One more to go after two down. A historic treble is currently 90 minutes away for Manchester City. They took a significant step toward their place in history by winning the FA Cup final against Manchester United in under 12 seconds.
The City captain’s second goal, a weak effort from outside the 18-yard box that United goalkeeper David de Gea should have saved, was enough to defeat Erik Ten Hag’s team for a 2-1 victory, leaving Pep Guardiola’s team needing to defeat Inter Milan in next Saturday’s Champions League final to become only the second English team to win the treble. Bruno Fernandes’ first-half penalty offset Ilkay Gundogan’s opening goal, which was the fastest in FA Cup final history at 12 seconds.
The red side of Manchester failed to preserve their forefathers’ brilliant history despite the challenge—the requirement—to be an obstacle in the city’s path to matching their singular triumph.
Little more than “hit and hope” could be said about United’s strategy. They tried it, with the occasional long-range shot, but that strategy can never be successful against the City team.
In order to defeat City in Istanbul the following week, Inter will need a better game plan and better players. However, much as the Premier League trophy and FA Cup have been this season, the European Cup appears to be draped in sky-blue ribbons, which already seems inevitable.
“We can now talk about the treble,” Guardiola remarked following the game. “We still have to win the Champions League, but we did such a great job for our city and our supporters. “We are in a position that we will probably never be in again.”
There are several factors contributing to that feeling, including Guardiola, striker Erling Haaland (who was notably quiet at Wembley), and the power of the midfield given by Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, and Rodri. But the plain fact is that City knows how to win, regardless of who is in front of them or what task they present.
Want to challenge the city? If you do, you risk being destroyed like Real Madrid was in last month’s 4-0 defeat in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. It’s possible that you sit back and try to frustrate, but it simply encourages the city to launch wave after wave of assaults, rushing past opponents and crushing them.
With the title already locked up and Guardiola resting key players in front of the FA Cup and Champions League finals, City has only lost once in their last 27 games, a 1-0 loss at Brentford on the last day of the Premier League season.
They are a team in unmatched form and have not only defeated all of their competitors but also handed several of them severe losses. Good luck to Inter, as Arsenal, Liverpool, and Madrid have all recently given up four goals to City.
The city is currently so far ahead of the pack that it is up to the pursuers to figure out a means to capture them. City is the only team now finding a way, and you anticipate them to do so against Inter the next week.
The past beckons. Yes, it has been done before, but City’s joy at completing the treble while also preventing United from ever claiming it as their own makes it even sweeter.