Three major honours
Having already wrapped up the Premier League title and the EFL Cup, success in English football’s annual showpiece would have completed a remarkable domestic hat-trick.
While City were broadly tipped to clinch the title, no one expected they’d do it in such style.
Here are the stats that underpin an unforgettable day for everyone of a light blue persuasion.
Since the inception of the League Cup in 1960, therefore offering English clubs the chance to win a third major honour in the season, no team has been able to clinch a treble…until now.
Doubles have been relatively commonplace, by comparison.
Preston North End and Aston Villa won both the FA Cup and the English title in the years before the League Cup was introduced, and since them, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea had all won both prestigious honours in the same season.
However, none had won all three…until City this term.
With victory over Watford coming on the back of edging out Liverpool in the title race, and penalty shootout success against Chelsea in the League Cup final, City have achieved what so many fine teams before them have failed to do.
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Two cups in one season
While the domestic treble is a historically unprecedented feat in the English game, City’s victory has also made them part of another elite group of teams.
Before their triumph against the Hornets, only three previous teams had won both domestic cups—the FA Cup and the League Cup—in the same season.
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A record scoreline
Not only did City make history by completing a domestic treble, but the margin of their victory was also historic.
City’s 6-0 victory was the joint-highest scoreline in the history of the final, matching Bury’s 6-0 win against Derby County in the showpiece clash in 1903.
The fact that no side has downed an opponent by a six-goal margin in 116 years in the fixture demonstrates just how exceptional City’s win was.
Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling scored two each, while Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva also bagged goals during a truly emphatic offensive display.
Pep joins the pantheon of English football greats
While City’s hat-trick of titles—and the nature of their victory over Waford—are both historic, their manager Pep Guardiola also wrote his own name in the history books after overseeing Saturday’s triumph.
It was a day that belonged to the players; to the outstanding De Bruyne, the unplayable Sterling, or the departing Vincent Kompany, but the head coach deserves his fair share of recognition too.
In winning the FA Cup, Guardiola becomes only the eighth manager in the history of the English game to win both domestic cups and the title during the course of their career.
He puts his name up their alongside the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Kenny Daliglish, Don Revie, and Bill Nicholson…pretty exceptional company!