Manchester City took another step towards completing a famous treble after beating fierce rivals Manchester United 2-1 in the 2023 FA Cup final, as Pep Guardiola maintained his 100% winning record in domestic cup finals whilst in charge of the Cityzens.
If there were any nerves in City’s camp ahead of the FA Cup’s first all-Manchester final, İlkay Gündoğan more than settled them inside just 13 seconds, when he planted a sumptuous volley into the top corner, duly beating Louis Saha’s existing record for the competition’s fastest goal in a final (25s) set in 2009.
The United goal then faced a slew of relentless pressure as City pushed for an early second, but for all their huff and puff, the English champions struggled to carve out clear-cut opportunities.
City were visibly rattled by that equaliser, and could count themselves lucky to head into the break on level terms, when Raphaël Varane spurned a glorious opportunity at the far post.
Much as they did in the first half, City flew out the traps early in the second.
Unfortunately for those Mancunians of a red persuasion, history did repeat itself soon after, with the German’s blockbuster 51st-minute strike on a half-volley sneaking low into the corner and sending City’s near 35,000-strong contingent behind the goal into raptures.
While some may question David de Gea’s role in City’s second, United had their stopper to thank for the game not being out of sight moments later as he rebuffed a fierce De Bruyne strike.