Manchester City’s record in FA Cup finals

Manchester City’s history may not be as lucrative as some of English football’s traditional behemoths, but they’re still one of the most successful clubs in the FA Cup.

The Citizens, who were founded in 1880, have a long and arduous history with the competition and have won six of the 11 finals they’ve competed in thus far.

Their recent dominance in the Premier League hasn’t quite carried over to the FA’s premier cup competition, with City only lifting the trophy twice since they started to gain prominence following heavy investment from the Middle East.

Here’s an overview of Man City’s record in FA Cup finals.

Man City’s maiden appearance in the FA Cup final was a success as they beat Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in 1904.

Prime Minister Arthur Balfour was in attendance at the Crystal Palace Stadium as a goal from City skipper Billy Meredith midway through the first half proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Bolton avenged their defeat to City in the 1904 final by beating them in the competition’s showpiece event 22 years later.

This was Bolton’s fourth FA Cup final and second victory after they claimed their first in 1923 following defeats in 1894 and, of course, 1904.

Man City thumped crosstown rivals Man Utd 3-0 in the semi-finals to reach the 1926 final, but they were edged out by a David Jack strike with 14 minutes remaining.

Everton were one of the great inter-war sides and this was their fourth FA Cup final appearance. They were also the reigning First Division champions heading into the 1933 final against City.

This bout has historical significance as it was the first time players wore numbered shirts in an English cup final. Everton were numbered 1–11, and City 12–22.

A tight contest was expected, but Everton ran out comfortable winners at Wembley as the great Dixie Dean scored the Toffees’ second in a 3-0 victory.

Man City returned to Wembley the following season and eight players that lined up in the 3-0 defeat to Everton started against Portsmouth in the 1934 final.

Pompey took the lead on a wet London day through Septimus Rutherford (not a Harry Potter character) in the first half before City, inspired by Fred Tilson, rallied at the death. The Manchester outfit overturned their deficit thanks to a Tilson brace in the final 15 minutes to win 2-1.

City returned to the big game 20 years later, but this wasn’t the most memorable of experiences for supporters.

Newcastle took the lead after just a minute through Jackie Milburn and although Bobby Johnstone restored parity for City on the stroke of half-time, the Magpies scored twice in the second half to secure the trophy.

It was a brave effort from the Manchester club, nonetheless. After Jimmy Meadows suffered a career-ending injury after 17 minutes, they were forced to play the remainder of the final with ten men as substitutes were not permitted at the time.

As they did in 1934, City bounced back the season after they were beaten in the final.

The 1956 final against Birmingham is regarded as the “Trautmann final” as a result of the City goalkeeper’s bravery. Bert Trautmann played the remaining 17 minutes of the contest despite unknowingly breaking a bone in his neck after colliding with Birmingham’s Peter Murphy.

City, inspired by the scintillating Hungarian national team of the time, outmanoeuvred the favoured Birmingham in the final and won 3-1.

Leicester appeared in their third FA Cup final of the 1960s when they faced City in the 1969 final, but they suffered their third consecutive defeat in the competition’s epilogue at Wembley.

First Division champions City were the firm favourites against a Foxes outfit in the midst of a relegation battle, but the contest was much tighter than many predicted.

A proactive approach from Leicester almost paid off, but they were beaten 1-0 thanks to a Neil Young goal after 24 minutes.

The 1981 final has long been ingrained in FA Cup folklore thanks to the individual brilliance of Tottenham’s Ricky Villa.

Villa’s goal is one of the most iconic in the competition’s history and it inspired Spurs over the line against City in a replay.

The two sides drew 1-1 in their first meeting before Villa’s sequence of dreams handed the Lilywhites a 3-2 win after City had taken a 2-1 lead early on in the second half.

City waited 30 years for their next FA Cup final appearance, and their eventual victory over Stoke under the Wembley arch has to be regarded as one of the most significant in the club’s history.

This was their first piece of major silverware since 1976 and their maiden trophy of the Sheikh Mansour era.

Yaya Toure’s strike which sunk the Potters was the springboard for future City success.

After winning the Premier League in the most dramatic fashion at the end of the 2011/12 season, City, now establishing themselves as a protagonist in English football, returned to the FA Cup final in 2013 when they succumbed to one of the great shocks of the modern era.

The Citizens were expected to waltz past Roberto Martinez’s Wigan, who would soon succumb to the second tier.

However, Martinez’s side pulled off a remarkable upset at the death after frustrating City for the entirety of the contest. Ben Watson headed home Shaun Maloney’s corner at the near post to hand Wigan an unforgettable cup triumph.

Man City have made quite the habit of losing FA Cup semi-finals under Pep Guardiola which means their only final appearance under the Spaniard arrived in 2019.

The Citizens rattled off 14 consecutive victories to hold off Liverpool and win back-to-back Premier League crowns, and Watford were no match for them when they met at Wembley.

City dismantled the Hornets and won by the joint-biggest margin in FA Cup history. Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling each scored braces in the 6-0 rout.

Manchester City’s record in FA Cup finals

Top scorers for Manchester City in FA Cup finals


FA Cup final appearances

Goals scored

Bobby Johnstone



Fred Tilson



Gabriel Jesus



Raheem Sterling