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26th May 2024

Pep Guardiola admits he made a a tactical ‘mistake’ in FA Cup final

Ryan Price

The Premier League winners were dominated by Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United side at Wembley.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that he made a mistake with his ‘game plan’ during yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Speaking to the media after yesterday’s game, the three-time Champions League-winning manager said that his “gameplan was not good.”

“The second half was much much better,” he said. “We were more intense, in part because we were 2-0 down and had nothing to lose. It was a tight game.

“We had clear chances in the second half which wasn’t easy because they had man-marking and defended the pockets but we had the chances and unfortunately we scored a goal a little bit late.”

The 53-year-old went on to congratulate his local rivals on winning the FA Cup.

Guardiola made three changes to the side that beat West Ham at the Etihad last weekend to clinch the Premier League title.

At half-time at Wembley and trailing 2-0, he reversed two of those by bringing on Jeremy Doku and Manuel Akanji for Mateo Kovacic and Nathan Ake.

The substitution’s made a significant impact on yesterday’s game, with Belgian Doku scoring what ended up being the consolation goal for City.

The defeat at the hands of Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United was the first time Guardiola had lost a domestic cup final in England, after four League Cup and two FA Cup successes.

“It’s normal teams can lose finals but this season has been extraordinary, fighting for all the trophies in a good way,” he said to reporters. “We’ll rest and come back next season.”

United’s first goal yesterday came from a Manchester City mistake.

A pass played long over the top should have been a simple mop-up job for Josko Gvardiol running towards his own goal, but as Stefan Ortega raced out the defender nodded it straight over the advancing goalkeeper allowing Alejandro Garnacho, who had gambled on a mistake, to nip in and knock the ball into an empty net.

United’s second, on the other hand, was expertly worked and worthy of settling a cup final.

Academy graduate Kobbie Mainoo started the play from his own half, before Marcus Rashford pinged a glorious cross to Alejandro Garnacho on the opposing wing with acres of space in front of him.

Garnacho’s pass to Bruno Fernandes on the edge of the box was helped through an overlapping run from Aaron Wan Bissaka who confused City’s defense.

United’s captain then played a sublime no-look pass to Mainoo, who was waiting on his left and cooly finished out of reach of Stefan Ortega.

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