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Five talking points as Manchester United fall to defeat in the FA Cup final vs Man City



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Credit: IMAGO / Pro Sports Images

Manchester United fell to defeat after an Iklay Gundogan double saw Manchester City victorious in the FA Cup final.

After a crazy first minute saw Ilkay Gundogan score a rocket to shake David de Gea‘s next after just 12 seconds and put Manchester City 1-0 up, Erik ten Hag‘s Manchester United fought back to equalise the fixture before halftime with a Bruno Fernandes penalty.

Just like in the first, the second half saw Gundogan once again score in the opening few minutes with a volley to grant City the lead once again.

Despite a comeback charge from United, it was not enough with City winning 2-1 as the final whistle blew.

Here are five talking points from the FA Cup final.

#1 – The worst start to an FA Cup final… Ever

As mentioned, Gundogan scored after just 12 seconds.

The goal has been confirmed as the fastest-ever goal in an FA Cup final, beating Louis Saha’s 25-second goal against Chelsea over a decade ago.

It was a terrible start for United – and it could have been so much worse, but United did not lose their heads and got themselves back on track.

#2 – Bruno Fernandes; never in doubt

Talk about a high-pressure situation…

After VAR awarded United a penalty from a Jack Grealish handball, Bruno Fernandes was tasked with slotting the ball away.

In a season that has seen Fernandes falter at points due to pressure, such as away against Liverpool, he rose to the occasion to offer United a much-needed lifeline and a sense of belief after the disastrous start.

#3 – But it wasn’t enough…

Despite the hard work to get back in the game, it was almost a repeat of the first half as Gundogan volleyed in a second right at the beginning of the second half.

Having not been picked up on the edge of the 18-yard box, Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick was perfectly placed for the German midfielder to volley with the inside of his foot to guide the ball through a crowd of players and into the back of the net.

Despite getting a hand to it, De Gea saw the ball too late and could not quite get over in time to tip the ball around the post… and United were back to square one.

#4 – Garnacho will be fantastic next season

On so many occasions this season, Garnacho has been the difference maker off the bench across all four competitions.

Once again, Garnacho was given the role of left winger around 60 minutes, replacing Christian Eriksen. Immediately, the game felt more even – Garnacho had several shots and created multiple dangerous moments.

Despite the loss, Garnacho’s performance should be taken as a real highlight of the fixture, as next season he will only continue to improve (hopefully).

#5 – United should be proud

For what it’s worth, Manchester United should be proud of their season.

Third in the league table, a Carabao Cup victory over Newcastle United, a marginal loss in the FA Cup final against Premier League winners and Champions League finalists Manchester City…

It’s a successful first season for Erik ten Hag and Manchester United.