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Aiming for seventh heaven

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Manchester City’s glorious phase arrived after the takeover in 2008. Turbocharged with money, they spent it wisely, while having the financial muscle to ignore failed moves as sunk cost. Therefore, it is natural to think that as a club, Manchester City have been relevant only since 2008. However, that is not the case. Manchester City’s FA Cup final wins speak of a club that has always been a crucial fabric of the English game.

While most of the success did arrive after 2008, their FA Cup record is in a unique position, wherein, the majority of their successes in this competition came before 2008.

Here are all of Manchester City’s FA Cup final wins as they seek added to this tally with a landmark Manchester Derby win in the final-

Manchester City FA Cup final wins- 

In their long and storied history, Manchester City have won the FA Cup seven times. This tally puts them behind Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Aston Villa. Three of their FA Cup wins have come post the takeover, in the Sheikh Mansour era.

Here’s a rundown of all of Manchester City’s FA Cup final wins-

1st- April 23, 1904: Man City 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

This was a game of David and Goliath as Manchester City, a first-division side, were after a league and cup double while Bolton were in the second division.

Captain Billy Meredith put on a heroic performance to lead his side to their first major honour in club history. Cityzens‘ defensive performance was widely praised as Bolton were limited to potshots from range and didn’t look like scoring at all.

Manchester City missed out on the double, with The Wednesday winning the league title (Trivia: Liverpool got relegated that season). However, their first major trophy was in the bag.

2nd- April 28, 1934: Man City 2-1 Portsmouth

It would be another 30 years before Manchester City next won the FA Cup final, but when it did come, it was on the back of some legends of the game.

Samuel Tilson’s late brace led Manchester City to a comeback win over Portsmouth after the latter took the lead through Eric Rutherford’s goal.

Frank Swift, who would go on to captain England, was in Manchester City’s goal that day while Matt Busby, who would lead Manchester United to their golden era 25 years later, started in defence for Manchester City.

3rd- May 5, 1956: Man City 3-1 Birmingham

This was Manchester City’s second consecutive final, having lost in the 1955 affair. They were the underdogs this time as well. Under Arthur Turner, Birmingham were clicking. They scored 18 goals in five games en route to the final while Manchester City didn’t score more than two in any game.

However, Manchester City had the big game experience which Birmingham lacked, who were playing only their second final, losing the first time.

The big game nous came to the fore again as Manchester City struck three past Birmingham in front of 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium. Joe Hayes, Bobby Johnstone, and Jack Dyson scored as Noel Kinsey’s goal ended up being a consolation effort.

4th- April 26, 1969: Man City 1-0 Leicester City

This was the last FA Cup win of the pre-takeover era, really putting into perspective the lean spell which was to follow for Manchester City.

Neil Young opened the scoring in the 24th minute and from then onwards, the game turned into a slog as low-scoring Leicester City couldn’t muster an equaliser. This was Manchester City’s seventh FA Cup final and their number of wins now exceeded losses.

5th- May 14, 2011: Man City 1-0 Stoke City

It would be 42 years before City won another FA Cup, their first one post the takeover. They had lost the final in 1981, so this was their ninth final.

Yaya Toure, the poster boy of Manchester City’s new era was the scorer as Tony Pulis’ iconic Stoke City side was defeated in a battle of attrition.

While this win didn’t launch an era of dominance in the FA Cup, it put English football on notice that Manchester City are here to stay.

6th- May 18, 2019: Man City 6-0 Watford

This remains the first and only FA Cup win under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Guardiola often chooses to rotate in the cup competitions which is why City have never really threatened to win it consistently.

This season, however, was the peak of Manchester City before the current season with Erling Haaland. City had become centurions a year before in the league and went into this game as heavy favourites.

They lived up to the tag as Watford were blown away in a footballing clinic put on by Guardiola’s men. Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling bagged braces. Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva added a goal each as Watford never really threatened to win this one.

7th- June 3, 2023: Man City 2-1 Man United

The Cityzens came out on top in the first-ever Manchester Derby in the FA Cup final courtesy of Ilkay Gundogan’s goalscoring masterclass.

The midfielder opened the scoring in the 15th second of the game itself, a contender for fastest goals in FA Cup history. United got a penalty for Jack Grealish’s handball inside the box which Bruno Fernandes duly converted.

However, City came out flying in the second half as Gundogan added to his tally with another goal from outside the box. United huffed and puffed but couldn’t avoid defeat, with City sealing their 7th title.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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