What Man Utd FA Cup win means for Chelsea and Newcastle United in Europe

Alejandro Garnacho of Manchester United scores the opening goal
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Chris Brunskill/Fantasista)

A Manchester United win in today's FA Cup final will not only affect their own European aspirations, but also has significant repercussions for Chelsea and Newcastle, who finished just above United in the Premier League standings.

Chelsea, having secured sixth place, are assured of European football next season. However, their fate hinges on today's match; a Manchester City win would catapult the Blues directly into the Europa League group stages, while a United triumph would relegate Chelsea to the Conference League play-offs, with United taking the coveted Europa League position.

Newcastle's European dreams are similarly precarious, resting on a City victory for a shot at the Conference League. A win for United would dash the Toon's hopes, leaving them out of Europe altogether.

City, who have dominated the league with four consecutive titles, entered the final as overwhelming favourites but found themselves 2-0 down at half-time.

Meanwhile, United's preparations were marred by speculation that manager Erik ten Hag could face dismissal irrespective of the outcome.

Ten Hag has responded defiantly to the rumours, telling Dutch media outlet Vi. NL: "They said they want to change everything and that they want to rebuild WITH me. This is what they told me directly.", reports the Mirror.

Adding to the pre-match tension, United's captain Bruno Fernandes has issued an open letter to fans, demanding the club align with his ambitions, further stirring the pot ahead of the crucial showdown.

The Portuguese attacking midfielder, who has been rumoured to be leaving Old Trafford, stated on Friday: "I love to step out at Old Trafford more than anything in the world. I don't want to leave. This has always been my ultimate dream."

"I just want my expectations to fit with the expectations of the club. If you go talk to any fan, they will tell you the same thing. We want to compete for the league. We want to be playing Champions League football. We want to be in cup finals. That is the standard. That is what I want. That is what you all deserve."