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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Wembley Stadium

Kobbie was Main-oo difference as United halt double Double attempt by City in pulsating 2-1 FA Cup Final win

By Paul Lagan at Wembley Stadium


Manchester City 1 v Manchester United 2

 FA Cup Final

                         

Manchester City were the architects of their own downfall and failure to win the double Double as city rivals United beat them 2-1 in a pulsating and at times exhilarating FA Cup final.

Man of the match or should that be child of the match Kobbie Mainoo, just 19, scored the second of United's goals, and it proved to be the decisive one as under fire boss Erik ten Hag finished the season with a trophy.

Whether it will be enough to save his job will be revealed in the coming week.

The red half of Manchester took a 2-0goal lead with clinical finishing, but the opener will haunt Josko Gvardiol as his gifted Alejandro Garnacho his goal.

City's domination of the ball failed to unlock a United defence which stopped City from using the flanks, forced then into the centre where a red wall was waiting.

City striker Erling Haaland, bar one shot which hit the woodwork was nullified by United central pairing of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.

 

Erling Haaland thought he had a penalty after one minute, when he lurched forward and over after a touch from Sofyan Amrabat, but despite the please from the Blue end and the jeers from the red end, referee Andrew Madley waved away the spot kick shout.

IT was a lively start by both sides.

United had the first shot on goal, on eight minutes when Alejandro Garnacho had a powerful shot, on the right edge of the City penalty are but it was well held by Stefan Ortega.

City's propensity to play from the back and stay there allowed United, on 21 minutes, to put the blue defence under tremendous pressure. But the four in a row Premier League winners kept their nerve and successfully played out to safety.

Some of City's play was breathtaking, but United kept their shape and would not allow their noisy neighbours the space to produce a defence-splitter for Haaland.

But disaster struck for City on 30 minutes as a deep ball saw Garnacho and Josko Gvardiol chase for the ball on the edge of the City area.

Ortega had come out to get it, but Gvardiol was unaware and headed the ball over Ortega, allowing Garnacho the simplest of tasks of running in and tapping the ball home.

It was an uncharacteristic error by City, that was fully exploited by the Reds.

City finally got a shot on target, on 37 minutes, but Bernardo Silva was equal to the task.

United thought they had number two a minute later when Garnacho slide the ball to Rashford to tuck home but the Spain-born Argentine was offside.

But two minutes later it was number two as City were cut apart by some ruthless first-time passing that saw Garnacho pass to Bruno Fernandes and on to Kobbie Mainoo, who did crack the back of the city net with a wonderful daisy-cutting finish.

Pep Guardiola replaced Nathan Ake and Kovacic with Jeremy Doku and Manuel Akanji at half-time.

City went for it from the off.

A half chance fell to Phil Foden on 54 minutes, but he scuffed a side-footer, and then Haaland smacked the angle of post and crossbar with Onana well beaten.

City then replace De Bruyne with Julian Alvarez on 57 minutes.

This tactic by City, necessary in order to get back in the game, will afford United the chance to counter-attack.

Onana then produced a sensational save from a long-range effort from Kyle Walker as the Blue pressure built-up.

Alvarez was next to try his lick but his left-footed curler was too high.

Onana was punching his fist in delight on 65 minutes as Alvarez latched on to a defence -splitter, but his left-footed slid wide of goal, prompting the goalkeeper's delight.

On the rare occasion of a Red attack, such as on 67 minutes, Ortega parried away a Garnacho piledriver for a corner.

United took off Martinez for Jonny Evans along with Rashford who was replaced by Rasmus Hojlund – both on 74 minutes.

With five minutes left on the clock, Doku cut in from the left, tried his luck with a low, right-footed drive and it somehow eluded Onana at his near post and hit the back of the net to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

The Blues fans were trying to suck the ball in the net as the Reds stuck their thumbs in their mouths like babies in fear of a leveller.

Seven minutes were put on the cock.

United opted to bring on Victor Lindelof and Mason Mount in an attempt to disrupt City's pressing.

Off went Garnacho and Scott McTominay.

.

Teams: City: Ortega, Walker, Stones, Ake, Kovacic, Haaland, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Gvardiol, Foden

Subs: Carson, Dias, Grealish Doku, Alvarez, Akanji, Nunes, Bobb, Lewis

United: Onana Amrabat, Martinez, Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho, Varane, Dalot, Wan-Bissaka, Mainoo, McTominay

Subs: Bayindir, Lindelof, Mount, Hojlund, Eriksen, Diallo, Casemiro, Antony, Evans

Referee: Andrew Madley


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