FA Cup Final: Manchester City Face Stoke As History Beckons – Part 1




FA Cup

FA Cup

I don’t remember the last time when an FA Cup final not featuring the likes of the top four in English Football evoked so much enthusiasm and excitement. But this year, Manchester City faces Stoke with both teams understanding fully well that they deserve their chance of creating history tonight. Manchester City have rightly earned their place in the finals of the FA Cup courtesy of some magic performances, most notably a stunning performance against their bitter and arch rivals united in the semi finals. Similarly Stoke made their intentions clear by thrashing Bolton 5-0 in the other semi final which might go down in history as one of the most lop sided semi finals ever. Yet tomorrow, only one team would stand with their heads held high aloft the galleries of Wembley and with the FA Cup in their hands while the other team would have their dreams shattered in the middle of the glorious Wembley. But such has been their performance this season that they can proudly recall their glorious run to the finals.

Manchester City last won the FA Cup 35 years ago and they have rightly invited the entire winning team to Saturday’s showpiece at Wembley. But this City side is different from all its predecessors. It is a side bankrolled by Arab money and with an impatient urge to conquer the footballing world similar to the rise of Chelsea. And they have stood up to the occasion by claiming the final champions league spot this midweek after an own goal propelled them to a position where they cannot simply be overhauled. And although Tottenham have been exemplary this season, yet Manchester City had that good consistency record unlike their London counterparts. An FA Cup win would not only end their long awaited trophy drought but would certainly become the launchpad of many great things to come. A club which has always been overshadowed by their counterparts, an FA Cup win would bring them to the forefront.

Stoke City have never won an FA Cup in their history and Tony Pulis has urged their vociferous fans to make a mark and be the 12th man in their quest for lifting the oldest cup competition in the world. Their fanatic supporters have always lifted them from obscurity and they are fresh from a run of only one league defeat in 9 games. Not to mention a sparkling 3-1 victory over demoralized Arsenal. Yet tonight is going to be their most important night as they face a team full on confidence and filled with star studded players.

If we go down history, Tony Pulis clearly remembers the play off final defeat to Manchester City at Old Wembley when he was in charge of Gillingham. Yet this match won’t only be about revenge but about retribution for an entire City. Part II would consist of form guide, key players and prediction for the finals.

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