Manchester City are the 2023 FA Cup champions and are now one step away from matching Manchester United’s historic treble of 1998-99.
Pep Guardiola’s men took the lead in record time against Manchester United at Wembley, with captain Ilkay Gundogan scoring an outrageous volley in the opening seconds. Their opponents then grew into the match and went into half-time level pegging after Bruno Fernandes tucked home a controversially-awarded penalty.
But City, as they invariably have this season, continued to dominate proceedings and regained their lead through another Gundogan volley early in the second half. Erik ten Hag’s Red Devils rallied and almost equalised late on, but City ultimately saw the job through with a 2-1 victory.
“We can now talk about the Treble. Of course we still have to win the Champions League. We performed so well for our city and our fans,” Guardiola told the BBC in his post-match interview.
“They follow man to man so tight and we didn’t expect them to defend so narrow. We found more spaces in the second half. Tomorrow and the next day they can have off. We’ve then got three or four sessions to train for Inter Milan. We’ll travel on Thursday morning after training. It was so important for us today. The FA Cup is so nice.
“I’m a Barcelona fan but I will love this club for the rest of my life. I know today we gave our fans a good gift to enjoy against our neighbours.”
Here are 12 outstanding statistics from Manchester City’s FA Cup final victory.
– Gundogan’s two goals came from just 0.05xG (expected goals) – via @xGPhilosophy.
– Gundogan registered an 87% pass accuracy, 57 touches, 40 passes completed, two key passes and two goals. Man of the match from the City skipper.
– Kevin De Bruyne assisted both of Gundogan’s goals. That takes the Belgian’s tally to a mind-blowing 31 assists in all competitions 2022-23 – 10 more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues.
– Manchester City have now scored 150 goals in all competitions. Only three sides in the history of English football have hit that milestone – they’re all Man City (156 in 2013-14, 169 in 2018-19 and 150 in 2022-23) – via @OptaJoe
– Guardiola is only the third manager in English football history to win a League and FA Cup double twice – he follows Arsene Wenger (1997-98, 2001-02) and Sir Alex Ferguson (1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99).
– The Man City coach has now won 10 of 11 domestic cup finals he’s contested in his managerial career – his last defeat in a domestic cup final was as Barcelona manager against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey in 2011, with nine successive wins since then.
– Bruno Fernandes’ penalty was the first goal that City have conceded in the FA Cup this season.
– This was the first time in history that both captains have scored in an FA Cup final.
– Rodri won possession 16 times in the match – seven more than any other player on the pitch.
– City are now just one game away from winning the treble – that’s the closest since any club has ever gotten to matching Manchester United’s historic achievement of 1998-99.
– Manchester United have lost four of their last five appearances in FA Cup finals – and nine in total. No club has lost more FA Cup finals.
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