Pep Guardiola urges Man City to cement greatness by winning Champions League

Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to use FA Cup final defeat as motivation

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag congratulates his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola after the final whistle in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola urged his Manchester City team to cement their greatness by winning the Champions League following their latest FA Cup success.

City completed the domestic double for a second time under Guardiola as they overpowered rivals Manchester United 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday.

Ilkay Gündogan scored both goals, including a stunning volley after just 12 seconds – the fastest goal in FA Cup final history – as City proved far too strong for their neighbours.

Manchester City stay on course for treble after beating Man United in FA Cup finalOpens in new window ]

Yet, for all their success in recent years, which also includes five Premier League titles and four Carabao Cups, Champions League glory has eluded them.

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They will have the chance to put that right and secure a glorious treble when they face Inter Milan in next week’s final in Istanbul.

City manager Guardiola said: “Everybody knows it. We have done incredible seasons – five Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, Carabao Cups, but we have to win the Champions League to be recognised like the team deserves to be recognised.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called on his players to seize their chance at a historic Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

“We have to admit it, without the Champions League – it has been amazing, it has been fun – but we are missing [something]. We have to do it.

“We are one game away. I would say it is incredible, remarkable, that in three years we have had two finals and one semi-final of the Champions League.

“But in the end we have to win it. I know how it works. I said to the players, ‘You have to put the pressure on yourself. To be recognised as something good you have to win in Europe’.”

Before they fully switch focus to Inter, City can reflect on another superb trophy-winning performance.

Things did not all go their way. United pegged them back after Gündogan’s rapid opener with a Bruno Fernandes penalty after Jack Grealish was controversially adjudged to have handled following a VAR review.

Yet they responded early in the second half as Kevin De Bruyne picked out Gündogan on the edge of the area from a free-kick and the German volleyed in his second.

From then on, Guardiola’s side kept a tight grip on the contest and duly closed out the club’s seventh FA Cup triumph.

Guardiola said: “It was the best way to start a final. There was still more than 90 minutes left but it was important.

“In general we played a really good game. We played with a lot of risk because the threat they have up front is so big, especially with [Marcus] Rashford, but we controlled it really well.

“A final against United is always, for many reasons, difficult but the better team won. We are humble enough to accept how good they are and we did it. We’re really pleased.

“Winning the FA Cup, the emotions are so, so special and to celebrate with our people, it is really great.”

Gündogan has enjoyed a fine end to the season and can now add an FA Cup final-winning double to the two goals he scored to clinch the Premier League title in the closing game of last season.

The midfielder is out of contract in the summer and his latest superb display will increase the club’s desire to tie him to new terms.

Guardiola said: “He knows what I think. He’s a neighbour of mine. We’ve lived on the same floor for many years and he’s a close friend of mine.

“He’s an exceptional player and hopefully we can finish it [contract talks] in a good way. The season he has done is exceptional. He is very important for many reasons.”

Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag says Manchester United must use the pain of their defeat to improve and eventually catch their dominant neighbours.

Many United fans had started the long, train strike-impacted journey home when their rivals lifted the trophy, but Ten Hag and his team watched those celebrations.

“First of all, show respect always,” the Dutchman said. “But, yeah, of course, it’s a motivation. You have to feel it in your stomach. This hurts and it has to be fuel.

“We want to be there and our team, my players, deserved it, but you have to grab it and that is the next step we have to make.”

It was a galling end to a promising first season under Ten Hag, who is proud to have overseen a third-placed finish, Carabao Cup win and narrow FA Cup final loss.

“I want to congratulate City for winning the FA Cup, but I think it was very narrow, it was head to head,” he said. “We played very competitive out of a very good organisation.

“We didn’t allow them out from open play against probably the best team in the world in this moment.

“We fought back after going a quick goal down and I think we are the only team in the world who is capable of fighting back against this team from City. So, yeah, I was happy with the performance of my team.”

David De Gea’s role has been debated all season and his part in City’s second goal has been called into question, leading Ten Hag to be asked whether he was comfortable having him going into next season.

“In this moment, I don’t want to talk about such issues, about criticism because we played all a great season, including David De Gea,” he said of the goalkeeper, who has yet to extend his contract beyond the summer.

“He played a fantastic season. If you consider that City and us before today both had 42 wins.

“Now they have one win more, so the difference was made today. Then you can tell we played a fantastic season and it’s more than we could have expected before.

“We were third in the league, we are qualified for the Champions League, and we won a trophy and we were in another final.

“So, yeah, I’m really happy with the performance from my team all over.”