2016

In a repeat of the FA Cup Final of 1990, Manchester United took on Crystal Palace. Neither team had really broken sweat in reaching the final, United were ordinary in the extreme in beating Sheffield Utd in round 3 and had needed a replay to see off West Ham after their 6th round draw at Old Trafford. Palace's most difficult game had been their 1-0 win at White Hart Lane in round five.

The final was the 135th playing of the World's Oldest Cup Competition and saw United register their twelfth win in total, equaling Arsenal's record. Jason Puncheon put Palace ahead on 78 minutes, but they could not hold on for more than 3 minutes as Juan Mata equalised.

Into extra time and with both teams tiring, it seemed as if Palace might have the upper hand as Chris Smalling received his marching orders from Mark Clattenburg on 100 minutes. However, they could not press home their man advantage and Jesse Lindgard volleyed home with ten minutes remaining.

So after a poor season United scooped the prize and Palace were left to rue their missed opportunity. It's doubtful that Louis van Gaal was really able to enjoy his team's triumph as within 2 days he had received the coup de grace from the Old Trafford hierarchy.

Truth be known, some of the garbage served up by the man was just plain awful - during his tenure there had been none of the swagger associated with the club.

Manchester United 2-1
(aet)
Crystal Palace
Mata, 81
Lingard, 110
Puncheon, 78

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