Manchester City are FA Cup winners for the seventh time after defeating Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, meaning Pep Guardiola’s side will travel to Istanbul for the Champions League final next week knowing that victory would secure the treble.
In the first Manchester Derby FA Cup final, a record was broken with just 13 seconds on the clock, as Stefan Ortega’s long kick was knocked down by Erling Haaland then by Kevin de Bruyne, and City captain Ilkay Gundogan simply put his foot through it on the half-volley, flying into the net for the fastest-ever goal in a final of this competition.
It was almost a second for the boys in blue after four minutes, with de Bruyne’s looping free-kick met by Rodri, whose header rippled the side netting and had some supporters inside Wembley jumping for joy.
The Belgian attacking midfielder was at the centre of the action in the opening period, and he too came close to doubling the City advantage a little shy of the half-hour mark, driving marginally wide on his left foot.
The missed chances proved costly, as Manchester United were soon awarded a penalty – the decision was harsh at best as the ball flicked off Jack Grealish’s outstretched hand, but it was given nonetheless and Bruno Fernandes beat Stefan Ortega from the spot for 1-1.
There were cries soon after for a spot kick of City’s own, but referee Paul Tierney waved away the protestations that Fred’s block on de Bruyne’s run into the area was illegal.
It wasn’t quite as quick as the opener in the first half, but City again flew out of the blocks and broke the deadlock early in the second period, with captain Gundogan once more on hand with a volley from range, deceiving David de Gea and delighting those behind the goal.
If that sent the City fans wild, imagine the delirium when it seemed that the German had completed his hat-trick moments later; their celebrations were soon cut short by the linesman’s flag though, as Gundogan had strayed offside.
Despite a nervy ending to the match, City saw it out, ensuring that two parts of the potential treble are in the trophy cabinet and the bragging rights in Manchester once again belong to the blue half.