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What Willy Kambwala did in the final minutes at Wembley during Manchester United FA Cup Final win v City

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Manchester United’s win over Manchester City was a lot more simple than anybody anticipated, with the team leading 2-0 for a large stretch the game.

City enjoyed plenty of possession but struggled to cut through Manchester United‘s defence and wasted the chances they did create.

Then in the 87th minute a speculative shot from Jeremy Doku squirmed into the net, setting up a tense and nervous finale.

United fans feared an equaliser to force extra time. We then saw seven minutes of stoppage time put on the board.

Erik ten Hag‘s side were able to see it out, shutting down City’s attack and keeping the ball away from danger areas. And then the final whistle blew, with relief and joy all around.

Willy Kambwala of Manchester United celebrates with the Emirates FA Cup Trophy after his team's victory after the Emirates FA Cup Final match betwe...

Photo by Ben Hoskins – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Willy Kambwala tried to calm Manchester United fans

Manchester United defender Willy Kambwala was a late name added to the bench after Casemiro was ruled out with an injury.

The French centre-back had made 10 appearances this season, but with Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans on the bench, he was really United’s fifth-choice defender for the final.

As the game progressed, Erik ten Hag had indicated Kambwala would not be coming on, so the 19-year-old took it upon himself to try and influence the game in other ways.

This was explained by presenter Sam Homewood in the Utd Podcast, who explained how Kambwala came down to the sidelines to try and gee up the fans and fight the nervousness creeping across the support.

He explained: “Willy Kambwala. For the last seven minutes or so, when it was getting a bit nervy, he came down to warm up, with no intention of getting on, just to get the crowd going.

“All he was doing was trying to start songs, and like gesticulate to the crowd to be enthusiastic and not nervous.”

Homewood then explained how Kambwala celebrated when the final whistle blew, adding: “So the whistle goes, he looks at me, shouts, starts celebrating, and then just lifts me up like I was nothing. He’s a very muscular man.”

  • READ: Five things we learned as Manchester United win 2024 FA Cup Final

Rising star Kambwala showing personality

Willy Kambwala is growing into his Manchester United career, making a big step up after seeing his academy progress stunted by various injuries.

He is a player the manager has high hopes for longer term, and United fans are intrigued to see how he progresses.

One thing which does work in his favour is the personality he is showing, with his very visible desire for the team to do well.

Kambwala was spotted on the sidelines of the Arsenal game joining in a George Best chant at Old Trafford.

Ultimately it will be Kambwala’s performances on the pitch that count, and he will get a chance to impress during pre-season. But doing what he has been doing, won’t hurt at all.

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