Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United: Perfect time to sack Erik ten Hag

manchester city 1-2 manchester united: perfect time to sack erik ten hag

Marcus-Rashford-Kobbie-Mainoo-Manchester-United

Erik ten Hag made light of speculation regarding his future by engineering an excellent Manchester United performance to win the FA Cup at Wembley.

Ten Hag has been dogged by rumours surrounding his position as Manchester United manager this week, with it reported that ‘even winning the Cup would not save’ him from the sack after a dreadful season in the Premier League and Champions League.

But much like compatriot Louis van Gaal in 2016, Ten Hag seems likely to bow out with silverware secured in his final match.

Manchester City were overwhelming favourites but looked off the pace throughout, falling behind to Alejandro Garnacho after a terrible defensive mix-up between Josko Gvardiol and Stefan Ortega.

Manchester United doubled that lead nine minutes later with a sensational team move, culminating in a stunning Bruno Fernandes pass for Kobbie Mainoo to finish.

Pep Guardiola’s champions struggled to muster a response, with a double substitution at half-time and Kevin de Bruyne’s removal after 56 minutes underlining how their tactical plan had backfired.

Jeremy Doku, one of the players introduced at the break, set up a grandstand finish with a fine goal from outside the area, but Manchester United held on across seven minutes of stoppage-time to secure the trophy – and Europa League football next season with it.

It is the Red Devils boss’ second piece of silverware in as many seasons, but time will tell whether the trophy and Europa League qualification satisfies ambitious Ineos after limping home eighth in the league.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe was joined by Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer at Wembley, where United’s co-owners could not fail to have been impressed by Ten Hag’s game plan and his side’s output.

Most predicted City would become the first English side to win back-to-back domestic doubles fresh from sealing an unprecedented fourth straight top-flight title, but there appeared to be a hangover.

United, by contrast, were well-drilled and determined from the outset, with Garnacho capitalising on a defensive error to put Ten Hag’s side into a shock lead on the half-hour mark.

Mainoo coolly extended their advantage at the end of a fine team move before half-time, which City responded to strongly as Erling Haaland hit the bar during a period of pressure.

MORE ON THE MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER SITUATION

Euro giants ‘convinced’ manager has ‘secured’ Old Trafford job after talks ‘collapse’

Ten Hag reveals what he’s been ‘told directly’ as Red Devils ‘decide to sack’ manager

There was late tension as the otherwise impressive Andre Onana let in a late Doku strike but the Red Devils were not to be denied as they ended a poor, injury-hit campaign with a win for Ten Hag, who will be hoping to avoid being sacked after winning the FA Cup like Louis van Gaal was in 2016.

A year on from Ilkay Gundogan’s stunning strike inside seconds of kick-off to set City on their way to victory, a rocking Wembley witnessed another electric start.

This time Marcus Rashford saw a dangerous run behind halted, sparking a City break that ended with Haaland going down in the box under pressure from Lisandro Martinez.

No penalty was awarded and play quickly settled as United held their defensive shape as the holders passively bossed possession. Ten Hag’s men were also primed to press with intensity when required.

Pep Guardiola’s men were a shadow of the side that wrapped up the title last weekend and gifted their rivals a 30th-minute opener.

Diogo Dalot’s hopeful ball forwards caused problems and Josko Gvardiol headed over Stefan Ortega rather than back to his goalkeeper under pressure from Garnacho.

The 19-year-old gleefully turned the loose ball into an empty net then ran off in celebration in front of the dazed City faithful.

United fans erupted again in the 37th minute, but Rashford’s tap-in was ruled out for an offside in the build-up.

It was a warning shot that City failed to heed as the underdogs impressively found the net again two minutes later.

Garnacho collected Rashford’s cross-field ball to the right and played onto Bruno Fernandes, whose excellent first-time pass put in Mainoo to coolly beat Ortega.

It was a first half few saw coming and Doku was part of a double half-time alteration from City, with the fleet-footed substitute passing for Haaland to hit the bar in the 55th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne was replaced by Julian Alvarez soon after and Onana produced a fantastic save to deny City skipper Kyle Walker from distance as pressure mounted.

Alvarez blazed over and then soon slotted wide having been slipped through, but United emerged from that period with half-chances at the other end.

Tensions became frayed as Walker lost his cool with substituted Martinez and City players claimed a penalty by Mainoo on Haaland.

Onana stopped a low Walker drive as the clock wound down, but he will be disappointed to have let in Doku’s low 20-yard strike at his near post in the 87th minute.

The nerves were palpable but United held on for a win to cherish.

OTHER NEWS

18 minutes ago

Lindsey Vonn goes sailing with Team USA and joins grinder Anna Weis on the winches

21 minutes ago

Gavin Newsom Scores Tax Win in California

21 minutes ago

Bucking bull owners spend months caring for and training their bovines but few of them ever reach the rodeo arena

21 minutes ago

Sunak is dubbed ‘poundshop Farage’ during bruising LBC radio call-in

21 minutes ago

How “The Bikeriders” compares to the true story of the Chicago motorcycle club it was based on

21 minutes ago

Farage: NATO expansion 'provoked' Ukraine war

21 minutes ago

Man stabbed to death in NYC subway station during evening rush: NYPD

21 minutes ago

Rob Burrow's tearful dad, Geoff, shares emotional memories of his son in touching tribute before Leeds Rhinos' game against Leigh - after rugby legend's death aged 41

21 minutes ago

Juventus 'could offer Italy star to Man United in part-exchange for Jadon Sancho or Mason Greenwood' after agreeing similar swap deal for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz

21 minutes ago

England's T20 World Cup semi-final hopes hang in the balance after agonising defeat by South Africa...with Jos Buttler's side needing victory over USA on Sunday for a chance of making the last four

25 minutes ago

Donna Langley Preaches The Power Of Optimism & Meeting Consumers Where They Really Are To Ken Ziffren & UCLA

26 minutes ago

PFA chief claims England 'need to protect' Jude Bellingham after revealing the shocking statistics behind the Real Madrid star's career... and insists player welfare needs to be considered for the 'quality' of the sport

26 minutes ago

How 'food wars' have broken out between rival Euros fans from Albanians snapping pasta in front of Italians to Austrians breaking French baguettes... and a VERY rude Danish tea bag chant

27 minutes ago

Video: Katy Perry flashes her taut midriff and teases pink thong as she previews new song - amid Ozempic speculation

27 minutes ago

Video: The hottest ticket in town! Taylor Swift kicks off London leg of Eras Tour at sold-out Wembley with boyfriend Travis Kelce, celebs and politicians in attendance... but were Prince William and his kids also secretly in the crowd?

27 minutes ago

Video: Beauty and the Geek star mercilessly mocked over his dance moves live on air: 'You looked like you were in a top-load washing machine'

27 minutes ago

Clip of Taylor Swift waving to Travis Kelce as he sings along to 'So High School' at Wembley Eras Tour show goes viral: 'He looked so happy'

27 minutes ago

Brazilian prodigy Endrick looks to make major tournament debut at Copa America

27 minutes ago

Chaos at suburban shopping centre in Melbourne’s north after a shot was fired

27 minutes ago

What Is Botulism? Mass Poisoning Reported in Russia

27 minutes ago

Trump camp scrutinizes Arizona delegates in move to prevent disruptions at convention

27 minutes ago

Car Dealers Grapple With Dayslong Software Outage After CDK Cyberattack

27 minutes ago

Trump classified docs hearing and USC student not charged in fatal stabbing: Morning Rundown

27 minutes ago

Trump Posts About Cassidy Hutchinson, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Brad Raffensperger in Likely Bond Violation

27 minutes ago

Noose tightens around neck of ‘racist’ DA MP

27 minutes ago

Bernard Parker is yet to make a decision on his future as Galaxy offers him a coaching position

29 minutes ago

Coyotes slam cancellation of June 27 Arizona land auction

32 minutes ago

Suspended NRL star Taylan May has HUGE win in court that will prevent the Panthers from sacking him - for now

32 minutes ago

'Disappointed' King Charles is set to scale back his tour of Australia and cancel trip to New Zealand all together on doctor's orders as he continues his cancer recovery

32 minutes ago

Willie Nelson team announces he's 'not feeling well' as country icon, 91, sits out first shows of his Outlaw Music Fest Tour

32 minutes ago

Kirsten Dunst is beautiful in blue floral  dress as she stops to sign autographs in New York... after husband Jesse Plemons opened up about his dramatic weight loss

33 minutes ago

Cubs cut Ryne Sandberg's No. 23 into Wrigley Field grass ahead of statue unveiling

33 minutes ago

'I Am Not Suicidal': UFO Whistleblower Claims Threats to Himself and Family

33 minutes ago

Andrew Cogliano Has All the Makings of a Successful NHL Front-Office Career

33 minutes ago

Belgium vs Romania probable lineups - Euro 2024

35 minutes ago

Indiana girl, 14, located in Missouri after being kidnapped by 5 men: authorities

36 minutes ago

Townhome fire in Rutland neighbourhood of Kelowna

36 minutes ago

Sony Sets Wide November Release For Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Here’

38 minutes ago

Taylor Swift kicks off her London Eras Tour in style with Nicola Coughlan and Kier Starmer

38 minutes ago

Trump rejects Jack Smith's authority in classified documents case hearing