In what may well have been Louis van Gaal’s last game in charge of Manchester United, the Dutchman saw his side come from a goal down to lift the FA Cup for a joint-record 12th time.
The majority of the game, in normal time, was a disappointment, with Mark Clattenburg not once, but twice wrongly failing to give an advantage to Crystal Palace when the Eagles were bearing down on goal. United did come close on more than one occasion, however, with both Marouane Fellaini and Antony Martial hitting the woodwork.
However, on 78 minutes, the opening goal of the came finally came, courtesy of a superb striker from sub Jason Puncheon, a goal which had Eagles’ boss Alan Pardew busting out a few questionable moves (something he no doubt would regret soon after).
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 21, 2016
Within three minutes, United were level, with good work from Wayne Rooney leading to a chance for Juan Mata, who fired home from close-range.
The game would go to extra-time, with the sending-off of Chris Smalling (for a second yellow) giving Palace the advantage.
However, instead it was the Red Devils who would dominate, despite being a man down, with Michael Carrick going close before another sub, Jesse Lingard, produced a superb volley to win the game for the Manchester giants.
While van Gaal’s time at Old Trafford looks over, a first trophy for United since the departure of Alex Ferguson will at least see the coach leave on a high note. As for Pardew and Palace, they’ll rue a missed opportunity, particularly when they enjoyed a man advantage.
Here’s the official highlights….