“That’s their only way in” – Paul Merson Explains How Manchester United Can Beat Manchester United In FA Cup Final

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag
Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag

Arsenal legend Paul Merson has advised Manchester United to hit Manchester City on the break when they meet in the FA Cup final on Saturday afternoon (May 25). Merson believes United can give themselves a fighting chance against the defending champions if they can pick out the right pass in the final third.

Manchester United were outclassed in both of their Premier League meetings with Manchester City in 2023-24. The Red Devils suffered a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford in October. In March, they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium. Man City, who became the first-ever team to win four consecutive Premier League titles last Sunday (May 19), finished the campaign with 91 points. Man Utd, meanwhile, amassed only 60 points and finished eighth in the rankings.

Paul Merson Advises Manchester United To Attack Manchester City

Manchester United are massive underdogs coming into the FA Cup final on Saturday, but Merson thinks there is a way they can beat favorites Manchester City.

Urging Erik ten Hag’s men to be brave at Wembley Stadium, the two-time English champion said (via Merson Says on Sky Sports):

Hitting City on the break has been their best thing, even when Marcus Rashford scored a worldie at the Etihad, they had another couple of chances and should’ve scored. That’s their only way in.

But it’s hard, you don’t want to go toe-to-toe with Man City, but it’s where they’re vulnerable, at the back. Get past their midfield and pick the right pass, a lot of teams don’t pick the right pass. If they can, Man Utd have got a lot of top international footballers.

While Merson thinks United have an outside chance against City, he still expects the defending champions to beat their local rivals, just like they did last season.

He added:

But on a hot summer’s day, that pitch is huge and it gets even bigger when you go 1-0 down. I don’t see anything but Man City doing the double.”

Manchester City and Manchester United have locked horns 10 times in the FA Cup. United still have the edge in head-to-head, having beaten their crosstown rivals six times. In their most recent meeting (last year’s final), however, Ten Hag’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat.

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