5 big talking points from Manchester Utd’s FA Cup final win over Man City

5 big talking points from Manchester Utd’s FA Cup final win over Man City

Festus Chuma 10:20 - 26.05.2024

Manchester United overcame odds to clinch the FA Cup ending a tough season on a high with key performances highlighted.

On Saturday, Manchester United shocked football fans by defeating Manchester City 2-1 in the FA Cup final denying their city rivals a consecutive double triumph. 

This unexpected victory at Wembley was not just a match-winner but a season-definer for United. 

Here are five key takeaways from the game that have football enthusiasts buzzing.

1. A silver lining in a troubled season

For United, this season has been one to forget with their worst-ever finish in the Premier League era, an early Champions League exit, and a Carabao Cup dismissal. 

However, the FA Cup win brought a glimmer of hope and redemption. Despite being the underdogs, United's resilience shone through, displaying a level of tenacity that had been missing throughout their tumultuous campaign. This performance could be a pivotal moment, possibly influencing Erik ten Hag’s future at the club.

2. Defensive duo’s dominance

The defensive partnership of Lisandro Martinez and Raphaël Varane was central to United's success. 

 Both defenders, having been plagued by injuries this season, demonstrated what could have been if they had remained fit. 

Their presence allowed United to transition smoothly from defense to attack, proving pivotal in their overall game strategy.

3. Academy graduates step up

The youthful zest of United’s academy graduates Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo was palpable.

 Garnacho exploited a defensive blunder to score, while Mainoo’s precise finish doubled United’s lead, stunning the City team. 

These young talents not only showcased their skill but also their critical impact in high-stakes matches, underscoring the importance of nurturing homegrown players.

4. Tactical triumph for Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag's tactical acumen was on full display as he outsmarted Pep Guardiola with a strategic masterclass. 

Employing a box midfield setup, United stifled City's playmakers, limiting their ability to penetrate the central areas.

 This setup not only curbed City’s fluid attacking style but also enhanced United’s counter-attacking threats, which were decisive in both goals.

5. City’s missed opportunities

Despite their dominance in possession and territory, City lacked the final cutting edge needed to alter the game's outcome. 

High-profile misses from Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, coupled with a lackluster overall attacking performance, left City ruing what might have been. 

Even a late goal from Jeremy Doku, which slipped past Andre Onana, was not enough to spark a comeback.

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