Crystal Palace’s history in the FA Cup Final

If history matters, the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, FOX) will be a walk-over.

The Red Devils have won this competition 11 times while appearing in 19 finals. Crystal Palace, on the other hand, can’t quite match that level of achievement.

Palace, in fact, has only appeared in one other final.

In 1990, Crystal Palace celebrated its first season back in what was then known as the First Division after a 10-year absence. Steve Coppell guided the Eagles to a 15th-place finish in the league while leading them to the FA Cup Final.

Waiting for them was Manchester United, which had only managed a 13th-place finish in the First Division that season. United reached the final after downing Oldham United, 2-1, in a semifinal replay at Maine Road (the former home of Manchester City) while Palace knocked off Liverpool, 4-3, in extra time at Villa Park.

The teams met at Wembley Stadium on May 12, and battled to a 3-3 draw.

Gary O’Reilly put Palace in front in the 18th minute, but Bryan Robson equalized in the 35th minute for a 1-1 score at the half.

Mark Hughes put the Red Devils in front in the 62nd minute, but Ian Wright came on as a substitute in the 69th minute (recovering from a broken leg) and scored three minutes later to tie the score at 2-2.

That was the score at the end of regulation, and two minutes into extra time, Wright scored again to put Crystal Palace ahead, 3-2.

But Hughes tied the score at 3-3 in the 113th minute, and that’s how the match would finish.

In those days, instead of spot kicks to determine a winner, the teams had a replay.

Five days later, the teams met again at Wembley.

This time, a lone goal from United’s Lee Martin was the difference in the match. It was the only one he would ever score for the Red Devils.

About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.