Manchester City are on the brink of achieving an unprecedented treble, following a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup final. Ilkay Gundogan emerged as the hero with two goals, propelling City to a domestic double at Wembley. Should they triumph over Inter Milan on June 10 and secure the Champions League title, they would become only the second team, after United in the 1998/99 season, to clinch the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in a single campaign.
Gundogan etched his name in FA Cup final history by scoring the fastest goal ever recorded in the competition, finding the net after a mere 12 seconds. Despite United equalizing through Bruno Fernandes’ penalty, City’s captain, potentially playing his final match on English soil due to an expiring contract, secured the victory with a volley early in the second half.
Expressing his elation, Gundogan emphasized the significance of winning the prestigious FA Cup and completing the double. He acknowledged the extraordinary opportunity they have to accomplish something remarkable and win the treble, vowing not to let this chance slip away.
City’s dominant start was exemplified by Gundogan’s swift strike and subsequent goal attempts by Rodri and Erling Haaland. United struggled to advance beyond the halfway line until they received a fortunate break. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s header brushed against Grealish’s arm, resulting in a penalty awarded by VAR. Fernandes converted the spot-kick, provoking a hostile response from the City fans and inciting frustration from Guardiola and his team over a missed penalty call for a foul on De Bruyne.
United squandered an opportunity to overturn the game before halftime when Raphael Varane failed to convert a chance at the back post. However, City’s dominance resumed in the second half, with Gundogan once again finding the back of the net from a De Bruyne free-kick. Although David De Gea made crucial saves to keep United in the game, City’s victory was ultimately sealed.
As the match reached its tense climax, United mounted a late surge, but their efforts fell agonizingly short. Despite a goalmouth scramble and hitting the City crossbar in stoppage time, they couldn’t deny Guardiola his 11th major trophy as City manager or replicate the success of Alex Ferguson’s iconic side from 24 years ago. City’s last hurdle on their quest for greatness is a showdown with Inter in Istanbul, where they aim to match the unparalleled achievement of English club football.