Manchester City kept their treble hopes alive as they beat Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
The first all-Manchester finale in the competition’s history was an entertaining affair and City ran out deserved winners thanks to an Ilkay Gundogan brace, while Fernandes netted a controversial spot-kick for the Red Devils. It means Pep Guardiola’s men will at least win the double this term, but that could become three next week in Istanbul.
The game couldn’t have started any better for City as Ilkay Gundogan volleyed past David de Gea after just 13 seconds - the quickest goal in FA Cup final history. Erling Haaland headed it back into the midfielder’s path from a long Stefan Ortega ball downfield, and Gundogan powered a sublime strike beyond the United keeper.
City thought they’d got a second soon after, but Rodri’s header hit the side netting rather than the back of the net, as many City fans initially believed it had. Jack Grealish dragged a shot wide soon after, before Haaland had two good chances to round off an opening 20 minutes that City dominated. The Norwegian was just inches away from poking in Gundogan’s cross, while he shook off Victor Lindelof and fired over soon after.
Kevin De Bruyne then smashed an effort wide before United were handed a lifeline in the game. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s header back into the box struck the hand of Jack Grealish who certainly raised his arm, although the decision seemed harsh.
Fernandes stepped up soon after and coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net, with Stefan Ortega diving the wrong way. United enjoyed a better spell in the last 15 minutes of the half, with Varane having the best chance in the latter stages, as he snatched at a shot from a corner and blazed it over.
City, incredibly, started the second period in the exact same manner they began the first half, with Gundogan volleying past De Gea. This time, De Bruyne picked out Gundgan at the edge of the box in the 51st minute and City’s no.8 took on the shot first time, with the ball squirming past De Gea, who managed to get a hand to it but should have done more to keep the shot out. Gundogan’s second goal was much less aesthetically pleasing than the first, with the scruffy volley bouncing twice before going in.
City had regained their authority in the encounter and De Bruyne forced De Gea into a good save with his feet, before the Spaniard denied Haaland from close range, with Gundogan tapping in the rebound, only to see the offside flag correctly raised.
But United did carry a threat, and in the 69th minute Marcus Rashford went close with a powerful strike from the edge of the box, and substitute Alejandro Garnacho cut inside and curled one just wide of Oretega’s far post.
But as United pushed for a late equaliser, City looked more likely to score. Manuel Akanji nearly touched in at the back post from a drilled cross, while the ball spun just wide after Raphael Varane cleared it off the shins of Haaland.
In injury-time, United were inches away from grabbing a second when Ortega flew out of his goal and blocked Varane’s shot that then looped up and hit the bar. Scott McTominay followed up a with a header, but it was saved brilliantly once again by Ortega.
The referee’s full-time whistle went soon after, to the joy of the blue end at Wembley. Here’s how we rated the United players…