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Match Report and Player Ratings: Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United (FA Cup Final)



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Manchester City fell to a 1-2 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, ending their 2023/24 campaign with a loss against one of their biggest rivals.

Just one week after winning a historic fourth Premier League title in a row, Pep Guardiola’s men squared off against an Erik Ten Hag-led Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, but looked far from the team that ultimately took the pitch.

A slow and careless first-half, coupled with limited attacks in the second, left the English top-flight champions defeated in London. 

Erling Haaland complained about a shove in the back from Lisandro Martinez in the opening minute but was denied a penalty. After a quiet spell of almost 10 minutes, United strung together organised attacks of their own and kept City at bay with a high press. 

The Premier League Champions appeared too nonchalant in the back, tempting their opponents to take more risks. As the game would have it, Manchester City would soon be punished for their carelessness in the defence. 

Josko Gvardiol headed a back-pass toward Stefan Ortega, unaware that the goalkeeper had already left his spot. The ball fell over the top o the German, landing in the path of a charging Alejandro Garnacho, who rolled it into the back of an empty net. 

Garnacho and Marcus Rashford would then combine to find Bruno Fernandes unguarded inside the 18-yard box, who in turn threaded the ball to Kobbie Mainoo, who scored past Ortega to earn United their second goal.

The first-half performance prompted two half-time substitutions as Pep Guardiola withdrew Nathan Ake and Mateo Kovacic, as Manuel Akanji stepped into defence, allowing John Stones to move into midfield. Jeremy Doku’s introduction breathed new fire into City’s attack.

Erling Haaland was denied twice in front of goal – once by the crossbar and another by Andre Onana’s save – while additional attempts from Julian Alvarez, Phil Foden and Kyle Walker met the same fate at the hands of the United goalkeeper.

An electric run from Jeremy Doku pulled a goal back late in the game, slotting the ball past Onana into the bottom corner to keep his team alive. Although, it was too little too late from the now-former holders of the competition.

Manchester United have stopped City from becoming the first side to win the Premier League and FA Cup back-to-back, while the loss also meant that Rodri’s 74-game unbeaten streak came to a devastating end under the Wembley arch.

That result also drew the curtain on Manchester City’s 2023/24 season, which saw them fall short of their goal of winning a historic domestic double. However, they still remain the only English side to have won the Premier League in four successive seasons.

Here is how we rated the individual performances of the Manchester City side on Saturday afternoon!

Player Ratings

Stefan Ortega – 5

Somewhat of a blunder during the first goal, albeit through miscommunication, and struggled with the second. Made careless passes in the first-half, but made a couple of good saves later on in the contest.

Kyle Walker – 6

Wrong passes almost cost an early goal, but he gained composure eventually. Poor awareness and tracking back for United’s second goal. Two good long-range strikes from the captain in the second half to overshadow a largely underwhelming performance.

John Stones – 5

Struggled in defence during the first half after not starting for so long, but should’ve still been better with holding the defensive line.

Nathan Ake – 6

Avoided a few mishaps but was ultimately caught by the opponents’ attack, and lacked the stability in the back.

Josko Gvardiol – 5

Too oblivious to the goalkeeper’s position for the first goal, reserved himself for defensive duties after the mistake.

Rodri – 6

Did not control the game as he usually does and gave away the ball cheaply at times.

Mateo Kovacic – 5.5

Did not help bring stability in the midfield. Often got pulled by defensive duties that left plenty of space up front, and almost gifted a goal.

Kevin De Bruyne – 5

Largely quiet in the first half, with negligible impact aside from a couple of signature close-range shots taken poorly.

Bernardo Silva – 5

The semi-final hero looked far from his best, uncharacteristic bad passes and shots added to the misery.

Phil Foden – 5

Could not get into the right rhythm despite attempts to drive the attacks forward, and lacked his usual creativity.

Erling Haaland – 5

Limited attempts saw him make something out of the attacks upfront, but the team struggled to find him up high.


Manuel Akanji – 6

Settled quickly into the defence, held his ground when tested by the opposing team.

Jeremy Doku – 7.5

Arguably the liveliest in Manchester City’s attack and the most impactful player despite coming off the bench. Scored a late goal tearing past the Manchester United defence.

Julian Alvarez – 6

Created space upfront to solve his team’s biggest problem before arrival, but struggled to finish well.