Player ratings as Red Devils triumph in FA Cup final


Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-1 on Saturday afternoon as they saved their season by lifting the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

The Red Devils got revenge for defeat to their local rivals in last season’s FA Cup final thanks to goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, with Jeremy Doku’s late strike unable to spark a dramatic comeback.

Man Utd secured their 13th FA Cup triumph and qualified for next season’s Europa League in what could be Erik ten Hag’s final game in charge of the Red Devils, with Man City missing out on a domestic double.

How the game unfolded

It took just a minute for Man City to threaten the Man Utd backline, with the Premier League champions feeling they should have been awarded an early spot kick. Lisandro Martinez made contact with Erling Haaland in the box following a cross, but referee Andy Madley and his VAR team decided not to intervene.

The pattern of the game was quickly established as Man City stroked the ball around effortlessly in front of a low Man Utd block, but it was Garnacho that produced the first shot on target during a rare foray forward from Erik ten Hag’s side.

While Man City continued to dominate, it was the Red Devils that took a surprise lead in the capital. Guardiola’s side were the masters of their own downfall as Josko Gvardiol headed the ball over his own goalkeeper following a long punt forward, leaving Garnacho to tap into an empty net after Stefan Ortega had rushed off his line.

It took Man Utd less than ten minutes to double their advantage against a stunned and disjointed Man City. Garnacho was at the heart of things yet again as he picked Bruno Fernandes out in the box and the Portuguese’s excellent pass found Mainoo in space, with the 19-year-old curling home from close range.

Man City came within a whisker of reducing the deficit ten minutes after the restart, Haaland wrapping his foot around Jeremy Doku’s pass and rattling the crossbar. Kyle Walker was next to fire at Andre Onana’s goal with a venomous long-range effort, but the Man Utd stopper matched it with a strong palm.

The Citzyens began to flex their attacking muscles as the game wore on and substitute Julian Alvarez was next to concern the Man Utd defence. The World Cup winner was sent through on goal but scuffed a tame effort wide of Onana’s far post with the goal gaping.

Just as the hopes and dreams of Man City fans began to fade, Doku brought them back to life. The winger cut inside and rifled an effort at Onana’s near post, with the Cameroonian unable to keep out what should have been a fairly routine effort.

However, Man Utd held on for a famous victory despite some late pressure, and they were good value for a memorable FA Cup final victory against their fierce foes.

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Gvardiol and Ortega gifted Man Utd the opener / JUSTIN TALLIS/GettyImages

GK: Stefan Ortega – 3/10 – The goalkeeper came rushing out into no man’s land for Garnacho’s first-half effort, an unwise and ultimately costly decision.

RB: Kyle Walker – 5/10 – Used his acceleration to stifle Marcus Rashford on several occasions early doors but failed to pick up Mainoo for Man Utd’s second goal. Almost produced a stunner to get Man City back in the game.

CB: John Stones – 5/10 – Not the return to the starting lineup he would have wanted, failing to lead a disorganised backline.

CB: Nathan Ake – 5/10 – Not his best display by any means but wasn’t directly culpable for either of Man Utd’s first-half efforts. Withdrawn at the break.

LB: Josko Gvardiol – 4/10 – An enormous gaffe handed Man Utd the lead, with Gvardiol’s header gifting Garnacho the opener. Struggled all afternoon up against the tricky Argentine.

DM: Rodri – 6/10 – The Spaniard didn’t have to do an awful lot in midfield as Man Utd often bypassed him with some direct passes. Couldn’t produce one of his trademark clutch strikes.

DM: Mateo Kovacic – 5/10 – Made a bright start as he attempted to weave his way through a tightly-packed Man Utd midfield, but was hooked at half-time as things fell apart for Man City.

RM: Bernardo Silva – 5/10 – A quiet and blunt display from the Portuguese, who got no change out of his compatriot Diogo Dalot.

AM: Kevin De Bruyne – 4/10 – Taken off before the hour mark and he can have zero complaints. Looked lethargic in possession and was wayward with his passing throughout.

LM: Phil Foden – 6/10 – The brightest of Man City’s attacking players with some neat touches in and around the penalty area, but nowhere near his usual standards.

ST: Erling Haaland – 5/10 – Offered very little as Man City looked to break through a stubborn Man Utd defence, but did come within an inch of grabbing a goal when he struck the woodwork.

Substitutes

SUB: Manuel Akanji (46′ for Ake) – 6/10 – Man City certainly looked more solid after his introduction, although that wasn’t hard to achieve.

SUB: Jeremy Doku (46′ for Kovacic) – 8/10 – Brought some chaos and energy to Man City in the final third, pulling one back late on.

SUB: Julian Alvarez (56′ for De Bruyne) – 5/10

Subs not used: Scott Carson (GK), Ruben Dias, Rico Lewis, Matheus Nunes, Oscar Bobb, Jack Grealish.

Manager

Pep Guardiola – 5/10 – An uncharacteristically woeful display from his side, with his substitutes unable to change the flow of the game.

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Fernandes set Mainoo up with a brilliant pass / JUSTIN TALLIS/GettyImages

GK: Andre Onana – 5/10 – Not always convincing in his penalty area or with his feet. Should have done much better with Doku’s late effort.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7/10 – Typically combative in the challenge, standing up to the test of Foden in the first half. Found life tougher against Doku, but coped relatively well.

CB: Raphael Varane – 9/10 – Made some crucial interventions to deny Man City’s forwards and was a magnet to crosses in the box. A heroic final display in a red shirt.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – 8/10 – What could have been had Martinez been fit all season? A brilliant outing from the Argentine, who stood up to everything thrown his way with little fuss.

LB: Diogo Dalot – 8/10 – One of Man Utd’s stronger performers this season, Dalot showed his quality in both halves. A tireless display from the Portuguese full-back.

DM: Sofyan Amrabat – 7/10 – Another Man Utd man playing his final game for the club, Amrabat saved his best performance for his last show. Offered the defence the kind of protection they have been lacking this season.

DM: Kobbie Mainoo – 9/10 – Showed great composure to double his side’s advantage after a lung-busting run beyond the forward line. Another mature and decisive display.

RM: Alejandro Garnacho – 8/10 – At the heart of everything positive for Man Utd, applying pressure to force the opener and helping set up Mainoo’s strike. A thorn in Man City’s side throughout with his mazy runs in the final third.

AM: Scott McTominay – 6/10 – Not quite as involved as his attacking teammates but did a strong defensive job, while also relieving some pressure when on the ball.

LM: Marcus Rashford – 7/10 – His pace kept Man City’s backline incredibly honest, even if he couldn’t always get on the end of long balls up the pitch.

ST: Bruno Fernandes – 8/10 – Led the press in key moments and produced one of the passes of the season to cutely set up Mainoo in the first half – all while in a slightly unfamiliar role.

Substitutes

SUB: Jonny Evans (73′ for Martinez) – 7/10

SUB: Rasmus Hojlund (73′ for Rashford) – 6/10

SUB: Victor Lindelof (90′ for Garnacho) – N/A

SUB: Mason Mount (90′ for McTominay) – N/A

Subs not used: Altay Bayindir (GK), Willy Kambwala, Christian Eriksen, Amad Diallo, Antony.

Manager

Erik ten Hag – 9/10 – If it is to be the Dutchman’s final game in charge, what a way to bow out. The tactics he employed stifled Man City in the final third, with his side looking menacing on the break themselves.

Player of the match – Kobbie Mainoo (Man Utd)

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