Manchester United stun Premier League champs Man City, win FA Cup for 13th time

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London, May 25 (IANS) English giants Manchester United stunned four-time Premier League winner Manchester City 2-1 in the final of the FA Cup to win the prestigious title for the 13th time at Wembley Stadium on Saturday. Manchester United emerged winner and will now enter the Europa League next season, as a reward for winning English football's most famous knockout competition for the first time since 2016.

First-half goals from two United Academy graduates, Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, in the 30th and 39th minutes respectively put the Reds in control of the showpiece occasion.

Although City substitute Jeremy Doku pulled one goal back for the Premier League champions in the 87th minute United could not be denied and went on to win the title.

Pep Guardiola’s men, who were eyeing what would have been a historic back-to-back double, dominated the second half with Erling Haaland hitting the bar and Kyle Walker denied by a stunning save from Andre Onana.

Substitute Jeremy Doku, who made a superb impact, then deservedly struck six minutes from time to set up a grandstand finish.

But Erik ten Hag's men defended valiantly through the remainder of the game to see out a triumph that some pundits had thought unlikely in the build-up.

City came into the game seeking to make more history, while United were trying to secure a tangible reward for a disappointing season. If anything, the pre-match atmosphere and build-up were even more loud and passionate than 12 months ago as these two age-old rivals locked horns on the biggest stage once again.

There may have been no 12-second goal drama this time around, unlike Ilkay Gundogan’s stunning opener in 2023, but just as 12 months ago there was a frantic action-packed start.

First Kyle Walker needed to be aware that Erling Haaland was sent flying in the box through a challenge by Lisandro Martinez but referee Andrew Madley adjudged no foul with VAR upholding that view. While the victory brought Manchester United a 13th FA Cup title, it also seems to have revived the tenure of manager Erik ten Hag, who was being considered a "dead man walking" by many analysts.

He may now get to lead the club in the next season, at least for the first few months of the new season and in the Europa Cup.