Man City 2-1 Man Utd: Ilkay Gundogan again the man for the big moments

At Wembley, Ilkay Gundogan grinned widely as champagne corks erupted all around him.

The outstanding Manchester City captain, who is always the guy for big times, received a toast after his team defeated Manchester United 2-1 to win the FA Cup.

Erling Haaland’s goal-scoring prowess has rightfully made him the center of attention at City this season, but Gundogan merits equal billing with the deadly Norwegian striker due to his steady, decisive play.

Gundogan, a 32-year-old German, is a proven performer when manager Pep Guardiola needs him. He accomplished it once more with City’s two goals at Wembley, which gave City the victory in the first all-Manchester FA Cup final and left United in despair.

Gundogan’s future is still up in the air as his contract expires at the end of the current campaign amid ties to Barcelona. However, if Guardiola had his way, he will certainly keep an eye on the German and prevent him from leaving the Etihad Stadium.

Even after his team won at Wembley, Guardiola stated in the post-game press conference that the club was “working” on a new contract.

By scoring the quickest goal in the history of the competition just 12 seconds after kickoff, he served as the protagonist of this FA Cup final. Then, in the 51st minute, he provided the game-changing moment with a volley, ensuring that City added another victory to their Premier League success. Next Saturday, when they play Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul, they might win the competition as a whole.

Should it surprise us that Gundogan scored the game-winning goal? Not even close.

Gundogan has a history of making the difference, as evidenced by his two goals on the final day of the previous campaign when City scored three times in five minutes to overcome Aston Villa’s 2-0 lead and win the Premier League.

And Gundogan once more delivered as City began one of their signature unrelenting marches to pass Arsenal in this season’s title race.

He scored two goals in the 2-1 victory over Leeds United at the beginning of May and two more in the 3-0 victory at Everton. The first goal broke the score with a fantastic bit of ingenuity, and the second goal was a brilliant free-kick.

With two more goals today, he was the FA Cup match-winner, and the first goal, which came after only 12 seconds, will go down in history.

Actually, Gundogan started the match by sending the ball back to goalkeeper Stefan Ortega. Haaland then flicked on his long clearance, and after Victor Lindelof’s header and a Kevin De Bruyne deflection, the ball was set up perfectly for a right-foot volley that sped past a motionless David de Gea.

If Gundogan does decide to quit City after the Champions League final, he will have the opportunity to do so following the club’s most dramatic captain’s trophy hoist in history as Guardiola’s elite squad is just 90 minutes away from replicating Manchester United’s 1999 Triple Crown.

Everyone at City will want Gundogan to stay; during the post-match celebrations, Guardiola made his own wishes abundantly plain. But one thing is undeniable: This wildly popular figure will occupy a distinct place in the history of these City glory years.

2 down, 1 to go
In terms of City, it’s currently two down and one to go. The Premier League and FA Cup were successful. The only prize they haven’t won is the elusive Champions League, which is all that’s left.

Inter Milan must now attempt to achieve where those in England have failed and where even holders Real Madrid failed after being defeated by a blizzard of offensive football when they were playing in the Champions League. In the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, they were destroyed 4-0.

Whether or whether this is a harsh assessment, many people will view Guardiola’s brilliance and time at City through the lens of the Champions League. If City wins in Istanbul, it will be acknowledged as one of the best teams ever, managed by one of the best managers in history.

When the Video Assistant Referee ruled that Jack Grealish had handled the ball, Bruno Fernandes was able to finish the game’s formalities from the penalty spot as City were not exactly at their best. After the magnificent opening phase, City lost steam and allowed Manchester United to get back into the game.

Since United was the only English club to win the Treble, they were hoping to maintain that piece of Treble history for themselves. City needed something revolutionary.

The man appears in the 51st minute… It is not surprising that Gundogan was the man.

De Gea went down in stages and the shot even bounced twice before the goalkeeper finally got a hand to it, but not with enough force to stop City from taking the lead again. De Bruyne’s free-kick to the edge of the area was met by an unconvincing Gundogan volley. However, the man with the Midas touch was rewarded again.

Gundogan had done it once more, and everyone at Manchester City will be hoping he can find a way to continue doing it for them long into d feature


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