) – Manchester United: Garnacho (30’), Mainoo (39’)

Yellow Cards: Mainoo, McTominay

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Andrew Madley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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