Erik ten Hag Refuses To Criticise David de Gea Over Man City's FA Cup Win.

 Man City have won the 2022/23 FA Cup following a 2-1 victory over neighbors Manchester United in the final at Wembley stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It was the first time that the two Manchester sides met in the FA Cup final.

When the Red Devils needed David de Gea to stay on his toes in the tough moments, the goalkeeper fell badly short in what turned out to be a tense and tight final at Wembley.

Gundogan opened the scoring just after 13 seconds into the encounter, as he was the first to pounce on a loose ball to volley home and stun both sets of fans.

The goal was the fastest goal in FA Cup final history.

United admirably fought their way back into the game and were fortunate to be awarded it for an accidental handball by Jack Grealish which was spotted by VAR.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s header back into the area flicked off Grealish’s fingers, and referee Paul Tierney was eventually told to take a second look after play had continued.

Caption Bruno Fernandes, stepped up and equalised for United after a well taken penalty kick in the 33rd minute.  

United came back stronger in the second half but suffered a setback as Gundogan scored again after volleying home a Kevin De Bruyne corner from the edge of the area.

The Spaniard should have done better with the second goal, but may have had limited visibility due to a crowded penalty area, but the ball seemed to bounce towards his corner in slow motion and he was far too slow to get across goal.

United's best hope of an equaliser came through Marcus Rashford and substitute Alejandro Garnacho but they could not find the goal to force the game into extra time.

The fact United stayed in the match after a nightmare start shows the team under manager Erik ten Hag in his debut season, are still heading in the right direction.

Bruno Fernandes’ penalty is the first goal conceded by Man City in the FA Cup this season. City is the first team to reach the FA Cup final without conceding a goal since 1966.

The FA Cup win is Man City’s second trophy this season as they won the Premier League for the 2022-23 season, finishing five points above second-placed Arsenal. 

They will now turn their attention to the Champions League final against Inter Milan on June 10 as they bid to lift the trophy  for the first time in their history and emulate Man United’s historic treble feat of 1999.

Man United drew level with Arsenal as the sides with the most appearances in the FA Cup final (21), but 12 tournament wins trail only Arsenal’s 14 as the side with the most FA Cup wins since 1872. United last won in 2016.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have won the trophy 8 times, while Man City just clinched the trophy for the 7th times.

United boss Erik Ten Hag refused to criticise his 32-year-old goalkeeper for his poor performance in the final, having already won the Premier League Golden Gloves award.

He defended David de Gea after the criticism aimed at him for his slow reactions in conceding the winning goal in the FA Cup final defeat, insisting that ‘we win together and we lose together.’

"I don't want to talk about criticism," said the United boss. "We have had a fantastic season, including De Gea.

"If you consider before today both City and us had 42 wins so they now have one win more. So the difference was made today. We have played a fantastic season - better than we expected. We have qualified for the Champions League, won a trophy and got to another final.

"I am really happy with the performance."

Asked whether his team were unprofessional to concede in 13 seconds, ten Hag said: "I wouldn’t mention unprofessional but as team we didn’t do the jobs we have to do and if we want to win trophies, details in big games make the difference. It’s hard to accept.

"When you play against City and you don't give up anything in the game, it's a credit to the team, but when you concede goals like [De Gea did] that, it's disappointing."

On watching City lift the trophy, the Dutchman added: "It is a motivation. You have to feel it in your stomach. It has to be fuel. We want to be there and we deserved it but you have to grab it. That is the next step.

"It is now about finalising the season. Be quiet. Analyse and set the right conclusions. And then take action.

"I have to work to be better next season. It’s not about better players but working day by day to develop and progress the team".

The Dutch manager also warned he will fight for the transfers needed as the Glazers drag out takeover talks negotiations with Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim, the two parties battling to take over the club if it's eventually sold.

Furthermore, De Gea is on the verge of agreeing a contract extension but it is widely expected that United will attempt to sign a No.2 keeper more at home with ten Hag’s style, even if it doesn’t appear to be a central part of United’s summer plan.

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