A Look Inside the Manchester Derby FA Cup Final

On Saturday, June 3, the streets outside of Wembley Stadium were packed. Fans walked from the tube to the iconic path leading to Wembley. It was a Manchester Derby FA Cup final, the first ever in the cup competition’s history. 

“It’s been rammed in here since 11-12 o’clock,” said reporter Callum Boyle. “It’s great. It’s hostile. There is tension in the air.”

“Passion Painted in Red: A Sea of Jerseys on the Path to the FA Cup Final.” – Rafael De Los Santos

Boyle, along with his partner, Joel Wilson, were interviewing United and City fans as they walked to the stadium. They wanted to hear fans’ opinions on the game, the FA Cup and what is happening in their respective clubs. 

“Historically, the FA Cup is massive,” Wilson said. “There are no other domestic cup competitions like it in terms of upsets, dramas and access to teams that are lower down the [English footballing] pyramid.”

The first cup final was in 1872. In total, there have been 142 FA Cup finals played. Since 1923, most of the finals were played at the original Wembley Stadium up until 2000. After the new Wembley stadium was built, finals were played yet again in the stadium in 2007. 

“United fans and City fans segregated by three rows of guarded stairs as Wembley plays a novo Colosseum to two of the FA’s biggest gladiators.” – Rafael De Los Santos

The Red Devils

Manchester United fans appreciate the rich history of the FA Cup. “The FA Cup is the oldest cup in the world,” said Gus Kulle. “It’s the coolest trophy to win, so we definitely do want to win it.”

Fans of the Red Devils had one goal in mind. “For me as a fan, it is stopping them from winning the treble,” said Chukwuka Okwunwanne. The Nigeria native became a United fan over 15 years ago due to his love for Paul Scholes’ long shots. Since then, he has followed the Red Devils proudly. “If we can stop them today and win our second trophy, that’s an excellent season.”

United fans are also excited for the future of their team. “Ten Hag is definitely the most interesting manager we’ve had since Sir Alex Ferguson left,” Kulle said. “This is the most excited I’ve been about the team since 2013.” He loves the winning mentality the Dutch manager implemented in the locker room. 

“A Blazing Passion Ignites: A Fan Sets the Scene Aglow with a Red Smoke Flare, Embodying the Red Devils at Wembley’s Steps!” – Rafael De Los Santos

City’s Impressive Turnaround

Manchester City fans have seen it all over the past 20 seasons. One fan, in particular, can’t believe how successful his club has been in recent years. Phil May has been a Cityzen since birth. His family has supported the boys in blue for multiple generations. His son, Lucas, is a City fan as well. 

May loved the fact his team had the chance to win the FA Cup. “It’s a domestic trophy. It means you can win a trophy in your own backyard.” Although his team had the chance to also win the champions league, he wasn’t too bothered about Europe. 

“I’ve seen us play in the third tier of English Football,” May said. “My son was born in a season where we only scored nine league goals at home.” He is just happy to finally see his team succeed. 

Lucas May (left) and Phil May (right) Embody Manchester City’s Football Heritage as Lucas Sports City’s 2022-23 Home Kit in contrast to Phil’s Kit displaying City’s Badge before its change in 2016. – Rafael De Los Santos

Lucas had other ideas. “Beating United and winning the FA Cup at the same time is the best thing I could think of.” Not only does he want to beat his rivals, but he would

“rather win [the FA Cup] than the Champions League.”

Positives for the Future

After all the chanting and cheering, Manchester City wound up victorious after 90’ minutes with a scoreline of 2-1 thanks to an Ilkay Gündogan brace.


City would also go on to win the Champions League in Istanbul against Inter Milan for the first time in their history. The boys in blue finished the season with a historic treble.

Although they lost, Manchester United did have a great season. Ten Hag helped the Red Devils get a third-place finish in the league resulting in Champions League next season. He also won silverware this season bringing home the Carabao Cup. The future looks bright for United as long as the club backs their head coach. 

About Joseph Torviso

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