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Erik ten Hag with the FA Cup trophyImage source, Getty Images

I said before the game that this was a big chance for Manchester United to give their fans something back at the end of a poor season, and they certainly did that.

They were the better team, they thoroughly deserved to win, and the result was no fluke. Ten Hag played a blinder with his gameplan and his players executed it perfectly.

United were right at it from the off. They did not allow City to play their normal game, gave nothing away, closed them down and forced them into errors. Then, when they could, they hit them on the break and the way they switched play when they did that, particularly in the first half, was superb.

We do not know if Ten Hag will still be Manchester United manager next season but, whoever is in charge, the important thing is the players need to produce that kind of effort and unity week in, week out. They cannot just save it for the biggest occasions.

You could feel Ten Hag’s frustration about repeatedly being asked about his future and whether this would be his final game.

It was a constant in the build-up, particularly this week and even just before kick-off.

On the morning of the biggest game of the season for him and his team, he was being constantly asked about his future, or rather the speculation that his future had been decided and someone else was getting his job.

That might well turn out to be the case. But, as I said before the final, from a human point of view, it is disrespectful of the club’s owners to treat someone this way and who, at the very least, is giving his all in his job and now won two trophies in two seasons.

It is not as if he has not given everything to try to turn things around.

If United were going to keep Ten Hag on, I am sure they would have come out and said that at some stage before the FA Cup final. Instead, the silence has been deafening, and I think that is pretty telling.

At the same time, I do understand why Ten Hag’s future is in doubt because of how bad large parts of this season have been.

Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world and it is not acceptable for them to finish eighth, or go out of the Champions League in the group stage the way they did.

When you look at their defensive statistics and the number of shots they have faced per game – at an average of 17.6, only Sheffield United have faced more from the 96 clubs in the top divisions of Europe’s top five leagues – then you can see they are miles away from where they need to be on a consistent basis.

This performance gives their fans something to celebrate, at least, but we don’t know what is going to happen next with United, and whether this is the start of something bigger or just the end for Ten Hag. If it is the latter, then what a way to sign off.

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