Guernsey Press

Kyle Walker denies suggestions title bash hindered Manchester City in cup final

Manchester United denied their cross-city rivals the double-double.


Kyle Walker insists Manchester City did not lose the FA Cup final because of last week’s late-night title celebrations.

City were brought back down to Earth after becoming the first side to win the Premier League four years in succession as they were beaten 2-1 by arch-rivals Manchester United in Saturday’s Wembley showpiece.

City overcame West Ham last Sunday to clinch the Premier League title and then partied late into the night, with some players pictured looking worse for wear in the early hours of Monday morning.

Manchester City are downcast after their FA Cup final loss
It was a disappointing afternoon for City at Wembley six days after their Premier League triumph (Nick Potts/PA)

The City captain said: “We celebrated on Sunday, this was Saturday. It’s six days. If us athletes can’t recover in six days there’s no chance for anyone.

“We had to take that moment on Sunday because if we’re celebrating now, on a downer, it won’t feel right.

“The moment was right. The club, the players and staff made that decision. Let’s not blame that.”

City manager Pep Guardiola felt he got his tactics wrong as United triumphed following first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo.

Walker was adamant defeat was not all down to Guardiola’s tactics and the players would take their share of the blame.

The 33-year-old said: “He’s the last man I’m going to question on tactics because he’s a genius for what he’s done.

“For the years I’ve been here, he’s transformed me as a player.

“If he says that, that’s down to him. For me it’s the whole squad. We’ve got 97 minutes to win a game of football. We all take accountability.”

Walker at least found some consolation in the performance of Mainoo, with whom he looks set to link up with for England at Euro 2024.

Alejandro Garnacho (left) and Kobbie Mainoo (right) celebrate Manchester United's FA Cup win
Kobbie Mainoo (right) capped an impressive season with a vital goal at Wembley (John Walton/PA)

Walker said: “What a talent. This generation of talent coming through is very exciting.

“Hopefully he can take his form from breaking in this season to the Euros if selected. With my England hat on now, hopefully he has a good Euros.”

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