The Week In Manchester United: Van Gaal's neck still on the chopping block despite FA Cup triumph

There has been little respite for the Dutchman despite him masterminding the Red Devils' first cup triumph since 2004, writes Republik of Mancunia's Scott Patterson...

This week in five words

We've won the FA Cup!

What went well

United have waited 12 years to lift the FA Cup, so to finally get their hands on it was incredible. The fact they did it in extra-time with 10 men made it all the more amazing. This was the sort of day United supporters may have expected when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, when the team enjoyed more than their fair share of good luck.

But, as soon as Chris Smalling was given his marching orders, there was a presumption from some that the chance of winning the trophy had gone. The character and quality shown from this team, who didn't just sit back and play for penalties, knowing they would have the best goalkeeper in the world between their posts, was brilliant to see. 

What didn’t

After the game finished, attention immediately turned to speculation over Louis van Gaal's future. Some fans inside Wembley Stadium even booed the manager when he lifted the trophy, while others sang Jose Mourinho's name in the pubs surrounding the ground. 

Silverware at last – but will it be enough to save Van Gaal?

Van Gaal isn't popular and deserves to be moved on, but there are ways to do things, and the FA Cup winning manager probably deserved better from the fans and press. At least give him a night off from talking about getting sacked, and let him enjoy winning the competition.

Quote of the week 

"Signed you? You were too f**king dear!" – Ferguson explaining to Ian Wright, live on TV, why he never signed him for United.

Video of the week

Just breaking out them moves...

Winner of the week

The camp has been split on Jesse Lingard this season, with some willing to give the lifelong United fan more leeway while others aren't bothered that he's been at the club since he was seven and want rid. All fans can probably agree that at the moment he isn't good enough to start every week though, which is a privilege afforded to him by Van Gaal for much of the season.

In the FA Cup final, Lingard replaced goalscorer Juan Mata, to give United that extra pace on the attack. His finishing has been questionable this season, with him more likely to miss a sitter than to score one of the quality as his strike against Chelsea a few months ago.

However, when the ball came to him in extra time at Wembley, Lingard hit it perfectly, and won his team the FA Cup. You can only imagine how that would have felt for him. Not just playing for your boyhood team in the FA Cup final, but scoring a brilliant goal, in extra-time, to win the trophy. Incredible. 

Better late than never, as Lingard nets the winner

Loser of the week

Chris Smalling often looks like a penalty or red card is in him, as he regularly grabs and drags players in the penalty area.

He owes Lingard a pint for saving the day, after Smalling's second yellow for a rugby tackle in extra time could have cost United the Cup. In the semi-final, Smalling scored an own goal, only for Martial to pop up with a late winner.

The defender was saved yet again on Saturday. He was allowed to go up with the rest of the team to lift the trophy though, something players with a red card were previously banned from doing, and probably won't spend too much time thinking about that ridiculous rugby tackle.

Smalling: Leader to liability on Man Utd's big night

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