Manchester United has won the 2016 FA Cup after beating Crystal Palace 2-1 as the game went all the way to extra time. Palace took the lead in 78th minute but Mata brought United back in the game minutes later and Jesse Lingard came on as a sub to score late in 2nd extra time to win the game for United [ Watch extended match highlights below ]
United started with Fellaini in the lineup and he looked the most likely source for United to get a goal in first half. After the game was 0-0 at the break, Both Marouane Fellaini and Martial hit the woodwork as United upped their tempo in the second 45 minutes. Puncheon and Mata scored inside minutes of each other as game went into the extra time where Jese Lingard scored late in second half of extra time to win the game for United.
Crystal Palace who has never won a major trophy, were playing in their second FA Cup final and with great support at Wembley they cause a few problems for United. Sitting deep and hoping to catch them on the break. But United had more of the ball as expected and Palace failed to get meaningful chances in the final third.
Game came to life late in the second half when Puncheon scored with a superb strike at the near post but the joy was short lived as Unied came right back into the game when amazing rooney run produced a smash grab finished from Mata. Smalling sending off in extra time put United on the back foot but they took the lead through Lingard who scored with a quality strike on the far post.
Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace Highlights
[ FA Cup 2016 Final ]
78′ 1 – 0 Jason Puncheon scored with a superb near post volley from acute angel to put Palace 1-0 up in 78th minute
81′ 1 – 1 Juan Mata scored minutes later to bring United back into the game.
105′ [ 2 Yellow/Red Card ] Chris Smalling was sent off for his second bookable offense in extra time.
110′ 1 – 2 Jesse Lingard scored late in 2nd half of extra time to win the game for Manchester United.
It is remain to be seen whether Louis Van Gaal will be United manager next season as Jose Mourinho is widely tipped to replace him. However Van Gaal was confident in his post match interview stating he will be back in the dugout next season.
Post match trophy celebrations
Post match interviews, Rooney, Van Gaal
Crystal Palace reached FA Cup final after beating as many as 4 premier league teams in the earlier rounds but that run came at the expense of terrible league form since the start of 2016. Palace who were right in the european positions race before Christmas had a terrible run in the second half of the season winning only 2 league games this year resulting in them finishing 15th in the table. However securing premier league status for another year and a win in FA Cup will certainly make this season a major success.
Manchester United on the other hand failed to qualify for Champions League but they did secured unwanted Europa League place having finishing 5th only behind City on goal difference. Van Gaal is widely tipped to be sacked after the final game of the season as Jose Mourinho’s appointment is imminent but Van Gaal can keep his record of winning atleast 1 trophy with every team he has managed.
Team News & Lineups: Manchester United are expected to start with the same lineup which took the field against AFC Bournemouth in the last league game. Rashford and Martial to start upfront with Rooney, Lingard, Mata to play in midfield roles alongside Carrick while Blind, Smalling, Borthwick-Jackson and Valencia to make the back four.
Palace on the other hand with start with their usual full strength team where Zaha, Wickham, Bolasi to start in three man attacking upfront while Puncheon, Cabaye and McArthur to make the midfield. This is how I expect both teams to lineup.
Predictions: United should go into the game slightly favourite and Wayne Rooney will be the key man for United as he will be fired up for his first FA Cup final since 2005 and the only trophy which he has not won with United since his move to Everton. I am going with a comfortable win for Man Utd on Saturday with Rooney, Martial and Rashford on scoresheet.