Lin­gard’s seals FA Cup win Crys­tal Palace 1-2 Manch­ester United (aet)

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London: Manch­ester United came from be­hind and sur­vived Chris Smalling’s send­ing-off to beat Crys­tal Palace and win the FA Cup at Wem­b­ley through Jesse Lin­gard’s ex­tra-time strike. As Wem­b­ley was awash with grow­ing spec­u­la­tion this would be Louis van Gaal’s fi­nal match as United man­ager - with BBC Sport un­der­stand­ing he will be re­placed by Jose Mour­inho next week - he was able to add English foot­ball’s most glam­orous cup to his hon­ours list. United looked on course to end the sea­son empty-handed as well as miss­ing out on Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball when sub­sti­tute Ja­son Pun­cheon’s pow­er­ful far-post fin­ish put Palace ahead with 12 min­utes left. It was harsh on United, who had hit the wood­work through Marouane Fel­laini and Antony Mar­tial, but they re­sponded within four min­utes with a bril­liant run from Wayne Rooney that ended with Juan Mata scor­ing from close range. United lost Smalling to a sec­ond yel­low card for haul­ing back Yan­nick Bo­lasie in ex­tra time - but Lin­gard took the tro­phy to Old Traf­ford when he lashed home a first-time strike from Damien De­laney’s half-clear­ance af­ter 110 min­utes. All the mes­sages in and around Wem­b­ley be­fore and dur­ing this FA Cup fi­nal pointed to this Wem­b­ley show­piece mark­ing the end of Van Gaal’s largely undis­tin­guished two-year spell in charge. When his ex­pected re­place­ment with Mour­inho is con­firmed, the 64-year-old Dutch­man can at least take plea­sure and credit for re­turn­ing United to tro­phy-win­ning ways for the first time since the re­tire­ment of Sir Alex Fer­gu­son in 2013. BBC

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