Against today's opposition Manchester United, Crystal Palace came within touching distance of winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history.
As much as it still hurts to look back, it was a momentous day in the club's history that saw an action-packed game in an atmospheric Wembley played out into extra time. But over three years down the line, how many of these quick-fire facts did you know about the 2016 FA Cup final?
- The Eagles defeated four Premier League opponents on their five steps to the final, whereas the Red Devils only had to get past two.
- Palace made it to their first FA Cup quarter final since 1995.
- There, they faced Reading. The Royals’ ‘keeper Ali Al-Habsi came close to saving a Yohan Cabaye penalty in the 86th minute. Al-Habsi had previously been discovered whilst with the Oman national team and then brought to England by none other than former Eagle John Burridge. In 2011, Al-Habsi told The Independent that, ‘after God, John Burridge is the main person.’
- The 2016 FA Cup was the first and only major trophy Louis van Gaal would win with Manchester United. Coincidentally, the 1990 FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace also earned Sir Alex Ferguson his debut piece of silverware for the Red Devils.
- With United in a bad run of form, triumph over Derby County in the fourth round saw Van Gaal’s side win their first game in 15 by a margin greater than one.
- Palace player James Tomkins bagged for West Ham United in a quarter-final replay against David de Gea, however the Spaniard was equal to future teammate Romelu Lukaku’s penalty in the semi-final as the Belgian squandered a chance for Everton to pull themselves to 1-1. The man who conceded the spot kick was future on-loan Eagle Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
- A bomb scare at Old Trafford postponed United’s end of season clash with AFC Bournemouth until the following Tuesday, just four days before the final was held. The device which caused the scare was in fact a dummy that had been used in a training drill for sniffer dogs earlier in the week.
- United qualified for the group stage of the Europa League by winning the cup but had already qualified due to their league position. As a result, Southampton earned qualification for the group stage and West Ham were awarded a spot in the third qualifying round as the highest placed team in England not having qualified for Europe already.