It was 1990 all over again for Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace as the Eagles’ long wait for a major trophy continues after an FA Cup final loss to Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United.

When Jason Puncheon sent in an absolute thunder bolt of a shot past David De Gea’s goal in the 78th minute of a well contested final, it seemed like Crystal Palace’s long wait for a first major trophy honour was over. However their joy was short-lived as Juan Mata equalized three minutes later and a repeat of the 1990 FA Cup final heart-break was complete when Jesse Lingard scored a stunning winner to hand Louis Van Gaal his first trophy as manager at Old Trafford. Alan Pardew, who was part of that Palace side in 1990 as a player, was crest-fallen as his side lost a cup final having been a goal to the good against a team that was reduced to 10 men in extra time.

Liverpool vs Manchester United

It was a great evening for Van Gaal, however. With stories circulating of Jorge Mendes, Jose Mourinho’s agent, confirming the Portuguese’s move to Old Trafford, the FA Cup seemed a fitting swansong to the Dutchman’s tenure at the red-half of Manchester.

Puncheon gave Palace the lead after latching on to a long-ball from Joel Ward and fired a shot from a tight angle past De Gea. It was a shot worthy of beating the Spanish goal-keeper whose performance over the last three years have been world-class, to say the least. With the Palace fans celebrating in delight, manager Alan Pardew couldn’t contain his excitement either as he was caught showing his dance moves to the camera on the touchline.

A brilliant solo Wayne Rooney run from midfield all the way into the opponent’s box past half-a-dozen Palace players culminated in a Juan Mata equalizer just 3 minutes after Puncheon sent Palace ahead. The Spaniard’s equalizer eventually sent the game into extra-time as neither side managed to find a winner in remaining minutes of regulation time.

Chris Smalling was sent off in extra-time for a second bookable offence on Yannick Bolasie and reduced United to 10-men in a crucial juncture in the game.

It was some edgy end-to-end football from both sides in Extra Time as they looked to avoid the prospects of a penalty shoot-out. With all but 10 minutes remaining in extra-time, United’s persistent attempts to find the winner bore fruit after a scrappy clearance from Palace off an Antonio Valencia cross, fell perfectly in the path of Jesse Lingard who rifled in a spectacular volley past Wayne Hennesey’s goal. The goal sent the Old Trafford faithful wild all over the world as United looked set to lift their first piece of silverware since Sir Alex Ferguson left the throne with a Premier League title in his last season in-charge.

Manager Reactions

Louis Van Gaal

Manchester United v Everton

Experienced Dutch boss Van Gaal praised his team’s display in difficult circumstances, as he made some history of his own. “It is fantastic to win this title for the club, for the fans, and also for me because I now have won the cup in four countries, and not many managers have done that,” he told the BBC.

“With 10 players, and we have played Tuesday evening also, but we have deserved it I think. It was a super goal, eh?”

Upon being asked whether he’ll stay on for another season amidst rumours of Mourinho’s imminent arrival to Old Trafford being confirmed, the Dutchman said,”I hope to see you. I want to win things, titles. I have won everywhere I have worked so I don’t have to prove myself. When they want to use my knowledge and my management, then I shall continue because we have proved again that we have a title.”

“Even in the time of Alex Ferguson, he did not win every title.”

Alan Pardew

Manchester City vs Crystal Palace

Defeated Crystal Palace head coach Alan Pardew was upset after seeing his side fail to lift the cup despite taking the lead on 78 minutes. The Englishman was left distraught with the referee’s performance, as he told BT Sport,”The guys couldn’t have given me any more. It was a magnificent performance all round, it just wasn’t meant to be. He [Lingard] has come up with an unbelievable moment to win it. ”

Pardew however did slam the referees on missing out on a couple of crucial decisions. He pointed out,”Mark makes a mistake for the Connor one, you could see where I was that Connor was going to get up first. That was definitely a big mistake and I thought we should have had a penalty as Rooney doesn’t play the ball. We aren’t going to bleat about it though.”


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