After over a decade, Manchester United ensured that the prestigious FA Cup would return to Old Trafford once again with a victory over Crystal Palace in an intriguing battle. Louis Van Gaal’s future lies amongst the dark clouds but emotions ran high at Wembley after the red triumphed and Wayne Rooney, deservingly so got his first ever FA Cup winners medal.
The game really got going in the second half and Jason Puncheon opened the scoring for Palace against the run of play by catching De Gea of guard and whacking the ball home. United needed a quick response and immediately they got one back! Skipper Wayne Rooney pulled off an impressive run and crossed into the box only to meet Fellaini’s chest and the Belgian’s lay-off ball was slotted in by Mata and the ball did deflect off a Palace defender.
The match went into extra-time and in the second half of extra time, Jesse Lingard volleyed in stupendously to win it for United. Just before the break though, a bad challenge from Chris Smalling saw him get a second yellow and with that, the marching orders!
So the main question is, how did the Manchester United players fare in the final? Here are the player ratings of the United players.
GK : David De Gea – 7/10
De Gea was commanding between the posts and he maintained his composure to stop a crucial shot from Dwight Gayle and he was called into action several times but the Spaniard should have dealt better with Puncheon’s shot.
RB : Antonio Valencia – 6/10
A solid performance from Valencia and the highlighted positive for him would be that his crosses were more consistent than usual. Not a spectacular performance though but he did a decent job.
CB : Chris Smalling- 5/10
A very unusual performance from Chris Smalling and more like a defensive leader United lacked on the day. A silly challenge early on over Wickham saw him get into the books and getting beaten in the first half of extra time saw him sent off. He did have a say in few instances of the game but overall, Smalling can perform much better I’d say.
CB : Daley Blind – 6/10
The Dutchman started the game on a nervy tone but soon he grew into the game although constantly he was struggling against the pace and the trickery of Bolasie.
LB : Marcos Rojo – 5/10
Marcos started the game effectively but his afternoon came to a premature end after finding himself at the wrong side of Delaney’s challenge. Much to improve again but he was decent overall.
CDM : Michael Carrick – 6/10
Michael Carrick had a very quiet afternoon but again we’ve always seen that he’s a silent player who does his duty well. In the possession based game, Carrick’s presence was noticed but then he did nothing really special to catch anyone’s eye.
CM : Marouane Fellaini – 7/10
Fellaini proved to be a constant nuisance for Palace and his lay-off with the chest saw Mata score and hence he got an assist to his name. A really vital presence in the aerial duels as well and for me Fellaini was impressive.
CM : Wayne Rooney- 8/10
Quick runs, neat link-ups, precise passing. Well you name it and Rooney got that. Today once again he put up a fantastic display by leading Man United from the front. He played the most crucial part in United’s vital equaliser and he was seen doing his defensive duties as well.
LW : Anthony Martial- 5.5/10
Martial struggled to make an impact in the game and failed to do anything special unlike his other performances but nevertheless he’s an integral part of this United squad and his bright runs down the left at times do light up things.
RW : Juan Mata – 6/10
Denied by Hennesey early on and he struggled to influence the game but in the end, he rifled a shot past the goalkeeper to pull off a much needed equalizer for United. Not the best of seasons for Juan on the pitch but he’s finished it off on a high.
ST : Marcus Rashford – 7/10
United’s brightest spark. A constant menace. Performing on an occasion as big as this will not have gone unnoticed by Roy Hodgson.
Subs : –
Jesse Lingard – 7/10
Scored the all important winner and had the last laugh. A very crucial role was executed by Lingard when the team needed him the most.
Ashley Young – 6/10
Came in as a handy player. Started as the striker, drifted down to Left Wing and eventually he had to play in the Left Back role after Chris Smalling’s depature. I expect a lot more from Young next season.
Matteo Darmian – 5/10
Certainly not one of United’s most eye-catching and influential player but he does his job well Matteo Darmian!