Crystal Palace v Manchester United

20 May

Crystal Palace and Manchester United drew 3-3 in the FA Cup final in 1990.

Crystal Palace and Manchester United drew 3-3 in the FA Cup final in 1990.


Wilfried Zaha is expected to return for Crystal Palace after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury.

Bakary Sako has also been passed fit for Palace, whose only absentee is midfielder Joe Ledley.

Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin and Marcos Rojo return for Manchester United after missing out in midweek.

Marouane Fellaini is back after a ban, but Adnan Januzaj and Timothy Fonsu-Mensah are unlikely to be fit. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Luke Shaw are out.


The echoes of the last FA Cup final between these sides 26 years ago reverberate loud and clear around Saturday’s rematch.

This is only the second time Crystal Palace have reached the final and on both occasions Manchester United have been the opponents, while Alan Pardew has been a key component of both Palace sides – as a player in 1990, and now the manager.

The first time around, Palace faced a Manchester United side led by an under-pressure Alex Ferguson in need of his first piece of silverware. The second instalment sees Louis van Gaal in a similar scenario although, unlike Ferguson, lifting the trophy may not be enough to save his job – he is odds on to be replaced.

That initial triumph under Ferguson was the first of five FA Cup wins for United in 15 seasons, and victory this weekend would be their 12th overall, moving them level with Arsenal at the top of the all-time list.

It has been 38 years since there were first-time champions in both the top flight of English football (Nottingham Forest) and the FA Cup (Ipswich), but after a season when Leicester have already upset the apple cart, who would bet against Palace following suit and winning a major trophy for the first time in their 110-year history?


  • The FA Cup is the one major domestic honour missing from the medal collections of United stalwarts Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick.
  • The only player in United’s ranks to have won the FA Cup is Juan Mata – with Chelsea in 2012. Palace’s only FA Cup winner is James McArthur, who played in Wigan’s victory over Manchester City in 2013.
  • Marcus Rashford could cap off a week which saw him named in England’s provisional squad for Euro 2016 by becoming the second youngest scorer ever in an FA Cup final, just 86 days after his debut.
  • Alan Pardew, who lost in the cup final as West Ham manager in 2006 as well as losing as a Palace player in 1990, will be hoping to make it third time lucky.


Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew: “They keep the ball really well. We’re going to have to be patient at times.

“We are going to be the side that needs to fight that bit harder to win, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

“We have got areas of the pitch where I think we’re slightly superior and we’ve got to make those areas count.”

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: “Always your starting point is to impress and perform well.

“That depends on a lot of factors, including your opponent. Then you get a fantastic match. Our starting point is to win well and score beautiful goals.

“But if we win 1-0 that is also enough. Winning is the most important thing in a final, otherwise you have nothing.”


United will be in control of the ball and therefore they will be in control of the game.

For Palace to win they will need their whole team to function pretty much as well as they can do and I don’t think they are playing well enough for that to happen.

Their league form this year is awful and part of that is their lack of clean sheets – they have managed only two in 19 matches in the league this year. I don’t see them keeping United out.

Prediction: 2-0 to Manchester United

Lawro’s lowdown on Crystal Palace v Manchester United

Manchester haven't won the FA Cup since 2004.<!–



  • There have been two previous FA Cup ties between these sides – the final in 1990 and the semi-final in 1995 – both went to replays, which were won by United.
  • United have only lost one of their previous 20 meetings with Palace in all competitions, a League Cup quarter-final in 2011.

Crystal Palace

  • Palace could gain their first major trophy and secure European qualification for the first time in their history.
  • A victory would see them become the 44th different club to win the FA Cup.
  • They have already knocked out four Premier League teams on their way to reaching the final. That’s double the number of teams they’ve beaten in the league in 2016.
  • In their five FA Cup matches this season, Palace have only conceded three goals.

Manchester United

  • United are playing their first FA Cup final since 2007. It’s their 19th FA Cup final appearance, equalling all-time record holders Arsenal.
  • They are also aiming to equal Arsenal’s record of 12 FA Cup wins.
  • Louis van Gaal is aiming to win his first trophy as United manager – he has previously lifted domestic cups in the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.
  • Marcus Rashford will be 18 years and 203 days old on the day of this match and could become the second youngest goalscorer in an FA Cup final after Norman Whiteside, who was 18 years and 19 days old when he netted for United in the 1983 final.


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