It’s a beautiful photo that adorns an entire wall at Manchester City’s headquarters. In the middle of old Wembley, King George V of England greets City footballers one by one before the 1934 FA Cup final, accompanied by Sam Cowan, the captain of the citizens, who tells him the names of each of your classmates. As it is the most popular competition, the real jewel in the crown, it was customary for the British monarch to attend the final in the cathedral and present the cup to the winner. The closing of a tournament featuring 732 teams, many of them amateurs, which usually pits giants like Liverpool or Arsenal against lowly fifth-tier clubs. Division.
No one runs with a commissary horse, they are all the same. For referees, Charlton Athletic is the same as Chelsea, Hereford is the same as Tottenham. And if we are talking about the final of the Cup, the oldest tournament of this sport in the world (started in 1871), the event is unavoidable for universal consumers of football. No one is indifferent to the charm of the Premier League. And on this occasion less: the first time that two beauties from Manchester collided in the final instance.
Only 12 seconds remained when the ball crossed the line and became a Manchester City goal. If someone was still settling into the seat, they missed it. An impressive start to the FA Cup final. There were still 102 minutes left, but there the sky blues began to establish supremacy and feel like champions. It is almost impossible to turn the score around Guardiola’s team. It was a long ball from goalkeeper Ortega, Haaland dropped it headlong, Lindelof was deflected high and as soon as it came Gundogan kicked it into the corner.
In the 31st year, in the most unexpected way, the Red Devils equalized. An unpromising header grazed Grealish’s finger on his left hand which, detected under the VAR microscope, led to a penalty. Grealish could have said “it wasn’t me, it was my hand”. If there was no hand, the nail was driven by the referee. Bruno Fernandes finished 1-1. But in the 51st minute, the Turkish-German Gundogan made things right: another high ball came to him, again from the first, with his left foot and went in lightly, before De Gea’s stretch in slow motion: 2 -1 and there was a feeling that Colorado they didn’t raise more.
Erik ten Hag, who had an outstanding first season at United (club record 67% efficiency), took time to bring out Sancho, who was absent once again, and took a century to bring on Garnacha, a hot pepper who within minutes he complicated the whole city with his starts and speed. City were dominant, they won well, although this time they didn’t have an extra card. Ten Hag knows how to play Guardiola, because they coincided in Bayern: the Dutchman led the youth, and Pep the First League.
You could see small drops of Haaland, he was handled well by the opposing defenders. The giant had an exceptional season (52 goals in 52 games), but in the last month he seems to be having fun. Not on purpose. Outstanding, for the double, was Gundogan, although Stones also stood out, Guardiola’s last experiment. He was a defender for 12 years until a few months ago Pep brought him forward in midfield and his game became clearer.
It was not the match of all time, but it gave the category of duels that gather 90,000 spectators. Forty-five thousand on each side returning 200 kilometers to Manchester, sharing road, train, plane…
Guardiola’s crazy jumps in celebration of goals, his tears at the award show his delight at winning the stands. He only needs the Champions League on Saturday to finish. This was Pep’s 34th title in 14 years of coaching. And 13 wins with City. Their fans are undoubtedly the luckiest in the world. After vegetating for almost a century, with occasional luck and numerous falls and disappointments, watching their neighbors United win trophies in a big way, one day the bell rang and they were gentlemen in turbans. We are from the United Arab Emirates… we want to buy a club. Of course, sit down… They winked at each other. The gentlemen carried a trunk of millions to sign players; then they approached Pep Guardiola. With him, happiness is complete, titles sprouted like mushrooms.
The Contras – a large army – will again say that City wins because of the petrodollars and the stars it hires, and that the others, poor people, can’t do anything. But it happens that at the beginning of the season, City spent 150 million euros on players and sold for 186, and United invested 238 million and transferred for 9.4. Big margin in favor of United. The same thing happens with the belief that City is rich and United, Bayern, Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus are poor. Manchester United is owned by the American Glazer family, a diverse empire in the entertainment industry. Adidas, Audi and Allianz are part of Bayern. They are all powerful. Moral: Guardiola has the same number of figures as the other big white dogs in Europe, the better one simply wins.
The forecasts have come true. The bookmaker paid 1.56 for an incredible win, and 5.80 for red. City should have signed a flawless record in the tournament: they played 6, won 6, scored 19 goals and scored one, that penalty. On Saturday, it has its last stop at Istanbul station. The Champions League awaits us there. (OR)
Tristin is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his in-depth and engaging writing on sports. He currently works as a writer at 247 News Agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the sports industry.