Manchester City vs Manchester United: What is Ilkay Gundogan’s prediction for the FA Cup final?

Last year, Manchester City defeated United 2-1 in the FA Cup final, thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s double.

File Photo - Ilkay Gundogan in action for Manchester City. Credit: Twitter/@Championsleague
By Karthik Raman | May 25, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The stage is set for a pulsating FA Cup final between the two Manchester rivals. For a second year running, these two sides will grace the pitch for the competition’s finale. Last year, Manchester City defeated United 2-1, thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s double. He scored the opener after just 13 seconds in that final with a spectacular strike. The German scored the winner at the start of the second half, as City went on to lift this trophy as part of a spectacular treble.

Ilkay Gundogan’s prediction

Ilkay Gundogan, who is with Barcelona currently, said that he will watch the FA Cup final, as he gave his prediction for the match. “Will I be watching? Absolutely. Barcelona play Sevilla the following evening. The fact that City can win the Double for the second time in a row is an incredible story. My guess is that City will take the momentum of the league title and beat United 2-0. The 2023 FA Cup final will always be high on the list of favourite moments, that’s for certain,” Gundogan, quoted on, said.

He added: “We created history by beating our biggest rivals in that iconic stadium to win one of the most prestigious trophies in world football. We obviously knew how important this game was for the fans, too, and that was definitely something we talked about before the game. As I say, to celebrate with our fans after the match is something that will stay with me forever. It was a very special day for all of us, but also exciting because we knew we had one final to go to create history.”

Gundogan then went down the memory lane as he relived the special moments from last year’s FA Cup final. “I have very fond memories of that day. After all, I scored the fastest final goal in FA Cup history to date as well as a second after half-time. The atmosphere at Wembley was outstanding. I still get goosebumps when I think on that day. I was under pressure from the front and the back, and the ball dropped perfectly onto my right foot,” he explained.

The midfielder added: “I had no other option, so to speak! You don’t score a goal like that every day, that’s for sure. The reaction still gives me pure goosebumps. It couldn’t have been a better to start a game like that. I ran to the corner flag and was cheered on by my teammates. The City fans on the other side of Wembley were making a lot of noise. You couldn’t miss it.”

Ilkay Gundogan on the winner last year

Following that early goal, Man City were expected to run away with the game. But credit to Man United for fighting back and scoring the equaliser from a Bruno Fernandes penalty midway through the first half. However, Gundogan’s second goal at the start of the second period proved to be enough to win the trophy for City. “At that moment, I just tried to hit the ball as best I could. My connection with my weaker left foot wasn’t even perfect, but the ball bounced so quickly through the penalty area and De Gea’s view was blocked,” he said of the second goal.

Gundogan added: “Kevin’s corner was of course also perfectly taken. Again, it was special because of the importance of the game and the goal came at a crucial moment for us. It probably wasn’t the best strike I have ever had with my left foot, but definitely one of the most important. Every final and every title won with City was special. Given my brace and the win against our Manchester rivals, I would definitely give this game in my top three career moments.”

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