Ratings: Crystal Palace 1-2 (AET) Manchester United – Emirates FA Cup final 2015/16

Manchester United beat Crystal Palace in a thrilling encounter at Wembley in the Emirates FA Cup final on Saturday evening. It took United extra time to see off the challenge Palace gave them, and the sending off of Chris Smalling could have seen United undone, but luckily for him, his team-mate Jesse Lingard rose to the challenge and scored the winning goal. Palace scored first in the encounter after a dull first half, with United finding an equaliser through Juan Mata two minutes later. The red card for Smalling, his second yellow card offence, was a moment of madness, for which I feel he let his team-mates down. Many suggest he took one for the team, but I just don’t agree. United have ended a twelve-year drought in the FA Cup, last lifting the trophy in 2004, before the new Wembley was finished. Louis van Gaal has guided his team to this feat, one which will end his United career on a high seeing as Jose Mourinho is being reported as the incoming manager as soon as next week. Here are the player ratings from the FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace, which saw Alan Pardew looking at what could have been once again.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spaniard proved himself yet again. Got the work down for United but making world-class saves. Had to make up for the dodgy defending at times. Class act. Hope he remains at the club this summer.


25 Antonio Valencia

Had a decent game. Put in a tremendous amount of work on the overlap. Put a number of balls into the box, one of which contributed to Lingard's winning goal. Tracked back to help his defensive team-mates and helped nullify the threat of Bolasie.


12 Chris Smalling

Let his team down today. Two bookable offences resulted in a red card with United left to recover from the damaged. Let off the hook slightly by Lingard's winning goal. Caught out a few times in possession. His rash challenges caught up with him. Lucky he did not cost his team-mates the result they desired after his sending off.


17 Daley Blind

Did not always defend with confidence, but did what he needed and could do. He was at time the last line of defence, something he did well. Put in a few last-ditch challenges, including one on Zaha to deny him from a goalscoring opportunity.


5 Marcos Rojo

Forced off the pitch with another injury. A change that might have been coming anyway. Seemed a bit of a liability throughout the match. Caught out of possession and left a little too much space for Zaha.


16 Michael Carrick

Not his best match, but could be his last for the club. Did what he could to maintain possession, which United had a lot of. Won the cup that has evaded him, until now.


Ratings: Crystal Palace 1-2 (AET) Manchester United – Emirates FA Cup final 2015/16

What a performance by the captain - who had been on the losing end of an FA Cup final before. His run into the Palace end to tee up Mata for his equaliser showed a glimpse of the Rooney of old. Got the better of Zaha at the end of the first half, after the former United winger broke through.


8 Juan Mata

Scored the equaliser for United two minutes after Palace scored - which came from an impressive display by Rooney. Linked up well with Valencia. Forced Hennessy to make a few saves.


27 Marouane Fellaini

The Belgian made his presence felt throughout the match. He was a constant threat from set-pieces. Hit the crossbar, unfortunately. Played his role in Mata's goal by assisting it. Not a bad performance by a man United supporters want to get rid of.


11 Anthony Martial

Hit the post in the second half with an impressive finish. Direct in possession, his final ball was lacking at the end of a successful season for him. Faded in extra time, which is understandable.


19 Marcus Rashford

Looked threatening on the ball. Gave United some of their best chances during the match. A knee injury ended his first cup final, which we will have to wait and see if it ends his England hopes too.



36 Matteo Darmian

Replaced Rojo. Looked assured in defence, a better option over the Argentinian. Did not offer as much going forward though.


18 Ashley Young

Replaced Rashford. Came on to lead the attack, which did not work all that well. After Smalling's sending off, played a more defensive role, which was not all that great either.


14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Mata. Won the FA Cup for United with his strike on goal in extra time. Confidence booster for the local lad. Many will have moaned at the time he was introduced for Juan Mata - and will have deleted their comments on social media.



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