FA Cup Final: Manchester City v Manchester United, 3 June 2023, London. City players celebrate the victory.
London – Manchester City footballers won the FA Cup for the seventh time. The league champions beat city rivals United 2-1 in the final thanks to two goals from Ilkay Gündogan. If Pep Guardiola's men succeed in the Champions League final against Inter Milan in a week, they will win the “treble”, which only Manchester United managed in the 1998/99 season among English teams.
The first goal of the final in London's Wembley fell from the first shot on goal in the 13th second. Gündogan got to the rebounded ball on the edge of the goal and sent it behind the goalkeeper De Gey with a successful volley. The Manchester City captain scored the fastest goal in the FA Cup final. He surpassed French striker Louis Saha, who scored against Chelsea after 25 seconds for Everton in 2009.
In the 33rd minute, the referee awarded a penalty to Manchester United after Grealish's hand, and “Red Devils” captain Bruno Fernandes equalized with a shot into the bottom left corner. Gündogan, who is out of contract at City in the summer, gave his team the lead seven minutes after the break with another goal on the volley.
“I don't think it was a penalty. I didn't see the ball, it turned and it hit my hand . But Gündogan saved me,” said Grealish.
The Premier League winners withstood United's late pressure to deny their city rivals the chance to follow up on February's League Cup triumph.
“Unbelievable. You dream about it as lads. I really wanted to win the cup when I was at Aston Villa, and now I've done it,” said Grealish, who lost to Arsenal in the 2015 final with Aston Villa. “Of course we will celebrate it. The FA Cup is not won every week. Then we will immediately throw ourselves into the preparation for the next big game, which awaits us next week,” he added.
“Now we can talk about the treble, although of course we still have to win the Champions League,” said coach Guardiola, who repeated the 2019 league and cup triumph with the team. “I am a Barcelona fan, but I will love this club for the rest of my life. We gave our fans a good present today that they can enjoy, unlike our neighbors.”
The Spanish coach highlighted the performance of 32-year-old Gündogan. “He is having an amazing season. He is not only skilful, but also mentally strong. He plays big matches as if they were friendly matches. He knows how to cope with pressure,” said Guardiola.
His counterpart Erik ten Hag spent his first season at the United bench did not end by winning another cup trophy. “Of course we are disappointed, but I am proud of my team. We played well. We conceded unnecessary goals, but we were in the game. The team showed resilience and character. We still have a way to go, but this will push us further,” said the Dutch coach.
Final of the English Football Cup in London:
Manchester City – Manchester United 2:1 (1:1)
Goals: 1. and 51. Gündogan – 33. Fernandes from pen.