After Ilkay Gundogan scored twice to lead Manchester City to a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Saturday, Manchester City is now just one game away from completing a historic triple.
The team led by Pep Guardiola won the domestic double at Wembley and have a chance to become just the second club, after Manchester United in 1998–1999, to win the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League in the same season if they beat Inter Milan on June 10 and become European champions for the first time. United accomplished this feat in 1998–1999.
After only 12 seconds of play, Gundogan scored the quickest goal in the history of the FA Cup final.
In the 33rd minute, United were able to draw even thanks to a penalty kick from Bruno Fernandes. This came after Jack Grealish was unfairly penalized for handball.
The City captain, though, scored the game-winning goal six minutes into the second half with a volley, making it possible that this was his last game for the club on English soil.
The Manchester giants got things off to a blazing start in the first major final they’ve ever competed in together.
When Victor Lindelof’s headed clearing stood up perfectly for Gundogan to volley home a magnificent shot after only 12 seconds, the most of the 83,000 spectators were still making their way to their seats following the pre-match festivities.
It seems like that established the precedent for the Premier League champions.
A few moments later, Rodri headed the ball into the side netting, and then Erling Haaland’s attempt to connect cleanly with Gundogan’s enticing cross was unsuccessful.
United just managed to pass the halfway point of the game in the first half hour, but they received the break they needed to get back into it.
Grealish had his arm brushed by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s header that went back across the City box, and the referee, Paul Tierney, was instructed to review the incident by the video assistant referee (VAR).
Tierney calmly pointed to the location, and Fernandes deftly deflected Stefan Ortega’s shot in the opposite direction. City continued to protest.
Lindelof was wounded by one of the objects that were thrown from the stands during the celebrations that the Portuguese players were having in front of the City supporters.
When Kevin De Bruyne was taken down inside the penalty area by Fred seven minutes before halftime, the referees did not give City a penalty despite the fact that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) did not step in to review the play. This infuriated City manager Pep Guardiola.
De Gea question mark
At the opposite end of the field, Manchester United blew a golden opportunity to shift the tide of the game just before halftime when Raphael Varane missed the back post with a shot that was too high and too wide.
After putting in so much effort to get a foothold in the game, United paid the price for getting off to another poor start in the second half.
Gundogan scored the winning goal once more as he redirected De Bruyne’s free kick into the back of the net.
After United’s goalkeeper David De Gea, who is 32 years old and from Spain, made a sluggish attempt to keep the ball out of the net, additional questions will be addressed about whether he is still the ideal guy to be United’s number one goalie.
At the hour mark, De Gea made a crucial save with his legs to prevent De Bruyne a third goal and keep United in the game. This allowed United to remain competitive.
Twenty minutes from the end, Gundogan thought he had a rare FA Cup final hat-trick, but he was ruled offside when he turned in the rebound after De Gea denied Haaland his 53rd goal of the season. Gundogan’s goal would have been a rare FA Cup final hat-trick.
Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho both had shots that were only millimeters away from scoring for United in the tense closing minute.
During a chaotic situation in front of the goal late in extra time, the ball was cleared off of the City bar.
Despite their best efforts, the Red Devils were unable to hit the back of the net to prevent Guardiola from winning his 11th major trophy as City manager and preserve the exceptional legacy left by Alex Ferguson’s brilliant team 24 years earlier.
The encounter against Inter in Istanbul a week from tomorrow is the only thing that stands in the way of City equaling the greatest feat that English club football has ever witnessed.