United to face City in first all-Manchester FA Cup final
The dream final of the FA Cup 2022/23 has become a reality as both Manchester United and Manchester City have advanced past the semifinals to face each other in the final match.
Before the FA Cup semifinals even took place, many fans were dreaming of a final match featuring both Manchester teams. Pep Guardiola’s team performed well in the first semifinal, crushing Sheffield United 3-0. Most recently, Manchester United also completed their task, but in a much harder-fought manner.
The “Red Devils” had to endure a grueling 120-minute battle against Brighton. Fairly speaking, De Zerbi’s squad played a great game and had superior ball possession compared to Manchester United. Ten Hag’s players had to defend deep at certain points in the game.
It’s a pity that Brighton’s strikers were wasteful in front of the goal. In addition, goalkeeper De Gea also had an excellent performance. On the side of MU, they also had moments that shook Brighton’s goal. However, Brighton’s goalkeeper Robert Sanchez also played just as well as his counterpart on the opposite side of the field.
After 120 minutes, neither team scored, so they had to enter a fateful penalty shoot-out. The two teams continued to match each other in each shot, and at the decisive moment, Brighton’s Solly March made a mistake while Lindelof was too cool when he released the shot to end the match.
This is the first time in MU’s history that they have won in a penalty shoot-out in the FA Cup. This is also the first time MU has won thanks to penalty kicks since 2019. This is also the 21st time MU has reached the FA Cup final, equaling Arsenal’s record. Their opponent in the final will be their neighbor, Man City.
The FA Cup final will take place on June 3, while the Premier League ends on May 28. Pep Guardiola’s team is, of course, favored over their local rivals, possessing top-class stars like Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.
Man City still has a chance to win three titles this season, as they are still in the race for the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League. Currently, Man City is in a strong position to surpass Arsenal in the standings and has made it to the Champions League semifinals.
Therefore, the FA Cup final will be a chance for Ten Hag’s team to block their local rivals’ treble. This is not an easy task, but it is not impossible for the team playing at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, MU is aiming for their second title in the first season under the leadership of coach Erik Ten Hag, after winning 2-0 against Newcastle to clinch the League Cup.
After helping his team secure a spot in this year’s FA Cup final against Man City by defeating Brighton, goalkeeper David De Gea shared with BBC Sport: “There is still a long time to wait for the final, but I’m sure it will be a big match against one of the best teams in Europe, in the world.”
“When we faced them at Old Trafford, we showed that we can beat them. There is still a long way to go until the final, but we have to focus on finishing in the top four of the Premier League before we think about the FA Cup final.”
After today, Man United will shift their focus to the Premier League top-four race. The FA Cup final will take place in early June, giving the Red Devils plenty of time to prepare, particularly in terms of squad recovery.
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