Man United stun rivals City to win FA Cup

Bruno Fernandes lifts the FA Cup at Wembley

Erik ten Hag put speculation over his future to one side by leading Manchester United to FA Cup glory with a stunning 2-1 victory over Premier League champions Manchester City at Wembley.

Much of the build-up to the game had centred around Ten Hag's future with reports on Friday suggesting United had decided to part company with the Dutchman regardless of the result in the showpiece final.

If it was to be his final match in charge, the United players gave him the ultimate send-off as first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho, who pounced on a calamitous mix-up between Josko Gvardiol and Stefan Ortega, and Kobbie Mainoo left Pep Guardiola's side stunned.

Alejandro Garnacho celebrates after scoring Manchester United's opening goal in the FA Cup final

Man City tried to find a way back into the game in the second half, but Erling Haaland's strike rattled the crossbar before Andre Onana twice kept out long-ranger efforts from Kyle Walker. However, Onana couldn't keep out substitute Jeremy Doku's strike as City pulled a goal back in the 87th minute to set up a grandstand finish.

The City fans roared as seven minutes of stoppage time were announced by the fourth official, but it was United fans celebrating at the sound of the full-time whistle as their side held on to stop their rivals from becoming the first side to secure back-to-back league and FA Cup doubles.

FA Cup glory sees United add a second piece of silverware under Ten Hag, following up their Carabao Cup win from last season. It also sees Man Utd put a disappointing league season behind them by sealing Europa League qualification, but the question remains as to whether Ten Hag will lead them into next season.

How Ten Hag led United to FA Cup glory...

In what was a breathless start to the game, Marcus Rashford looked to burst through on the Manchester City goal only to be denied by Walker, before the game's first huge flashpoint came.

Bernardo Silva's cross was aimed at Haaland, who appeared to be bundled over by Lisandro Martinez in the penalty area. Referee Andy Madley waved away the huge Manchester City appeals, and the check of the incident by VAR didn't lead to a review in what was a big call so early on in the match.

Erling Haaland falls after a challenge by Lisandro Martinez

After that early scare, Manchester United settled into the game well. As expected, Pep Guardiola's side dominated the ball, but United looked well-drilled and poised to strike on the counter. The first shot on target in the game fell to Ten Hag's side with Bruno Fernandes picking out Garnacho on the right, but the winger's shot was straight at goalkeeper Ortega.

Manchester City were uncharacteristically sloppy with simple passes not finding their target, and it was a huge mix-up at the heart of the City defence which led to the opening goal of the game.

Garnacho chased a routine ball over the top of the Manchester City defence before a calamitous mix-up between Gvardiol and Ortega allowed the Argentine winger to finish into an empty net. It's a moment Gvardiol, who headed the ball over the onrushing Ortega, and the goalkeeper will want to forget.

The United celebrations got even louder just before the break as Mainoo's strike extended the lead. Rashford started the move with a fine cross-field pass to Garnacho before Fernandes' deft flick teed up Mainoo to send United into the break in dreamland.

Rodri tangles with Bruno Fernandes

Guardiola reacted to City's sluggish performance with a double change at the break as Manuel Akanji and Doku replaced Mateo Kovacic and Nathan Ake. The champions were looking for an instant response and they almost got one through Haaland, but his strike rattled the crossbar as United's two-goal advantage stayed intact.

Guardiola was forced into another huge call as City looked for a way back into the contest, replacing the ineffective De Bruyne with Julian Alvarez with 56 minutes on the clock. The chances started to come for City but the goals didn't follow. Andre Onana pulled off a stunning save to keep out Kyle Walker's powerful effort before Alvarez poked wide of the far post to leave Guardiola with his head in his hands.

City eventually got a lifeline when Doku's low shot squeezed past Onana late on but it proved to be just a consolation as United held on to win the FA Cup for a 13th time in their history.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.