A spellbinding and action packed first ever all-Manchester final had seen the City skipper fire us ahead in just 12 seconds with a stunning volley that was the fastest goal in FA Cup final history.
United though drew level on 33 minutes through a Bruno Fernandes penalty awarded after a VAR check had ruled that Jack Grealish had handled in the box.
However, Gundogan once again showed his knack of delivering in the biggest moments.
The German midfielder’s 51st minute volley beating De Gea’s despairing dive and securing City our seventh and arguably most sweetest FA Cup final triumph of them all.
Remarkably given the long, illustrious history of both clubs, today’s clash was the first ever major final between the two sides.
And given what was at stake for both sides, there was a phenomenal atmosphere and spine tingling colourful kaleidoscopic backdrop to a Wembley occasion that had gripped the world’s attention.
Once the action started in earnest to didn’t disappoint with Ilkay Gundogan volleying City into a sensational lead with just 12 seconds on the clock.
The City skipper then volleyed home a quite stunning volley that left David De Gea flat footed and the City end of Wembley absolutely bouncing.
It was the fastest goal in FA Cup final history and was also the perfect start to such a huge, significant fixture.
It was high-octane, high-quality fare from a City side firing on all engines with United looking vulnerable whenever we ventured forward.
De Bruyne then peppered the City goal with De Gea again scampering as the ball flew just wide of the target
However, the game was suddenly turned on its head on the half hour when United drew level through a Bruno Fernandes penalty awarded after a VAR check.
Jack Grealish was adjudged to have handled the ball deliberately in the box as he sought to keep out Aaron wan-Bissaka with referee Paul Tierney awarding the kick after consulting his monitor and Fernandes slotted home the spot kick.
It looked a very harsh call and tough on City as we sought to dust ourselves down and reassert control though a Varane volley that whistled just wide also was a brief cause for concern.
City also had a VAR check for a penalty after De Bruyne appeared to be caught by Fred in the box but nothing was given.
City needed a second half response as we attacked the end housing our fans – and it arrived six minutes after the restart via another superb, instinctive Gundogan volley.
The skipper latched onto Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick and his 18 yard volley beat De Gea inside the left hand post despite his desperate dive to restore our advantage.
It was the 150th goal of our storied season and suddenly City were purring once with only De Gea’s splayed feet then denying De Bruyne after the Belgian had found a fraction of space on the left edge of the box.
A Rashford shot had City concerned for a second before another sublime attack saw Gundogan find the target again after a Haaland shot had been blocked only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.
With time ebbing away there was an ever greater sense of urgency to affairs and United substitute Alejandro Garnacho then saw a curling effort sip just the wrong side of Ortega’s left hand post.
There was another scare near full time as a United cross ricocheted around the City bar but fortunately it went over and the full time whistle then sparked scenes of unbridled joy.
The City and the FA Cup is ours!
What it means
City have won a seventh FA cup final and also secured the second domestic double of league and FA cup in our history, following suit from 2018/19, when we also won the Carabao Cup.
This time around of course City have the greater incentive of potentially sealing the Treble of league, Cup and Champions League.
But for now the sheer joy of claiming the bragging rights in one of the biggest derbies of all time will more than suffice.
Manchester and London is Blue!
UNITED XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof (McTominay 83), Shaw, Casemiro, Fred, Eriksen (Garnacho 59), Fernandes (c), Rashford, Sancho (Weghorst 79)
Subs: Butand, Lalacia, Maguire, Dalot, McTominay, Pellistri, Elanga
There were a host of superlative displays not least Gundogan of course with his two goal haul.
However John Stones was imperious once again in his advanced midfield role.
Calm, assured, superb in distribution and boasting a powerful physical presence, it was another reminder of the myriad qualities that make him such a unique player.
Success meant City made it seventh heaven in the FA Cup final.
We’ve now won the famous old cup competition six times in our history – past triumphs coming in 1904, 1934, 1956, 1969, 2011, 2019 and 2023
That puts us fourth on the all-time list, alongside Aston Villa – and only one behind Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham.
And what better way to do that than in the first-ever all-Manchester cup final.
Pep Guardiola’s reaction
The boss said following the victory: "I like this competition, the FA Cup.
"We arrive many times in semi finals and we won years ago against Watford but to win today is more special.
"It’s all day. How nice was the stadium? Congratulate both supporters, United and City.
"The atmosphere was fantastic so, lovely day it finished perfect for us. FA Cup is so nice.
"I remember in Spain and Germany, this is a special competition."
There’s one last fixture of this marathon season to navigate for City – and it’s the biggest one of them all.
We travel to Istanbul next Saturday, June 10, to take on Italian giants Inter in the 2023 Champions League final.
For City it’s a chance to win the most prestigious prize in European football for the first time in our history.
It promises to be one of the most special nights in the Club’s history with City seeking to complete what would be a historic Treble.
Kick-off at the Olympic Attaturk Stadium is slated for 20.00 (UK).