FA Cup Final
The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just the Cup Final, is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. With an official attendance of 89,826 at the 2007 FA Cup Final, it is the fourth best attended domestic club championship event in the world and the second most attended domestic football event. It is the culmination of a knockout competition among clubs belonging to The Football Association in England, although Scottish and Irish teams competed in the early years and Welsh teams regularly compete, with Cardiff City winning the Cup in 1927 and reaching the final in 2008.
The latest FA Cup Final was the final of the 2015–16 season which was held on 21 May 2016 at Wembley Stadium and played between Manchester United and Crystal Palace with United winning 2–1. Crystal Palace were first to score in the 78th minute through Jason Puncheon, but Juan Mata equalized 3 minutes later, with 10 men United seizing their first FA Cup in 12 years when Jesse Lingard scored the winner in the second half of extra time.
Early FA Cup Finals were held mainly in London at venues including Kennington Oval between 1874 and 1892 and Crystal Palace between 1895 and 1914. In the period from 1923 until 2000, the final was held at Wembley Stadium, English football's national stadium. From 2001–2005, the final was moved to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, due to the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium. The Millennium Stadium was used again in 2006 due to construction delays in opening the new Wembley Stadium.
Until 1993, if the final could not be decided in a single match, the match would be replayed, which occurred a total of six times. In 1993, the Football Association then decided that all future finals would be decided 'on the day', putting an end to FA Cup Final replays. This meant that a draw at the end of normal time would be followed by 30 minutes of extra time (two 15-minute halves); if scores were still level there would be a penalty shootout to determine the winner of the competition. Only two FA Cup Finals have been decided by a penalty shootout; those of 2005 and 2006. Also note that the Football League War Cup is not considered part of the official FA Cup competition.
Stan Mortensen's hat-trick for Blackpool in 1953 remains the only hat trick ever scored at Wembley in the competition's final. Everton's Louis Saha scored a goal after 27.9 seconds in the 2009 FA Cup Final. It is currently the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history. Bury's 6–0 victory over Derby County in 1903 FA Cup Final is the largest winning margin. With his goal in the 2012 Final, Chelsea's Didier Drogba became the first man to score a goal in four different Finals.
The FA Cup Final is one of ten events reserved for live broadcast on UK terrestrial television under the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events.
For a full list of FA Cup winners and runners-up, see List of FA Cup finals