Football News

‘I just had to hit it’ – Ilkay Gundogan reflects on his record-breaking FA Cup final

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:00, 3 June 2023

Manchester City skipper Ilkay Gundogan etched his name into the FA Cup record books after leading Manchester City to success over neighbours Manchester United at Wembley this afternoon.

The midfielder put his side in front after 12 seconds, making it the fastest-ever FA Cup final goal, subsequently breaking Louis Saha’s record which stood for nearly 15 years.

Gundogan’s effort immediately put United on the back foot but Erik ten Hag’s men would get themselves back into the game, through fortunate circumstances, but they were unable to complete another comeback win over City as Gundogan restored City’s lead — which they never relinquished — early into the second half.

 The fastest-ever FA Cup final goalscorers

  • 2023 – Ilkay Gundogan (Man City) v Man Utd, 12 seconds
  • 2009 – Louis Saha (Everton) v Cheslea, 25 seconds
  • 1895 – Bob Chatt (Aston Villa) v West Brom, 30 seconds
  • 1997 – Roberto Di Matteo (Chelsea) v Middlesbrough, 45 seconds

“To win a final is always special. Every trophy is special. This group deserves it. We played really well, the second half was amazing and we deserved to lift another trophy,” he told BBC Sport afterwards.

“Obviously we know how we want to play the kick-off and we aim to do that, to go long for Erling and try to get a second ball. It just placed amazingly for me and I just had to hit it. Obviously, it was a quite good strike.”

At 32 years and 222 days, Gundogan also became the oldest player to score an FA Cup final brace since Nat Lofthouse in 1958, also against Manchester United (32y 249d).

By triumphing at the home of English football, the Premier League champions are one game away from registering an unprecedented treble, next up is a Champions League final against Inter Milan on June 10th.

“We have a chance to do something special and win the Treble and we do not want to let this opportunity pass us by,” Gundogan added. “I can promise our fans we will do everything we can to win in Istanbul.”

It could prove to be Gundogan’s final game though City head coach Pep Guardiola is hopeful of retaining his services.

“(Football director) Txiki (Begiristain) is doing it. Hopefully, he will be successful.”