Manchester City beat rivals Manchester United 2-1 at Wembley to lift the 2023 FA Cup with two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and move within one win of securing a historic treble.
Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions took the lead straight from the kick-off as Gundogan volleyed into the top corner to net the fastest cup final goal in history after just 13 seconds.
The Citizens dominated for long periods but were pegged back just past the half-hour when a VAR intervention led to a penalty being awarded for a harsh hand ball against Jack Grealish.
United skipper Bruno Fernandes stepped up and coolly levelled to ensure The Red Devils, perhaps somewhat fortuitously, were level heading into the break.
There was a more even feel to the encounter following the restart, but Manchester City reasserted their authority on 51 minutes when Gundogan guided another volley beyond a partially unsighted De Gea from 25 yards.
United went close to a second leveller through Marcus Rashford and substitute Alejandro Garnacho but they could not find the goal to force extra time as City completed the domestic double.
City will now turn their attention to the Champions League final against Inter Milan on June 10 as they bid to lift Europe’s premier competition for the first time in their history and emulate United’s Treble feat of 1999.
Manchester City going for the treble
Manchester City stand just 90 minutes away from the greatest season in their history.
With the league and FA Cup secured, next comes the chance to claim that elusive Champions League against Inter Milan.
Should they succeed, they would become only the second English club to complete the Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
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United, who did it 24 years ago, did their best to halt Manchester City’s bid, but the league champions had too much power – and in Gundogan, they had a player who revels in the pressure of the big occasion.
His two goals, including that stunning early opener, emphasised what a figure of significance he has become, assuring him of a special place when the story of City’s glory years is written.
And in John Stones, City have a player of the highest class in his latest role defined by Guardiola, one which allows him to advance into midfield and utilise all his composure and quality.
Istanbul and Inter Milan are next on City’s agenda and in their current relentless, irresistible mood, it would be more of a surprise if they did not complete the Treble than if they did.