Manchester United outplay arch-rivals City to clinch 13th FA Cup title at Wembley

Manchester United outclassed arch-rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final as they lifted their 13th title in England’s oldest football competition. Against the odds, United beat City 2-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (May 25) with goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo in the second half. The win also sees United qualify for next season’s Europa League while Man City’s season only ended with the Premier League.

Man Utd clinch 13th FA Cup final

In a replay of last season’s FA Cup final United completely outplayed City from the start as they caught their opposite number on the counter attack. Having been in the headlines for the title-winning save against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League two weeks ago, Ortega was on the receiving end of criticism for the opening goal in the 30th minute. The Red Devils caught Man City napping in the defence as a diagonal ball was not judged by the backline with defender Joško Gvardiol opting to backpass the ball to goalkeeper Ortega.

However, the goalie was in no man’s land to collect Gvardiol’s pass as he too had approached the ball. This left Manchester United attacker Garnacho free on goal from the 12-yard spot as he slotted home an easy goal. The opening goal came courtesy of United’s good pressing tactic which has not been their ‘A-game’ in the Premier League season.

The lead was doubled just six minutes before the half time as Kobbie Mainoo’s goal put the Red Devils in control. A cross ball from the deep was not dealt by the Man City defence before it landed swiftly for captain Bruno Fernandes who assisted Mainoo for the goal.

Manager Pep Guardiola reacted with a series of changes at half-time and the hour-mark, but Man City could break United’s determination to win the FA Cup. Jeremy Doku did score a late goal for City in the 86th minute, but the Red Devils held on to win their 13th title.

The win could also ease pressure on Manchester United’s manager who is reportedly on the brink of getting sacked. Reports in England have suggested that Erik ten Hag could be sacked but could now retain some hope to keep his job.

On the bigger picture, United will play in the 2024-25 Europa League along with Tottenham Hotspur while Chelsea will be demoted to the UEFA Conference League despite finishing sixth in the Premier League. The result also means Newcastle United will miss out on European football altogether.

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