The 2016 FA Cup final was always going to be a strange one. Crystal Palace, led by Alan Pardew and his outsized self-regard against Man United, led by dead man walking Louis van Gaal (while Jose Mourinho redecorates his office back in Manchester). But the oddities began well before kickoff.
It started with a poor man’s Super Bowl halftime show that involved Tinie Tempah performing while surrounded by people doing a languid dance in white T-shirts stamped with the word “Respect.”
Then national anthem singer Karen Harding forgot to sing the national anthem.
Meanwhile, former Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was in the tunnel buttering up referee Mark Clattenburg.
It took 78 minutes, but Crystal Palace finally broke the deadlock with a goal from Jason Puncheon and that was Pardew’s cue to unveil some moves that must have been the result of months of salsa dancing lessons.
Of course, a celebration this bold would not go unpunished by the football gods. Just three minutes later, Juan Mata equalized for Man United.
With the match headed to extra time, it delayed the kickoff of a game taking place on another continent as MLS and broadcaster partner Fox suddenly realized the trouble with trying to piggyback on a cup final that wasn’t guaranteed to end in 90 minutes.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) May 21, 2016
In extra time, Chris Smalling followed up his own goal in Man United’s final Premier League match of the season with a red card.
But before Pardew could start dancing again, Jesse Lingard scored the winner for an outnumbered Man United, prompting Van Gaal to celebrate like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man attacking New York City.
It was a cruel end for Palace’s stunned fans and players, who will now live the rest of their lives wondering if things would’ve been different had Alan Pardew not done that weird little dance of his.