Manchester City took another step towards a
historic treble as they followed up their Premier League triumph with more
domestic success, beating local rivals Manchester United 2-1 to win the 2023 FA
Cup Final on Saturday at Wembley. A pair of goals from Ilkay Gundogan to start
each half led Pep Guardiola’s side to their seventh FA Cup title, denying
Manchester United a second victory at Wembley in 2023 in the first meeting
between the two clubs in a major final.
City got off to the perfect start in the
all-Manchester affair, with skipper Ilkay Gundogan scoring the fastest goal in
the history of the FA Cup Final, taking just 12 seconds to find the back of the
net. The German pounced on a loose header from Victor Lindelof at the edge of
the area and sent a stunning volley past David de Gea, giving City the early
advantage in the London sunshine.
United struggled to cope with the quality
on show from Manchester City throughout the opening 30 minutes, with Rodri
heading wide from a set-piece and Erling Haaland nearly converting a Gundogan
cross to double the advantage.
Erik ten Hag’s side finally got a lucky
break after the half-hour mark, with the referee controversially pointing to
the spot after the ball struck Jack Grealish’s arm in the penalty area. Bruno
Fernandes calmly slotted his penalty past Stefan Ortega in the City net,
levelling the scores against the run of play.
City had a penalty shout of their own turned
down before the break but took just seven minutes in the second half to restore
their lead. Ilkay Gundogan stepped up to score another crucial goal for Pep
Guardiola’s side, converting another volley from the edge of the area through a
crowd of players. The German’s left-footed effort lacked the same ferocity
compared to his strike earlier in the game but had enough power to sneak past a
scrambling David de Gea and put City 2-1 ahead.
Chasing a second equaliser, the Red Devils
brought on Alejandro Garnacho for Christian Eriksen, and the Argentinian
teenager re-energised the United attack in the final 30 minutes, curling one
wide of the post after cutting inside. City endured a nervy finish, with the
ball looping onto the crossbar in stoppage time after Stefan Ortega denied Raphael
Varane, but eventually held on to win their second FA Cup title under Pep
Having completed the domestic double,
Manchester City now remain just one win away from completing an era-defining
treble. The Cityzens face Internazionale in the UEFA Champions League Final
next Saturday and can become just the second English team after Sir Alex
Ferguson’s Manchester United in 1999 to win all three major trophies in a
single season with a victory over the Italian side in Istanbul.