Manchester City 2 Manchester United 1
Manchester United's long 2022/23 season has ended with defeat in the 62nd fixture, after Manchester City won 2-1 in the Emirates FA Cup final.
Our local rivals stunned Wembley Stadium in the first minute when Ilkay Gundogan volleyed them in front, leaving David De Gea stranded. The Reds grew back into the game, and when the referee pointed to the spot after Jack Grealish’s handball, Bruno Fernandes sent Ortega the wrong way to put us back on level terms.
Five minutes after the restart, Gundogan was on target to restore City’s lead with a somewhat similar strike to his opener, volleying into the bottom corner from Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick.
Despite the best attempts of the Reds, including a particularly electric entrance from second-half substitute Alejandro Garnacho, our second cup final of the season ended in defeat.
The first-ever all-Manchester FA Cup final started with a bang, but not in favour of United. After just 13 seconds, City captain Gundogan volleyed his side ahead much to the shock of everyone inside Wembley Stadium.
The Blues’ goalkeeper Ortega launched the ball forward and, after a sequence of headers, the ball fell to his German compatriot on the edge of the area. As it dropped, the midfielder instinctively struck a volley and sent it flying beyond a stranded De Gea who could only watch it rattle the back of his net.
Just minutes later, Guardiola’s side looked to have doubled their tally in what would have been an emphatic start to the afternoon when Rodri headed toward goal, but it ruffled the side netting.
Ten Hag’s players grew into the game and we were eventually rewarded for our efforts when referee Paul Tierney pointed to the spot after Grealish was deemed to have handled the ball inside his own area. As the United end held its breath, Fernandes stepped up and sent the City keeper the wrong way to draw the Reds level.
While the blue side of Manchester reasserted dominance, it was United who had the final sight of goal before half-time when Varane flashed a volley wide of the post from a corner, but things remained level heading into the interval.
While the Reds came out for the second half with a real sign of intent, City would once again hand us an early blow as they doubled their lead. In an almost mirror image to his opener, Gundogan was picked out on the edge of the area by team-mate De Bruyne, before volleying through a sea of bodies and beyond De Gea.
With clear-cut chances few and far between in front of goal, Marcus Rashford attempted to pull us level yet again with a snap-shot on the edge of the area but his effort fizzed over Ortega’s bar.
Moments later, it looked as though Gundogan had netted a cup final hat-trick after De Gea parried a save into the path of the German, but he was swiftly deemed to be offside by the assistant referee.
Heroics at the back from City prevented us from clinching a late equaliser and forcing the game into extra-time, notably a goal-line clearance from John Stones to deny our last real chance of the afternoon.
In a game of fine margins, it just wasn’t meant to be for Ten Hag’s men as our 62nd fixture of the 2022/23 campaign ended in an agonising 2-1 defeat.
Manchester City: Ortega; Walker (Laporte 90), Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodrigo; Bernardo, De Bruyne (Foden 76), Gundogan, Grealish (Ake 89); Haaland.
Unused substitutes: Ederson, Phillips, Alvarez, Mahrez, Palmer, Lewis.
Goals: Gundogan 1, 51.
Yellow cards: Ortega 80; Rodri 90.
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof (McTominay 83), Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Fernandes, Eriksen (Garnacho 62), Sancho (Weghorst 78), Rashford.
Unused substitutes: Butland, Dalot, Maguire, Malacia, Elanga, Pellistri.
Goals: Fernandes (p) 33.
Yellow cards: Wan-Bissaka 45; Fred 79.