FA Cup final: Man City have set the standard, it’s down to Man Utd to catch up – Alan Shearer

Manchester United and the rest must catch up because Manchester City is currently setting the bar.

The distance between City and Erik ten Hag’s side feels particularly wide right now. They did well to hold on in the Saturday’s FA Cup final when they were trailing 1-0 before coming back to tie the score. However, the strongest team ultimately prevailed.

City had more control, more opportunities, and better players. They thoroughly deserved their 2-1 victory at Wembley, and they could have and should have won by a larger margin.
Yes, United gave them everything in the closing moments of the game, but for the most bulk of it, they were just not allowed to do anything because of the way City play.

due of the manner in which City plays.
When Pep Guardiola’s team has possession, they pass you to death, leaving you worn out when you receive the ball back. However, they press so hard for the first five or six seconds that it is quite challenging for teams to utilise it successfully.

As a result, none of United’s star players, including Marcus Rashford, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Jadon Sancho, and Bruno Fernandes, performed well on Saturday.

However, United was dominated, so it’s not like they could have changed anything given the personnel they had. Despite their best efforts, they simply lacked the depth and skill to change the game while they were pursuing it.

With 30 minutes left, Alejandro Garnacho injected a little spark, but Ten Hag’s alternatives felt limited, especially as compared to City’s replacements. United’s only serious option on the bench when they needed a goal late was Wout Weghorst.

United must invest heavily to compete once more.

United lacked the magic they needed, whether it was a spectacular skill to crack open City’s defense or the capability to cap it off with a superb finish.

It was a bad day for them, but their loss should not be used as justification for everything they have accomplished this season, which includes winning the Carabao Cup and placing third to advance to the Champions League.

They’ve come a long way since losing their first two league games of the year, but it’s also clear how much more they need to do to catch up to City.

Although United ultimately trailed the champions by 14 points, the gap seemed wider. In terms of the score, they came close to challenging City for the Premier League championship in this one-off game, but they are still a long way from doing so.

If they want to once again be serious contenders, they must spend, and spend big. To make that happen, in my opinion, they should probably bring in three or four heavyweights.

They also need to budget their money well, which hasn’t always been the case in recent years. Ten Hag stated during the Cup final that he has a plan to enhance his team but that he needs certain players that fit his playing style.

The act of signing them won’t be, It clearly depends on how much United can spend, and that is influenced by what happens with the Old Trafford ownership issue, which is currently somewhat unclear.

To relieve some of the strain off Marcus Rashford, who has had a fantastic season with his 30 goals across all competitions, United unquestionably needs a top-tier center-forward.

Their next-highest scorer, Bruno Fernandes, had 14 goals, but he was the only other player to score in double digits in 2022–2023. Weghorst only discovered the net twice after arriving in January.

It’s simple to say that they should just spend a fortune on Harry Kane to fix that specific issue, but we just don’t know if such transfer is feasible or not.

However, if Kane wants to move to that team and Tottenham is prepared to sell, then United should look into signing him along with individuals like Declan Rice of West Ham.

Those should be the calibre of the signings United are trying to bring in, to take them to the next level.
Ten Hag has a lot to think about though, right through his side.

I don’t know if a new goalkeeper is a priority but we saw David de Gea make another costly mistake at Wembley – he really should have saved Ilkay Gundogan’s winner.

I am no goalkeeping expert but I was sitting next to Peter Schmeichel, who is one of the very best around, and he said De Gea should have kept it out.

Although De Gea has not been in great form this season and will be a free agent in the summer, it’s possible that Ten Hag would decide to reinforce other positions before De Gea in order to give him a new contract.

  • FA Cup final: Man City have set the standard, it’s down to Man Utd to catch up – Alan Shearer

City needs one more victory to become immortal.
The city continues to go forward. Next up is the Champions League final after the Premier League championship and FA Cup.

They are one victory away from achieving immortality, and they won’t ever have a better opportunity to win the Triple than on Saturday in Istanbul.

This would elevate the group to legendary status and place them on par with those Manchester United players from 1999.

They will succeed as well, in my opinion, since I anticipate their superiority versus Inter Milan.

City has a plethora of exceptional players, but Guardiola is undoubtedly the driving force behind it all. They will be challenging to stop while he is there.

I’ve been discussing how United can get stronger, but there are rumors that City could lose two of its players this summer, with Bernardo Silva and Gundogan’s futures both in question.

They are both excellent players, but even if they both leave, I don’t think it would greatly affect City the following year.

The issue for United and everyone else is that we have not only watched this team improve under Guardiola, but they appear to keep getting better and better. They have already managed to cope with losing players like David Silva, Sergio Aguero, and Yaya Toure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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