2 years ago, Garnacho and Mainoo were kitting out in front of packed Old Trafford for the U18s as they would lift the FA Youth Cup. Today, both of them scored as United would beat their city rivals to bring home the FA Cup after a incredibly disappointing campaign in the other competitions. It was something that was completely different from anything we saw in terms of performance. Doku managed to make it a nervy ending for all Red Devils but in the end, it was seen out. If that was the way Ten Hag is to end his tenure at Man Utd, at least the day will end with some sweetness to an otherwise bitterness.

Fortified Backline

So much of the season has been about the fact that the backline has been a combination of so many different personnel. Hardly ever did you see Martinez and Varane in there, let alone them two beside Luke Shaw. The latter was still not fit to play at Wembley but we were at least able to rely on the centre back pairing.

Ten Hag has bemoaned his luck about the fact that his defence has been completely decimated throughout the season and today showed why. Martinez is just an incredible player given his obvious shortcomings (no pun intended). His warrior like approach to defending is something that we have missed since the good days of Bailly and consistently from the heights of Vidic. Early on, a cross was floated into the box and it looked like for all the world that Haaland might latch onto it to mirror the horror start from last year but Martinez used his nous and experience to give him enough of a nudge to unbalance him without fouling him. It is the little bit that we have been missing from the back all season and he continued in that fashion until his little legs gave out in the 71st minute.

Varane, in his last game for the club, showed what we will miss and what we have to replace. His ability to defend his box is just incredible. In the air and on the floor. He was an absolute titan at the back. He cajoled everyone, particularly after a good intervention from them. It is the kind of never say die spirit that he and Martinez fostered last season and what we have missed so dearly. Not to forget Amrabat, in front of them who swept up to reduce what they had to do. In fact, the whole team, to a man, managed to reduce the space we have complained about all season so that Man City could barely offer much until they changed system. Kevin De Bruyne was such a non-factor that Guardiola saw fit to bring him off and it was actually that which caused us more problems. However, even as Evans came in, we still coped relatively well considering the amount of pressure we were put under. A fortified backline perhaps gives credence to all of Erik Ten Hag’s laments that we were unable to put out a strong one all season.

La-la-la Carrington

Can you guess the last three teenage scorers in an FA Cup final? Well, you can guess the first two, as Garnacho and Mainoo won the cup for us. The other? A fledgling Cristiano Ronaldo in 2004 during our 4-0 win over Millwall. It is quite the story and fits in very well with the storied history with regards to our youth.

Garnacho has played and played and played… and played. The 19 year old, along with Dalot, was the only outfield player to be without an injury this season. He has almost looked gassed out at times during the last stretch of the season but even with all those mins in his legs, he was still able to run down and capitalise on the mix up between Ortega and Gvardiol. It is a gift that his persistence deserves. It was backed up by Mainoo doubling the lead, with great composure. He is another special player.

How is such a young lad playing with such composure and intelligence in the midst of what has been an absolutely chaotic season? The amount of times he tries to play under pressure so he could relieve those behind and in front of him is just what we have been missing from all those players that play in the middle before.