FA Cup Final 2023: Manchester City’s Victory in Historic Clash Against Manchester United

The 2023 FA Cup final, a momentous clash between Manchester City and Manchester United, unfolded at Wembley Stadium on 3 June 2023.

This showdown not only marked the culmination of the 2022–23 FA Cup but also represented a historic first for the Manchester derby in a cup final.

FA Cup Final 2023: Manchester City’s Victory in Historic Clash Against Manchester United

Manchester City emerged victorious with a 2–1 scoreline, clinching their seventh FA Cup title and achieving a remarkable double. İlkay Gundogan made headlines by scoring the fastest goal in FA Cup final history, finding the net after just 12 seconds. This triumph secured Manchester City’s spot in the UEFA Champions League through their Premier League ranking, while the sixth-placed team, Brighton & Hove Albion, earned a berth in the UEFA Europa League, and Aston Villa claimed the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off spot.

The background of this clash was rich with significance. It coincided with the centenary of the first FA Cup final at the original Wembley Stadium, adding a nostalgic layer to the event. For Manchester United, it marked their 21st FA Cup final appearance, equaling Arsenal’s record, while Manchester City made their 12th final appearance.

The road to this momentous final showcased the prowess of both clubs. Manchester City’s journey saw impressive victories over Chelsea, Arsenal, Bristol City, Burnley, and Sheffield United, while Manchester United overcame Everton, Reading, West Ham United, Fulham, and Brighton & Hove Albion en route to the final.

The match itself was a spectacle from the start. Gundogan’s lightning-fast goal set the tone, followed by a penalty equalizer from Bruno Fernandes for United. Gundogan’s second goal in the 51st minute secured City’s lead, leading to a tense second half where both teams pressed for goals but ultimately ended with City’s triumph.

First Half Analysis

İlkay Gundogan gave Manchester City the lead with the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history, a right-footed volley from just beyond the penalty area, barely 12 seconds into the game. Louis Saha’s goal for Everton in the 2009 final, which came after 25 seconds, was the previous fastest goal. Shortly after, Rodri barely missed a chance to head a free kick from Kevin De Bruyne into the United penalty area as City pushed for a second goal.

Erling Haaland also had a chance to extend City’s lead, but his shot sailed over the net. The VAR determined that the ball had struck Jack Grealish’s hand inside the penalty area, rewarding United for their incursions into the City half. United quickly started to enjoy some possession of their own.

After thirty-three minutes, Bruno Fernandes made the penalty kick for United, making the score 1-0. Raphael Varane missed an opportunity to put the ball in the net from a corner, but United did not let up in their dominant play in the closing minutes of the first half.

Second Half

De Bruyne whipped in a free kick towards the United penalty area in the 51st minute. Gundogan, who was just outside the area, struck the ball first time with his left foot into the bottom left corner of the net, his second of the game, and gave City the lead early in the second half. David de Gea was unable to keep it out. As the second half went on, City continued to put pressure on United. De Bruyne had an excellent opportunity to score while sprinting towards goal, but de Gea’s foot stopped his shot.

Marcus Rashford’s attempt from just outside the City penalty area went over the bar as United started to apply more pressure. On the opposite side of the pitch, City believed they had extended their lead when Haaland’s attempt was stopped by de Gea. Gundogan then finished the play from the rebound, completing his hat-trick. But the referee quickly disallowed the goal, citing Gundogan’s offside position at the time Haaland attempted the initial shot.

Once more, City had a chance to score a third when Manuel Akanji almost tapped in a cross-face shot from Bernardo Silva at the back post against United.

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FA Cup Final 2023: Manchester City’s Victory in Historic Clash Against Manchester United

Later in the game, United’s desperate attempt to tie the score almost paid off when Alejandro Garnacho‘s shot from the left side of the penalty area went just wide of the far post. Then, substitute Scott McTominay controlled the ball down inside the City penalty area, where Varane tried to slot the ball into the net but Stefan Ortega stopped him. Due to City’s frantic defense, the ball rebounded up off the crossbar and was narrowly headed over. After six minutes of stoppage time, the game finished with City winning 2-1.

Most FA Cup Titles

Arsenal — 14

Manchester United — 12

Chelsea — 8

Liverpool — 8

Tottenham — 8

Manchester City — 7

Aston Villa — 7

Newcastle United — 6

Blackburn Rovers — 6

Everton — 5

West Bromwich Albion — 5

Wanderers — 5

Wolverhampton Wanderer — 4

Bolton Wanderers — 4

Sheffield United — 4

Sheffield Wednesday — 3

West Ham United — 3

Preston North End — 2

Old Etonians — 2

Portsmouth — 2

Sunderland — 2

Nottingham Forest — 2

Bury — 2

Teams with one FA Cup Title:

Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Oxford University, Royal Engineers, Derby County, Leeds United, Southampton, Burnley, Cardiff City, Blackpool, Clapham Rovers, Notts County, Barnsley, Charlton Athletic, Old Carthusians, Blackburn Olympic, Bradford City, Ipswich Town, Coventry City, Wimbledon, Wigan Athletic.

Watch 2023 FA Cup Final Highlights Here

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