Jesse Lingard scored a dramatic extra-time screamer to give 10-man Manchester United their 12 FA Cup title against a stubborn Crystal Palace at Wembley.
Lingard, an injury time substitute at the end of normal time, lashed home a volley on the edge of the box with just nine minutes of extra-time to play to complete United’s comeback from a goal down, with the Red Devils winning a joint-record 12th FA Cup trophy – the first significant piece of silverware for the club since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
It was a dramatic end to a hugely entertaining game, with Palace taking the lead after 78 minutes through a Jason Puncheon strike. United hit back after just four minutes through Juan Mata after a great run from captain Wayne Rooney, with Louis van Gaal’s side also hitting the woodwork twice in the second half.
United defender Chris Smalling became the fourth player ever to be sent off in an FA Cup final, with referee Mark Clattenburg giving the England man his marching orders in the first half of extra time with a second yellow card for holding back the lively Yannick Bolasie.
Clattenburg’s early decisions were the main talking points of the first half, with Crystal Palace denied a trio of potentially devastating advantages by the Englishman. Clattenburg, who will officiate the upcoming Champions League final on May 28th, draw fury from the Palace bench after a number of bizarre decisions – with Connor Wickham denied a goal after Chris Smalling was deemed to have fouled the striker in the buildup.
United, who were going for their 12th FA Cup win, hit the woodwork twice in the second half as their dominance began to pay off.
But despite United looking the more likely to open the scoring, Palace substitute Jason Puncheon stunned Wembley when he lashed home after 78 minutes. The winger picked out a lofted ball into the box from the right before smashing a volley past the helpless David De Gea from a difficult angle.
Palace’s lead last just four minutes, with Juan Mata steering home a loose ball in the Palace box via a deflection from Joel Ward. Wayne Rooney, who bossed the game from midfield, created the goal with a rampaging run from deep.
Both teams had chances in extra-time, with Palace striker Connor Wickham chance denied by the excellent De Gea and Michael Carrick somehow heading wide after arriving from deep in the Palace box.
Jesse Lingard had the final word in the 2016 FA Cup final, however, with the 23 year-old late, late strike sending boss Louis van Gaal and Manchester United fans around the world into ecstasy.
— Maddy MUFC (@MadihaSosan1) May 21, 2016