Rooney revels in lifting Emirates FA Cup for the first time

Saturday 21 May 2016
Wayne Rooney lifts the Emirates FA Cup along with Michael Carrick

The Emirates FA Cup was the sole domestic honour to have evaded Wayne Rooney in his decorated career, so the Manchester United and England captain intends to toast this “special moment”.

United had hit the post twice in the second half before Jason Puncheon edged Crystal Palace ahead.

Juan Mata sent the tie to extra-time and, despite Chris Smalling’s red card, substitute Jesse Lingard volleyed in a spectacular winner.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Man Utd

(After extra-time)
Emirates FA Cup Final
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Saturday 21 May 2016

Rooney lifted the trophy, adding a medal to his five Premier League title wins and two League Cups.

And the 30-year-old said: “It’s a special moment. It’s a competition I loved watching as a fan growing up.

“I’ve been unlucky, I’ve been to two finals, so I’ll enjoy tonight that’s for sure.

“Winning trophies lifts football clubs. The fans have had a tough few years and hopefully they can enjoy this.

“Credit to Crystal Palace, they’ve had a tough end to the season but we had to work very hard. Our determination got us through, so I’m delighted.”

Mata, the only player in the Manchester United team to have previously won the FA Cup, watched extra-time from the bench.

“We fought until the end, never gave up, and we have our FA Cup”

Juan Mata 

And the Spain midfielder admitted he feared the worst.

Mata said: “It’s difficult when you’re on the bench! We fought until the end, never gave up, and we have our FA Cup.

“It has been a tough season, but a sweet finish and it’s good for the fans.

“It was a great goal from Jesse. We all know his quality and we are very happy for him. This is a day to enjoy, especially for the fans.”

And Spain international team-mate David de Gea, who denied Palace substitute Dwight Gayle in extra-time when the score was level, felt the best team won.

He said: “It was a great game and a great goal. I think we deserved to win.

See how The FA Cup Final day unfolded behind the scenes at Wembley

“It has been a long time since Manchester United won this trophy and we wanted it, we fought for it, and we have it.”

The final word though, went to Lingard.

Having learnt on Thursday he would not start the Final, the Warrington-born forward kept his cool to ensure his name would go down in United folklore.

Lingard said: “I saw it come across and it landed nicely for me. All I had to do was hit it sweet and luckily I did that. As a substitute you always have to be ready and thankfully I was.”

By Josh Richards Digital Producer