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How City and United reached the FA Cup final

How City and United reached the FA Cup final

The red and blue sides of Manchester go head to head at Wembley in the domestic season’s final match for the first time

By Becky Gamester-Newton, Writer

Crack open the drinks, get your bucket hats on and turn up those Madchester bangers: it’s time for United and City to contest a June FA Cup final at Wembley.


It’s the first Cup final featuring the two huge clubs and fierce rivals from Manchester – a city that’s known for (apart from its famous football teams) its industrial history and its wildly successful music scene.


So which team will be “24 Hour Party People” after the final, and which will be gloomily listening to “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”? Will the match be remembered for Erling Haaland doing his famous “Sit Down” celebration, or will Marcus Rashford cap his comeback season with a win and declare: “I Am The Resurrection”?


January’s third round seems a long time ago now, so let’s recap how both sides made it through to the Wembley showpiece. City’s scorelines may seem more impressive, but United had the slightly tougher route with Premier League opposition at nearly every turn.


When is the 2023 FA Cup final on TV?

Coverage of the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United is live from 1.50pm on BBC One HD (CH 101) and from 2.05pm on ITV1 HD (CH 103) on Saturday 3 June. You can catch up in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer


Third round

Manchester United 3-1 Everton

Manchester United kicked off the third round with a straightforward Friday night victory. It took just four minutes for Antony to put United in front and player-of-the-match Marcus Rashford rounded off the scoring with a stoppage-time penalty.


Everton’s Conor Coady also scored twice; unfortunately for him one of them was in his own net. He can also count himself fortunate that David de Gea allowed Neal Maupay’s tame cross through his legs to set up his goal for Everton.


Manchester City 4-0 Chelsea

If anyone needed confirmation that Chelsea were beyond out-of-sorts this season, then this was surely it as City romped home to a routine victory.


Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring with a brilliant free-kick before Julian Alvarez buried a second from the penalty spot. Phil Foden converted Kyle Walker’s cross to head in City’s third, and Mahrez got his second late on as he took over penalty duties.


Fourth round

Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal

City edged a confidence-boosting win against their title rivals, who at that point had a healthy lead at the top of the Premier League table.


Nathan Ake’s precise finish after being set up by Jack Grealish was the deciding factor in a closely fought contest. The result was perhaps the catalyst for City’s upturn in form in the league and the start of Arsenal’s demise – the Gunners didn’t pick up their next win until nearly a month later.


Manchester United 3-1 Reading

United had another comfortable victory in the fourth round, this time against Championship strugglers Reading who also had Andy Carroll sent off.


After a goalless first half, a brace from Casemiro sent United on their way before Fred put them three goals up. By the time Amadou Mbengue headed in for Reading, it was a mere consolation.


Fifth round

Bristol City 0-3 Manchester City

A Phil Foden brace put City on track for another routine victory, before a stunning Kevin De Bruyne strike from 25 yards put the game beyond doubt.


It was not all plain sailing for the away side, as a determined Robins side tested Stefan Ortega in goal, but it could have been a bigger win for City had Kalvin Phillips’ effort in the first minute found the net rather than the crossbar.


Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United

United’s penchant for a 3-1 win was confirmed against the Hammers, though it wasn’t as straightforward as in the previous rounds.


West Ham opened the scoring early in the second half with a powerful strike from Said Benrahma, as some of the United players appeared to stop because they thought the ball had gone out.


Casemiro then had a goal ruled out for offside but after an equaliser came in the form of an own goal, Alejandro Garnacho curled in a dramatic 90th-minute strike and Fred put the game to bed with virtually the final kick.



Manchester City 6-0 Burnley

Burnley certainly aren’t the only team to have been the victim of a thumping at the Etihad this season, but given their dominance in the Championship, this tie had been seen as a potential banana skin for City.


Erling Haaland, who had just scored five for City in their previous Champions League fixture, only managed the three goals this time out before an Alvarez brace and substitute Cole Palmer transformed a routine win into a thrashing. Former City captain Vincent Kompany will hope for a less humiliating scoreline when his side return to the Etihad in the Premier League next season.


Manchester United 3-1 Fulham

Detailing the Manchester United scoreline feels rather moot at this point, but there we are.


In one of the most controversial matches of this season’s FA Cup, United were at risk of a shock defeat when Fulham’s dominance – only stifled by one of David de Gea’s better performances – was rewarded with the first goal from Aleksandar Mitrovic.


However the game was turned on its head in disorderly fashion when Willian was sent off for a deliberate handball. Fulham boss Marco Silva was also given his marching orders amid the melee, and the Cottagers’ day went from bad to worse when Mitrovic pushed the ref in fury, earning yet another red card.


Bruno Fernandes converted from the spot and just two minutes later Marcel Sabitzer put the Red Devils in front before Fernandes added a third in injury time. 



Manchester City 3-0 Sheffield United

City faced another soon-to-be-promoted Championship side in the shape of the Blades – who were also on the wrong end of a dominant scoreline.


Mahrez’s treble was the first FA Cup semi-final hat-trick since 1958. A penalty, a fine solo effort and then a conversion from Grealish’s cross were enough to seal victory at Wembley, though Paul Heckingbottom’s men should have done better with an early chance that was saved by Ortega.


Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Manchester United (United win 7-6 on penalties)

Manchester United’s scoreline pattern was finally undone by a Brighton team who have won over many neutral supporters this season with their style of play, although this clash was far from a classic.


The Seagulls’ Solly March was the unfortunate player to miss from the spot in a tense shootout, before Victor Lindelöf sent United fans into raptures with the decisive penalty.


Neither side could find their rhythm in a rain-soaked match, but that didn’t matter to United supporters who will see their side in a second Wembley final this year after winning the Carabao Cup in February.


When is the 2023 FA Cup final on TV?

Coverage of the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United is live from 1.50pm on BBC One HD (CH 101) and from 2.05pm on ITV1 HD (CH 103) on Saturday 3 June. You can catch up in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

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