Almanac Soccer: FA Cup Final 2024 – Man City v Man United

 

Manchester City v Manchester United 

 

The 2024 FA Cup was a highly anticipated encounter with the two biggest clubs from Manchester going at it again for the second time running in a game for arguably one of the most desired trophies in world football. Manchester City were fresh off winning the Premier League a week earlier. Manchester United had just ended what was possibly their worst ever League campaign, but knew if they won the Cup, European football would be back on the cards after they had only managed to finish eighth during the premiership.

 

 

First Half

United got off to an ideal start inside of half an hour when one of their brightest sparks in a somewhat depressing season found the opener. Diogo Dalot played a lofted ball over the Manchester City defence for Alejandro Garnacho to chase. Josko Grvardiol was always favourite to win the header against Garnacho, but what the Croatian defender didn’t realise was how far out his keeper Stefan Ortega was. His header was too high for the German goalie to catch and lobbed him, falling right into the path of Garnacho who tapped it into an uncontested net. Minutes later United made it 0-2 when Marcus Rashford’s switch ball from the left found Garnacho on the right wing. The Argentinian played it to Bruno Fernandes who found Kobbie Mainoo inside the penalty area with a neat first time pass. The English midfielder hit the ball first time and calmly placed it into the bottom right corner, doubling the Red Devils’ advantage. The first half finished 0-2 with Manchester City needing a big change if they were to spark a comeback.

 

 

Second Half

Ten minutes into the second period, City came so close to halving the deficit when their top scorer this season, Erling Haaland, rattled the upright. It came from a brilliant run down the left wing from Jeremy Doku who played a ball across the United penalty area. It wasn’t cleared and rolled all the way to the big Norwegian. Haaland leant back as he struck the ball and watched it rise to hit the underside of the crossbar. United could have been punished again in the 75th minute after Mainoo wrestled down Haaland in the penalty area. Referee Andy Madley thought there wasn’t enough contact in it though and let play continue, proving a controversial call. City finally found their first goal of the game, but it looked to have been too late, in the 87th minute. Phil Foden found Doku on the left side of the United penalty area with plenty of space. The Belgian cut around and drilled a shot at the goal. It crept in at the near post, with Andre Onana left embarrassed as he got a hand to it but the Cameroonian’s effort was too weak as the ball found the back of the net. The Red Devils were strong for the last three minutes plus stoppage time and they held out for a well deserved win.

Manchester United and Erik ten Hag picked up their second trophy in as many years, this one proving a season saver as they will now be playing Europa League football in the 2024/2025 season. The result also means Chelsea will be forced into playing in the Conference League and Newcastle miss out on all competitions. From City fans’ point of view, some will feel underwhelmed as they were not able to complete a domestic double, a big drop off after they won the treble last season. United fans will feel hopeful for next season though, ending things on a very high note. This game also proved there is still the ‘magic of the cup’, as United put on a stellar performance to claim their 13th ever FA Cup.

 

Ollie Wade is a Grade 11 student who dabbles in sports writing, He plays for the Barossa United Senior Men’s Team.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Barry Nicholls says

    Great match and aftermath analysis Ollie.

  2. Cheers Barry

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