Manchester United ended the season with a trophy – the FA Cup – in a entertaining final that saw substitute Jesse Lingard net the winner in extra time. It was a quality strike, worthy of winning any football match. United’s opposition, Crystal Palace, put in a good performance and were only 12 minutes away from a famous 1-0 victory, before Juan Mata scored the equaliser. The Palace fans were quality throughout the game – from start to finish.
In what was a whirlwind of an afternoon and evening, with the news that Jose Mourinho would take over as United manager at some point next week, Louis van Gaal must be pleased that he has delivered a trophy – the first major one without Sir Alex Ferguson since May 1985, when Ron Atkinson lifted the same trophy on the same turf. For all his faults, ‘philosophy’ and stubbornness in refusal to change – van Gaal has been a great manager, but it didn’t quite work out at Old Trafford as we’d expected following the 2014 World Cup.
There were a number of boos when he lifted the trophy – which shouldn’t have happened, considering he’d just won a trophy. His joyous celebration highlighted the passion and desire he still has to win football matches (and a trophy), but the football he instilled, having spent a fortune, wasn’t anywhere near the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson over more than twenty five years.
United are now joint record holders with Arsenal for the FA Cup wins and combined with a record twenty league titles, ensures the club continues to be the most successful football club in England! Here is to next season!
Anthony Martial limbers up before kick off
Wayne Rooney salutes the fans after the match
The lads do a lap of honour
Wembley is red again…