Ilkay Gundogan moves Manchester City closer to immortality

Manchester City celebrate after winning FA Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, in London, on June 3, 2023

Manchester City secured a routine victory over neighbours Manchester United in a tight FA Cup final at Wembley, the second for Pep Guardiola since he arrived in England in 2016. It was not without a fight at the national stadium with Bruno Fernandes hauling United back after converting a 33rd-minute penalty but that was nothing for City. But Ilkay Gundogan had other ideas and ensured he executed them to completion.

The German international who is out of contract at the end of this month and has been linked with a move to Spain made sure he cemented his name in City’s history books further with a masterclass performance right from the start of the game.

There is just one piece, the Champions League left for him to cement his legacy though that won’t be a dark spot if he fails to achieve it. He has been to the final with the Cityzens and has been a key part of the success of the club since his arrival along with Guardiola seven years ago.

And at Wembley today it took less than a minute for him to open the scoring with a sumptuous volley that is more magical than beauty. The skipper was alert to the action and received the ball from Kevin de Brunye before lashing a perfect volley 20 yards out leaving De Gea helpless.

Though not of equal quality as the first, his second also from de Brunye’s creation was a good volley that thanks to the disease that plagued De Gea all season long squirmed through.

Now it is just Inter Milan who is standing between Gundongan and the treble which will forever glue his name in the history books of the English giants. He will not be judged based on the outcome of that one match but it has been the only trophy that has eluded the club in its entire history and he would want to appease himself and the City faithful of the defeat to Chelsea in 2021.

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