FACup : Lingard delivers FA Cup to United with cracker goal
Jesse Lingard scored in extra-time as ManchesterUnited came from behind to give Louis van Gaal a piece of silverware and leave Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace to wonder what might have been
Louis van Gaal will not get another 23 years after this final, like Sir Alex Ferguson did, but at least when the Dutchman finally delivered a trophy it was in the manner we have come to expect.
Not gloriously, not with smooth, delightful football. It was ponderous at times and United teetered on the brink of a calamitous defeat more than once.
But they got there in the end. And one of Van Gaal’s fledglings, Jesse Lingard, delivered a stunning winning goal, 20 minutes into extra time, just as United seemed to be imploding with defender Chris Smalling having been sent off.
Lingard’s strike from Damien Delaney’s clearance was something quite glorious with which to cap Van Gaal’s reign.
As such it was hardly in keeping with the previous two years, but for sheer belligerence alone, he perhaps deserved this victory.
He certainly thought so, plonking the FA Cup in front of the press before launching into a justification of his time at United.
‘In spite of being down to 10 players, we showed the spirit that we have shown on the way to the final,’ he said.
‘We do fight to the end. When we proved that again in the final, you can be very proud as Manchester United manager and as a fan.’
That United made it was no thanks to Smalling. Extra time had been a scrappy, nervy affair and the chief drama in the first period came when Yannick Bolasie spun past Smalling, who fell, grappling, grabbing and finally pulling Bolasie back by a boot as he tried to dash away. A second yellow card was inevitable and Smalling was sent off.
Palace had 15 minutes to make the advantage count. They sensed their moment. Dwight Gayle was played in, had a second to shoot but found David de Gea equal to his strike.