Manchester United 2 Manchester City 1

Saturday 25 May 2024 17:00

Manchester United have been crowned Emirates FA Cup winners for a 13th time following a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.

The Reds were two goals to the good at the midway point, following an impressive first-half showing that saw Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo get on the scoresheet.

United never looked back and, despite a late scare when Jeremy Doku pulled one back for Pep Guardiola's men, Erik ten Hag's team held on to avenge last season's defeat in the final to our crosstown rivals.


City scored in the opening 14 seconds of last year's final, and there was drama in the first minute again this time around. Moments after Marcus Rashford looked to be bursting away dangerously at one end, Lisandro Martinez and Erling Haaland came together in the opposite penalty area, but no foul was judged to have occurred in the view of referee Andy Madley.

Garnacho was impressive during his substitute cameo in the corresponding fixture last season and, in from the off on this occasion, he had the game's first attempt on goal. Working the ball out from left to right, Bruno Fernandes fed the winger, who got possession under his control before powering a swerving effort that needed the save from Stefan Ortega in the Blues' goal.

The trophy holders were dominating the early possession, Ten Hag's team remained a threat on the break. A Scott McTominay snapshot just after the quarter-hour mark was quickly blocked, before some loose play out from the back from Ortega nearly allowed Fernandes a golden opportunity to score, only for Mateo Kovacic to nip in and spare his goalkeeper's blushes.

Our opponents were not so lucky in the 30th minute though, when Diogo Dalot's searching ball in behind the City defence was headed over an onrushing Ortega by Josko Gvardiol, and tapped into an empty net by Garnacho to give United what was a deserved lead.

City's first shot on target arrived soon after, as they attempted to get back on level terms. The Reds had not allowed too much space in dangerous areas, but Bernardo Silva found enough of a vacant patch to move into and strike venomously, but Andre Onana stood firm and held his dipping effort well.

That was the first real scare from our opponents, something Ten Hag will have been satisfied with. For a brief moment, he will have been even happier when his team found the net again through Rashford in the 37th minute, but the offside flag went up against Garnacho, who was ruled to have set off too quickly in his run to set up his fellow forward.

But that was just a few minutes before a two-goal advantage was carved out, with Mainoo the scorer. A sweeping move saw Garnacho find Fernandes in the box, and our captain intricately kept the move flowing from right to left, finding Kobbie with a first-time pass which the teenager slotted back across Ortega and into the bottom corner.

There was bedlam in the United end, as our supporters enjoyed what they were seeing, but calm and composure on the pitch, as the Reds kept things tight at the back and continued to probe in attack. A Fernandes shot blocked by Stones was the last notable action of a half which we ended in content mood, taking a 2-0 lead into the changing room.

Garnacho and Mainoo were the stars of a perfectly executed first half from United.


Guardiola made a double change at the break which included tricky winger Doku introduced on the Blues' left flank. It was his ball across the box early in the half that found the feet of Haaland, who curled a menacing first-time effort onto the crossbar. 

The strike looked to be in for a moment, and was a signal of City's intentions, but United's focus and game plan continued to hold firm. The Reds were getting space to break dangerously, with our opponents looking for a route back into the contest, while a brilliant save from Onana to deny a long-range effort from Walker kept an unwanted deficit-reducer off the scoresheet.

But our opponents were amping things up and the introduction of another sub, Julian Alvarez, caused the Reds problems. The Argentina international, a national team-mate of Martinez, powered over the bar shortly after coming on, having found space inside our penalty area, before rolling another threatening attempt narrowly wide of the posts moments later.

At the other end, Garnacho continued to be one to watch for those of a blue persuasion. Driving forward from the right flank once again, the youngster burst past his closest challenger before his strike from a tight angle was parried behind by Ortega.

Onana needed to make several important interventions after half-time.

That was a brief moment of respite as City maintained their pressure. Their next attempt to deal with was another strike from distance from Walker, on target again, and pushed clear by Onana - springing down to his right - before McTominay made sure the danger was fully averted.

A Fernandes free-kick at the other end kept Ortega busy, but the majority of opportunities continued to fall to City, who were dictating proceedings with the Reds protecting a lead. Their efforts paid off with just under four minutes of normal time to play, when Doku came inside from the left and fired a low effort that crept in, despite Onana getting a hand to it.

It set up a nervous finish and, all of a sudden, a United end that had been dreaming of celebrating an FA Cup triumph were subjected to suspense. It was tense, but the Red Army continued to get behind the team as seven minutes of added time were signalled by fourth official Simon Hooper.

That support was no doubt felt on the pitch as the players managed to see out the extended period, to win the 2024 Emirates FA Cup.

Up the Reds!


City: Ortega; Walker (c), Stones, Ake (Akanji 46), Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic (Doku 46), De Bruyne (Alvarez 56); Bernardo, Haaland, Foden.

Unused substitutes: Carson, Dias, Lewis, Nunes, Bobb, Grealish.

Booked: Alvarez.

United: Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez (Evans 73), Dalot; Amrabat, Mainoo; Garnacho (Lindelof 90+3), McTominay (Mount 90+3), Rashford (Hojlund 73); Fernandes (c).

Unused substitutes: Bayindir, Kambwala, Eriksen, Amad, Antony.

Booked: Mainoo, McTominay.

Goals: Garnacho 30, Mainoo 39.


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