|After extra time|
|Event||2015–16 FA Cup|
|Date||21 May 2016|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Referee||Mark Clattenburg (County Durham)|
The 2016 FA Cup Final is the 135th final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest football cup competition. It will be televised in the UK on BBC One and BT Sport, as well as worldwide by FA partners. The match will be contested between Manchester United and Crystal Palace in a repeat of the 1990 FA Cup Final. The FA confirmed on 28 April that Mark Clattenburg, from Consett, County Durham, will be the referee for the match.
The winner will qualify for the 2016 FA Community Shield and the group stage of the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League. If Manchester United win and have already qualified for European competition based on their position in the 2015–16 Premier League, the Europa League spot will be allocated to the highest placed Premier League team not already qualified for European competitions.
Manchester United go into the final with a record of 11 wins from 18 FA Cup finals, one behind in each record to Arsenal. United last played a final in 2007, the first at the new Wembley, where they lost 1–0 after extra time to Chelsea. Their last victory in the competition was in 2004, a 3–0 win against Millwall at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Crystal Palace's only previous final was the aforementioned 1990 final, which they lost to Manchester United after a replay.
Route to the Final
|4th||Stoke City (h)||1–0|
|5th||Tottenham Hotspur (a)||0–1|
|Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.|
As a Premier League team, Crystal Palace started in the third round. They were drawn away at fellow Premier League team Southampton. At St Mary's Stadium on 9 January, Crystal Palace won 2–1 with goals from Joel Ward and Wilfred Zaha either side of Oriol Romeu's equaliser.
In the fourth round, they hosted another top-flight team in the shape of Stoke City at Selhurst Park, and Zaha scored the only goal. For the third consecutive round they had Premier League opposition in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round on 21 February. At White Hart Lane, Crystal Palace won with Martin Kelly scoring the only goal at the end of the first half to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1995.
There, they had their first game against a lower-division team, facing Football League Championship side Reading at the Madejski Stadium. A 2–0 win through Yohan Cabaye and Fraizer Campbell put them into the last four, again for the first time in 21 years. On 24 April at Wembley, Palace faced Watford in a repeat of the 2013 Football League Championship play-off Final. They took the lead through Yannick Bolasie, and Watford equalised when Troy Deeney headed in a corner from José Manuel Jurado. In the 61st minute, Palace found their winning goal as Connor Wickham headed from a Pape Souare cross.
|3rd||Sheffield United (h)||1–0|
|4th||Derby County (a)||1–3|
|5th||Shrewsbury Town (a)||0–3|
|West Ham United (h)|
West Ham United (a)
|Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.|
As a Premier League team, Manchester United entered in the third round, hosting Sheffield United of League One at Old Trafford on 9 January 2016. They got their first shot on target through substitute Memphis Depay, who was fouled in added time by Dean Hammond for a penalty kick from which Wayne Rooney scored the only goal with United's only other shot on target. Manager Louis van Gaal was under pressure for Manchester United's poor form prior to the match, and the victory was compared to one in the same competition in 1990, in which a goal by Mark Robins reportedly saved the career of Alex Ferguson.
Twenty days later in the next round, United travelled to Pride Park to play Derby County, situated in the play-off places in the Championship. Rooney scored the first goal from outside the penalty area, but George Thorne soon equalised. In the second half, further United goals by Daley Blind and Juan Mata relieved Van Gaal of further pressure; it was the first time in 15 games that the team won by a margin of more than one goal.
On 22 February, United played the fifth round away at League One strugglers Shrewsbury Town. Chris Smalling opened the scoring, and Mata doubled the advantage in first-half added time. Jesse Lingard confirmed a 3–0 win with about half an hour left to play; in the closing stages United had to play with only ten men when Will Keane was injured and no substitutes remained.
United hosted their sixth-round match against top-flight opponents West Ham United on 13 March. The visitors took the lead via a free-kick from Dimitri Payet, and only seven minutes remained when the hosts equalised with Anthony Martial's close-range finish. A month later, the game went to a replay, the final FA Cup match at the Boleyn Ground. A curled effort from Marcus Rashford gave Manchester United a lead in the second half, and the lead was doubled by Marouane Fellaini. West Ham halved the deficit late on after James Tomkins' header passed into David de Gea's net, and they threatened an equaliser but could not achieve it.
On 23 April, Manchester United travelled to Wembley to play Everton in the semi-finals. Martial assisted Fellaini to open the scoring against his former team, giving a half-time lead. After the break, a penalty was given when Timothy Fosu-Mensah fouled Ross Barkley, but De Gea saved the spot-kick after Romelu Lukaku took it. Everton brought on Gerard Deulofeu whose cross was put into Smalling's own net to level the scores. In added time, Ander Herrera set up Martial for the winner.
Each club will receive an allocation of 28,780 tickets. This is an increase on previous seasons from 71% of available seats for supporters of the two opposing teams to 80%. All tickets prices are also reduced by £5 each.
An inaugural tournament will be held on 7 May in which a fan of each of the 64 teams who reached the third round will compete in a knock-out football video game tournament in rooms around Wembley Stadium. The final of this competition will be broadcast on the stadium's giant screens, and the gamers will sit on the pitch. The prize is tickets to the actual final.
Jason Puncheon scored for Palace, but Juan Mata scored for Manchester United minutes after. In extra time, Jesse Lingard scored and and won the game for 10 man Manchester United after Chris Smalling was sent off in extra time, with Lingard as Man of the Match.
| 21 May 2016|
|Crystal Palace|| 1–2|
|Manchester United|| Wembley Stadium, London|
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (County Durham)
|Puncheon 78'||Report|| Matta 81'|
Smalling 18', 105'
|2015-16 FA Cup match days|