Manchester United came from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final. United claimed a first FA Cup since 2004
Jesse Lingard’s extra-time thunderbolt earned Manchester United a record-equalling 12th FA Cup as Louis van Gaal’s side came from behind to defeat Crystal Palace 2-1 in Saturday’s final at Wembley.
In a rematch of the 1990 final, which United won after a replay, underdogs Palace took the lead in the 78th minute when Jason Puncheon slammed home, only for Juan Mata to equalise less than three minutes later.
With the tie heading towards penalties, substitute Lingard drilled a stunning volley past a motionless Wayne Hennessey in the 110th minute to end United’s 12-year wait to lift the FA Cup and give their supporters something to cheer about at the end of a tumultuous season.
It was United’s first FA Cup win since 2004, allowing captain Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick to complete their collection of domestic medals, and took them level with Arsenal, winners in 2014 and 2015, as the most successful clubs in the competition’s illustrious history.
But while Van Gaal celebrated his first trophy in English football, and United’s first major honour since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, it may not be enough to keep him in a job following the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Instead United, who lost Marcus Rashford and Marcos Rojo to injury and Chris Smalling to an extra-time red card, will go into the Europa League, along with West Ham United, after United’s Wembley win freed up an extra qualifying berth.
Palace manager Alan Pardew, meanwhile, met with FA Cup heartbreak for the third time, having been on the losing side against United with the south London club in 1990 and overseen West Ham’s defeat on penalties by Liverpool in 2006.