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FA Cup

A look at some of the stats ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby FA Cup final



Manchester City take on rivals Manchester United in the 2023 FA Cup Final, and ahead of the showpiece, here are some of the key statistics  and facts compiled by Opta

● This is the first ever major final between Manchester City and Manchester United.

● United have won five of their last six FA Cup meetings with City, most recently a 3-2 away win in January 2012. The only exception in that run was a semi-final victory for Man City in 2010-11.

● This will be the third meeting between City and United at Wembley Stadium, with the other two both coming in 2011. The Citizens won an FA Cup semi-final tie 1-0, while the Red Devils won 3-2 in the Community Shield.● This is City’s 12th FA Cup final, winning six and losing five of the previous eleven. They’ve alternated between losing and winning in their last four, most recently beating Watford 6-0 in 2019.

● United are contesting their 21st FA Cup Final, the joint-most of any side in the history of the competition along with Arsenal. They’ve won the trophy 12 times, with their eight final defeats the joint-most of any side along with Chelsea and Everton.

● Following their Premier League title win, City could win the league and FA Cup double for the second time in their history, after 2018-19. They would be the third team to do so on more than occasion after Manchester United (1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99) and Arsenal (1970-71, 1997-98, 2001-02).

● Having already won the League Cup against Newcastle this season, Manchester United are looking to win both major domestic cup competitions in a single season for the first time. They would be the fifth different side overall to achieve this, after Arsenal (1992-93), Liverpool (2000-01 and 2021-22), Chelsea (2006-07) and Manchester City (2018-19).

● City are yet to concede a goal in this season’s FA Cup. In the Football League era (since 1888-89), only two teams have won the trophy without conceding a goal – Preston North End in 1889 and Bury in 1903.

● City are the highest scorers in this season’s FA Cup (first round onwards) with 17 goals. The last team to score more in a single campaign were the Citizens themselves, netting 26 en-route to lifting the trophy in 2019.

● Having won 3-1 in each round from the third to the quarter-final in this season’s FA Cup, United reached the final by beating Brighton on penalties after a 0-0 draw. No team has ever been involved in a shootout in both the semi-final and final within the same FA Cup campaign before.

● United boss Erik ten Hag will be the fourth different Dutch manager to take charge of a team in an FA Cup Final, after Ruud Gullit (W1 L1), Guus Hiddink (W1) and Louis van Gaal (W1).

● Spanish managers have won the FA Cup on four occasions – Rafael Benítez with Liverpool in 2006, Roberto Martínez with Wigan in 2013, Mikel Arteta with Arsenal in 2020 and City’s Pep Guardiola in 2019. The only Spanish manager to lose an FA Cup final was Javier Gracia with Watford, who lost to compatriot Guardiola in 2019.

● In their 3-0 semi-final win over Sheffield United, Riyad Mahrez became the first Manchester City player to score a hat-trick at Wembley Stadium. Overall he’s scored four times at Wembley for City, with only Sergio Agüero netting more for the Citizens at the ground (6).

● Marcus Rashford and Casemiro were on target for Manchester United in their League Cup final win against Newcastle. There have been five players to score in both major domestic cup finals for the Red Devils – Norman Whiteside, Mark Hughes, Brian McClair, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesse Lingard.

● Erling Haaland has scored 52 goals in all competitions for Manchester City so far this season – he could become the first ever Norwegian player to score in the FA Cup Final.

● Kevin De Bruyne is the only Manchester City player who scored in their 6-0 FA Cup final victory over Watford in 2019 still at the club. He could become the second player to score in two different FA Cup Finals for the club, after Bobby Johnstone (1955 and 1956).

● Since his FA Cup debut for the club in 2019, Riyad Mahrez has scored more goals in the competition proper than any other player (11). He’s scored five so far this season – the last time a City player scored more in a single season was in 1933-34 (Fred Tilson, 9).


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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FA Cup

FA Cup win could be glorious United farewell for Ten Hag



FA Cup - Final - Manchester City v Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - May 25, 2024 Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes and manager Erik ten Hag celebrate with the trophy after winning the FA Cup Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridg

If Manchester United’s thrilling and surprise FA Cup victory over Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday was manager Erik ten Hag’s final game as their manager, then what a send-off it was.

Teenagers Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo scored to lead United to a 2-1 upset of the holders and Premier League champions as speculation swirled about Ten Hag’s future.

Although the 54-year-old Dutchman told ITV he had no doubt he would be back and has said he has received the backing of the club’s owners all season, he was less confident in his post-game press conference.

“I don’t think about this,” Ten Hag said when asked about his future. “I’m in a project and we are exactly where we want to be. We’re constructing a team. When I took over it was a mess at United, and we are on our way to construct a team for the future.

“The team is developing, the team is winning and the team also plays to an identity. What you need to play is to be available, you need a strong squad in top football, and especially when you play in England, the Premier League is so competitive.”


Garnacho and Mainoo were two of United’s bright sparks in a disappointing season in which they finished a worst-ever eighth in the Premier League era.

The 19-year-olds were in fine form at a sun-drenched Wembley and after the final whistle defender Lisandro Martinez hoisted a grinning Ten Hag into the air to celebrate.

“We are delighted for the manager,” midfielder Scott McTominay said.


Ten Hag, who kissed the trophy before lifting it in front of the United fans, became the first manager to beat Pep Guardiola’s City in a major domestic final and ended their 35-game unbeaten run in open play.

“It is a glorious feeling to win the FA Cup final at Wembley,” said United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe.


“Manchester United clearly were not the favourites to win today but they played with total commitment and skill and overcame one of the great teams in football. We are all very proud of the players and the staff who work tirelessly to support them.”

In Ten Hag’s two seasons in charge, United have played in three Wembley finals and lifted two trophies (they won last season’s League Cup). If sacking after such a positive finale seems implausible, however, there is precedent.

Louis Van Gaal was fired two days after United’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Crystal Palace in 2016 after the team finished fifth in the Premier League.

“We have to keep going, and I’m not satisfied with it, we have to do better and if they don’t want me anymore, then I go anywhere else to win trophies, because that is what I did my whole career,” Ten Hag said. “That is what they always tell me.”

Guardiola had kind words for United’s manager.


“(United) have to take a decision. So, I don’t know but of course he’s a lovely person, an extraordinary manager,” Guardiola said.

Ten Hag’s press conference ended abruptly when a reporter pointed out that eighth in the Premier League was not good enough for United.

“Sorry to say this, but you don’t have any knowledge about football, about managing a football team,” Ten Hag said. “When you don’t have the players available, then you can’t perform, so simple as that.

“And if that is the opinion, it is no problem. Then I go anywhere else and I go and keep winning trophies.”



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FA Cup

Erik ten Hag now finds his voice, “you can’t sack me, he tells Man United



Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has issued a defiant response in the wake of reports claiming that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the club hierarchy have already decided to sack him.

According to UK publication, Mirror, Erik ten Hag has warned the Manchester United hierarchy he will ‘go and win trophies somewhere else’ if he isn’t wanted.

The Dutchman’s position is understood to be in major jeopardy after overseeing the club’s worst league campaign in over 30 years, although he did end the season with a flourish by beating Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

Reports on Friday, however, suggested that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the club’s top brass have already decided to replace the former Ajax chief – and that even winning the FA Cup would not be enough for Ten Hag to save his job.

But in the aftermath of United’s big win at Wembley, a defiant Ten Hag fired back when he was quizzed over the latest reports relating to his future.


Speaking in his post-match press conference, Ten Hag said of rumours the club will sack him: “If they don’t want me any more, I go somewhere else and win trophies, that’s what I’ve done my whole career.”

It’s been outlined this week that the club have been sounding out potential replacements for Ten Hag with other clubs, notably Chelsea, in the market for a new manager this summer.

Sky Sports claimed that former Manchester United  coach Kieran McKenna’s representatives have already held talks with the club after the Northern Irishman guided Ipswich Town to successive promotions.

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FA Cup

Against all odds, Man Utd win FA Cup



FA Cup - Final - Manchester City v Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - May 25, 2024 Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez and manager Erik ten Hag celebrate after winning the FA Cup REUTERS/Hannah Mcka

Manchester United have won the FA Cup after a 2-1 win against city rivals, Manchester City.

The two Manchester clubs have reached the final of England’s oldest cup competition again and City were hoping to retain the trophy after winning last year’s final.

Pep Guardiola’s side had won the last three meetings between City and United and the Reds approached the FA Cup final as underdogs again – but the game didn’t go as most predicted.

Against all odds, United claimed a stunning victory against City thanks to first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, which proved enough for the win.

United were outstanding and looked like a different team after a dismal season. Erik ten Hag’s tactics worked perfectly and City only started to threaten late in the second half.


Jeremy Doku provided City with a glimmer of hope in the dying moments of the match by finding the bottom corner, but it wasn’t enough and the Blues slumped to a defeat.

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