Manchester United ● Road to Victory | FA Cup 2015/16 – Download here

Manchester United’s route to the 2016 FA Cup final v Crystal Palace

Manchester United head into Saturday’s FA Cup decider against Crystal Palace looking for their 12th win in the competition.

The fixture marks their first final appearance in nearly a decade, since 2006/07, when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side lost to Chelsea.

This weekend of course divisive Dutchman Louis van Gaal will be in charge, for what could be his last game after a dismal season domestically and on the continent.

Here’s how Van Gaal’s men reached the show-piece occasion.

Manchester United 1-0 Sheffield United
The Red Devils got off to a stuttering start in this season’s tournament, unable to capitalise on home advantage at Old Trafford – playing in the same lethargic manner that has suffocated much of their season.

And when captain Wayne Rooney couldn’t secure a goal despite rounding keeper Marl Howard it seemed like a Bramall Lane replay beckoned. However, some late Memphis Depay trickery drew midfielder Mark Hammond into conceding a penalty that Rooney dispatched with confidence.

Derby County 1-3 Manchester United
The Reds travelled to Pride Park with manager van Gaal desperately needing a win after another league loss to Southampton.

The Dutchman got his victory, kick-started by a 20 yard curling effort from Rooney, but it was not all plain sailing.

Rams striker George Thorpe did clinch an equaliser on the cusp of half-time, before United eventually ran out comfortable 3 – 1 winners.

Shrewsbury 0-3 Manchester United
League One side Shrewsbury headed into the clash hoping to take advantage of United’s poor form, but for once the Red Devils found their mojo and produced a strong performance, albeit against a side two leagues below them.

Shrewsbury failed to register a shot on target as Chris Smalling, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all found the net.

Manchester United 1-1 West Ham
United were second best against a free-flowing Hammers side thrust forward by the ingenious Dimitri Payet. The midfielder had a clear penalty denied after being felled by Argentine Marcus Rojo, as chance after chance went begging for the Londoners.

Payet was not to be denied however, striking an unbelievable 30-yard free kick straight into the top left hand corner. David de Gea, possibly the best goalkeeper in the world, had no chance.

Anthony Martial levelled for the home team in the last 10 minutes thanks to physical play from Marouane Fellaini, but United came very close to elimination.

West Ham 1-2 Manchester United
The replay at the Boleyn Ground was just as incident prone as the first tie, with United relying on the talents of 18-year-old Marcus Rashford to give them the lead.

The youngster shimmied past Anthony Tomkins in delicious fashion before magnificently fizzing the ball over Randolph – another sure-fire sign of his potential.

Slaven Bilic’s Irons’ responded in composed fashion, persistently breaking on United even after a lucky deflection off Fellaini found the net to put them two down.

Eventually the hard work paid off, Andy Carroll heading back across goal for James Tomkins to bravely head in past de Gea, despite flying boots.

The goal set up a tense final 11 minutes, with de Gea pulling off a string of unbelievable saves to keep United in the game and see them through to a Wembley semi-final.

Everton 1-2 Manchester United
One of the best games of the season had so much drama, it is hard to know where to begin. An early goal-line clearance from Rooney, pushed into a deeper midfield role, set the tone.

Frequent FA Cup saviour Fellaini gave United a deserved first-half lead from close range – but they were then indebted to goalkeeper de Gea, who brilliantly saved Romelu Lukaku’s 57th-minute penalty.

A deflection off United centre-back Chris Smalling levelled the tie, but, as extra time beckoned, Martial had other ideas, controlling a ball from Ander Herrera in the final minute to drill home a dramatic winner.


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