Top Ten Performers from the FA Cup Final: Manchester United vs. Manchester City

There are not many players like Bruno Fernandes. Often criticized for his risky passes, they proved to be the best asset for Manchester United’s attack last Saturday. His pass turned into an assist, and he was the most influential player on the pitch. 

10. Lisandro Martinez

Named player of the season of the club, it comes as no surprise that Dalot would quietly drop a masterclass in the most important final of the season. The right-back took his time to develop, but he now has become a key asset for Manchester United’s attack. Dalot allows his team to exploit space when given the opportunity, as he rarely takes unnecessary risks – but consistently forces the opposition back. 
Kyle Walker was the subject of many discussions from Saturday night. Despite his mistakes, he was a major threat to Manchester United’s defence, as his athleticism has not left his body (yet). 

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9. Rodri

Martinez didn’t have to contend with many aerial duels. This is indicative of his effective use of body positioning, knowing he would likely lose them due to his short height. He acted as a true leader – his performance was not spectacular, but it was solid and tidy. Completing 18 out of 20 passes indicates responsible and precise distribution.
Rodri is the only player besides Foden that did not deliver a complete disasterclass in the final at the heart of the midfield. Both Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva consistently misjudged their positions, often occupying zones they should not have and lacking the accuracy to help the team progress. 

8. Jeremy Doku

He did not start the game, so his sample size is limited. However, this did not stop the Belgian from scoring Manchester City’s goal in the game’s last minutes, giving the Citizens a glimmer of hope. While it was not enough to change the outcome, this is typical of Doku – he thrives in chaos against tired teams and uses it to his advantage. 

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Despite being a youngster, he is one of the calmest players on the team – which speaks volumes. For years, the Red Devils have lacked a pivot, someone who calmly transitions defense into attack. While he may not be a pivot, his behaviour is reminiscent of one – serving as a true therapy for United’s traumas.

7. Aaron Wan-Bissaka

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Garnacho displayed unique confidence that should serve as a model for all his peers. Few players dare to take on the opposition as Garnacho does, and he was a major torment for Manchester City.
This game showed his worth and why, despite his defensive shortcomings, he remains essential to the attack. Fernandes sees attacking opportunities that 90% of the players don’t, and for that reason alone, he deserves to be awarded the best player of the match. Finals are for those who can keep their head cool – Bruno was one of them on that night.

6. Kyle Walker

Amidst this chaos, Rodri stayed true to himself, dropping his usual masterclass and helping the team advance while being cautious in counter-attacks. Many players lacked composure against Manchester United that night, but Rodri was not one of them. 

5. Phil Foden

Phil Foden’s performance is a recurring theme, but when most of the team seemed as if they were still hungover from the Premier League’s celebrations, the Englishman kept his composure. This is far from easy against a team that refused to break down. 
Manchester United’s season does not have many positives – but if there’s one, it is the rise of Kobbie Mainoo. Not only did he score, but his technical level was unmatched by anyone on the team. He is in a league of his own, constantly finding new solutions for a team that often gets frustrated at any minor setback. 

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4. Diogo Dalot

Every team has its 7.5/10 player, a tidy style that makes the player reliable. Against Manchester City, Dalot had a great time, taking advantage of Walker’s adventurous forays into United’s half. As always, he remained reliable – just as he has been throughout the season.

The FA Cup final unfolded as an underdog story, with Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United triumphing over their arch-rivals, Manchester City. In an unexpected turn of events, the Red Devils dominated the match. Now, it’s time to rate the top ten players of the final.

3. Alejandro Garnacho

He is not talked about enough, but Wan-Bissaka had a solid performance in the final. The initial hype around him may have faded, but it is fair to say that he deserves recognition for his performance during the match. It is no coincidence that not many attacks came through his side, as he was often isolated against Phil Foden. 
The Englishman frequently ran up and down the wing, adding a dynamic element to a mostly static Manchester City. However, it should be noted his lapses in spatial awareness provided significant opportunities for the opposition, as he is often not careful enough regarding spatial awareness. 

2. Kobbie Mainoo

By himself, Foden was a constant threat, and as always, he improved his surroundings. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to activate Haaland’s killer mode, but Foden nonetheless remains one of the top performers of the night, frequently forcing Manchester United to be wary of his take-ons.
He might be inconsistent, but he is a pleasure to watch when it is his day. Garnacho also scored, and this is not the first time this season. He is the type of player who can unbalance the opposition, and Manchester City struggled to keep the little devil silent – once he was unleashed, it was game over. 

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1. Bruno Fernandes

The Argentine was the most reliable on the ball among the centre-back duo, which led to Mainoo receiving the ball in favourable conditions. While his side did not face many attacks, he successfully kept all threats at bay. Most importantly, he managed to keep Haaland shut down, who was nowhere to be seen in the final. 

Wan-Bissaka made four interceptions, four clearances and two blocked shots – all in the most crucial positions. He might still have a lot to work on in offensive play, but he was rock solid on the defensive end – where he excels best.
Apart from Foden, no other player on the City team had such composure, and that speaks volumes. Doku had the inspiration to find 1v1’s where he would be the winner. Although it was not enough, he will remain a fan favourite because he never stops trying – until he succeeds.

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