Manchester United Ends Trophy Drought by Winning the F.A. Cup

Manager Louis van Gaal earned Manchester United its first trophy since Alex Ferguson retired three years ago with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in extra time in the 135th F.A. Cup final on Saturday.


With Ferguson watching at Wembley Stadium in London, Jesse Lingard completed United’s comeback by volleying in the winner in the 110th minute.

United’s record-tying 12th triumph in the F.A. Cup, the world’s oldest soccer cup competition, arrived at the end of a lackluster season, van Gaal’s second with the club. His future with United has seemed precarious for more than six months, and his team’s failure to qualify for the Champions League after finishing fifth in the Premier League has added to the uncertainty.

Reports have emerged in the British news media that van Gaal will be replaced by José Mourinho, who was fired by Chelsea in December.

“We’ve had a tough end to the season,” said Wayne Rooney, United’s captain. “But I thought we worked very hard today — our determination got us through this, so I’m delighted. Winning trophies lifts football clubs and lifts supporters.”
Manchester United Ends Trophy Drought by Winning the F.A. Cup
Jason Puncheon put Palace, a London club, ahead in the 78th minute, but Juan Mata equalized within three minutes to force extra time.

Even being reduced to 10 men, after Chris Smalling was sent off in the 105th minute, did not dampen United’s resolve. Lingard produced the winner five minutes later to deny Palace its first major trophy.

It was the first time United had won the F.A. Cup since 2004 — one of 38 major trophies Ferguson won as manager from 1986 to 2013.

Ibrahimovic Leads P.S.G. Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended his Paris St.-Germain career in style by reaching 50 goals in an outstanding farewell season that concluded with P.S.G.’s 4-2 victory over Marseille in the French Cup final in Paris.

Ibrahimovic scored a penalty at the start of the second half and showed his altruistic side, picking out forward Edinson Cavani with a perfect pass through Marseille’s defense as P.S.G. made it 3-1.

Midfielder Blaise Matuidi created the fourth in the 82nd, allowing Ibrahimovic to charge through and beat goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for his 156th goal in 180 games since he joined the club in 2012.

“It has been a fantastic adventure for me,” Ibrahimovic said on French television. “We know how it was in the beginning and how it is today. I can just say, ‘Mission completed.’”

P.S.G. secured consecutive domestic trebles and won the Cup for a 10th time, equaling Marseille’s record.

Manchester United and Major League Soccer teams are reportedly interested in signing Ibrahimovic, 34.

Bayern Takes German Cup Bayern Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund, 4-3, on penalties in the German Cup to seal the club’s 11th domestic double and give Coach Pep Guardiola a winning send-off.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved Sven Bender’s spot kick, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos missed the next for Dortmund. Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki saved Joshua Kimmich’s penalty, but Thomas Müller kept Bayern in control, and Douglas Costa scored the decisive spot kick.

It was Bayern’s 18th German Cup win and the club’s third in four seasons.

Juventus Records a First The substitute Álvaro Morata scored in extra time, and Juventus beat A. C. Milan, 1-0, in Rome to win the Italian Cup, becoming the first club to win the league and cup double in consecutive seasons.

In the 110th minute at the Stadio Olimpico, Morata required one touch to redirect a cross from Juan Cuadrado past Gianluigi Donnarumma, Milan’s 17-year-old goalkeeper.

Juventus earned its third trophy of the season, having opened the campaign by beating Lazio in the Italian Super Cup and then rebounding from a difficult start to take a fifth straight Serie A title.
Source: www.nytimes.com

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