Man City 1-2 Manchester United: Erik ten Hag masterminds FA Cup triumph in possible swansong

United won the FA Cup on Saturday (Getty Images)
United won the FA Cup on Saturday (Getty Images)

Manchester United produced their best performance of the season at the perfect time to beat Manchester City and win the FA Cup.

Making amends for last season’s loss to their rivals at Wembley, Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo scored in the first half before a superb defensive display shut out a below-par City team to clinch the cup.

City appeared set to dominate proceedings in the opening stages, having almost four full minutes of uninterrupted possession as United chased shadows in the 25C heat at Wembley.

But they were unable to turn their time on the ball into chances, often guilty of poor decision-making in the final third and sloppy possession at the back.

Garnacho was a tireless runner down the right and made the most of hesitance in the City defence to nip in and score the opener. Beating the offside trap, he ran down a bouncing ball as Stefan Ortega and Josko Gvardiol got in a mix-up and allowed the young Portuguese to run through and slot home into an empty net.

Wembley erupted as Ten Hag stood motionless on the touchline. Reportedly destined for the sack no matter the result, the United manager perhaps knew not to get too excited. This was City after all.

Nine minutes later and he did allow himself a celebration as Mainoo was slipped in by a brilliant Bruno to put United firmly in the driving seat. Yes, this is City but not the City we often see.

Jeremy Doku was brought on at half-time and Julian Alvarez followed soon after, asked to stretch United. After Kyle Walker saw a blistering effort from 25 yards thwarted by a stunning Andre Onana save, Alvarez looked destined to score only to drag a shot from eight yards wide.

City kept ramping up the pressure but United were more than a match for the cross-city rivals. Wan-Bissaka was able to keep Doku largely quiet, beyond a late goal to set up a nervy injury time, and Jonny Evans came on for the cramp-stricken Lisandro Martinez to keep up and impressive rear-guard performance.