Player by player: United v City

Saturday 03 June 2023 17:30

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City in the 2023 Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Ilkay Gundogan found the net twice across the 90 minutes as City claimed their second trophy of the 2022/23 season – following on from their Premier League title – with Bruno Fernandes having levelled the game during the first half from the penalty spot.

Despite our late endeavours, Pep Guardiola's men claimed the silverware but the Reds could leave the capital with our heads held high after a battling display. Here's our view of how the players performed...
The Reds had equalised via the penalty spot during the first half at Wembley.
David De Gea: There was nothing our Spaniard could do about Gundogan's rasping opener and, having denied Erling Haaland superbly twice during the contest, David once again came up clutch when required throughout the encounter.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka:
Superb during the first half and was subsequently rewarded for his work by earning United a penalty, when Jack Grealish was adjudged to have handled his header inside the area. Gave Manuel Akanji a headache throughout and justified his selection within our starting XI.

Victor Lindelof: Tasked with marshalling Haaland from the off, the Iceman once again performed well at the heart of our defence, smartly ushering instructions across our backline and also showing his varied range of passing patterns.
Raphael Varane: Professional as ever, Rapha stepped up well when receiving the ball in space at the back and did well too at limiting City's dangerman to very few chances. Despite coming so close, our no.19's reaction to help console his team-mates at full-time is testament to his character.

Luke Shaw: Limiting Bernardo Silva is never an easy task but Luke's diligent defending helped United in key moments of the game. Offered some vital support to Alejandro Garnacho late on down the left flank.

Casemiro: Perhaps quieter than we usually expect from the Brazilian, Casemiro enjoyed another strong one-on-one battle with City man Rodri, providing help to our backline whenever the Blues sprung forward. Tidy in possession across the game, as always from the former Real Madrid man.

Manchester City 2 Manchester United 1


The Reds' epic 62-game season ends with a narrow derby defeat in the FA Cup final.

Fred: Key to United's midfield balance, knowing when and where to spring attacks and hold to the benefit of fellow midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen. Very impressive in slowing down the Blues \'counter-attacks and was arguably one of our standout performers.

Bruno Fernandes: The captain was typically passionate across his whole performance, no more so than when he celebrated our equaliser from the penalty spot. Providing key attacking impetus, Bruno's effort is never without admiration from the Reds faithful as we saw after the full-time whistle.

Christian Eriksen: Withdrawn on the hour mark for Garnacho, Eriksen looked lively early on as he combined well with his fellow midfielders to try and link our play. Calm on the ball, we have come to expect nothing else from the Dane.

Talking points from Wembley Stadium


Read our key takeaways from United's narrow defeat to Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup final.

Jadon Sancho: Enjoyed a strong battle with Kyle Walker during the first half, with his trickery presenting real problems for the Blues' backline. Testament to his form as of late, his tireless running was key to all our forward work in the capital.

Marcus Rashford: Constantly looking to stretch the City backline, our no.10 never stopped and you always felt as if the Mancunian had a point to prove against our bitter rivals. It just wasn't to be for Marcus.
Who was United's best player in our narrow FA Cup final defeat?poll

Who was United's best player in our narrow FA Cup final defeat?

Alejandro Garnacho (on 62 mins): Bright and impactful during his final 30-minute cameo, Alejandro gave Walker a different threat as the game edged on. Although the Reds couldn't find a late breakthrough, the teenager's endeavour couldn't be understated and he was inches wide with one curing effort.

Wout Weghorst (on 78 mins): Tried to help link up play with Rashford and pressed the City backline when required.

Scott McTominay (on 83 mins):
Little to do when he was introduced but played some key passes and could have scored during a scramble late on.