Oh yes! finally Manchester United have won a trophy without Sir Alex. Of course in typical Manchester United fashion it wasn’t easy but in the end United overcame Crystal Palace to win that famous trophy.
The first half was a very cagey affair with neither team looking like making a breakthrough with both sides preferring a direct approach, United utilising the strengths of Marouane Fellaini and Palace the strengths of Connor Wickham. It was frankly a very boring half but given the pressure of the big occasion it is easy to see why both teams were not going for an all out attack tactic.
Manchester United dominated the first stages of the second half having close to 70% of the ball and rattling the post twice. Firstly through Marouane Fellaini and secondly through a header from Anthony Martial. But it was Crystal Palace who made the breakthrough with Jason Puncheon who beat David De Gea at a tight angle at his near post to give Palace a 1-0 lead. The joy was short lived for the Eagles who couldn’t keep United at bay for any longer with Juan Mata grabbing the equaliser for the Red Devils.
Into extra time the game went with both sets of players looking tired. It was Chris Smalling who made a tired challenge hacking down Dwight Gayle with a tackle that belongs in rugby. Most Manchester United fans were in despair at that point but not for long! Jesse Lingard with a sweet finish thumped into the net to win Manchester United the FA Cup! The first since 2004 and the first trophy since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Winning this trophy cannot be underestimated. Finally Manchester United can say they’ve won a trophy in the post Ferguson era. The man who delivered this trophy is Mr Louis van Gaal who will be replaced by Jose Mourinho as manager on Monday or Tuesday next week it has emerged this evening. It is appropriate to say a big thank you to Louis van Gaal who has delivered us this trophy who’s tactics changed the game. It has been a difficult 2 years under the Dutchman but it has ended in silverware. It is the best way to say goodbye to a man who has built solid foundations for the clubs future. To win the FA Cup is special and this was a special win. Thank you Louis.