Antonio Valencia

Premier League On This Day
Adam Davy - EMPICS / Contributor

On This Day: Lingard’s sensational strike wins FA Cup for Man Utd (video)

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Alan Pardew’s hips lied.

The Crystal Palace man was caught on camera doing some sort of samba after Jason Puncheon had given the Eagles a late lead over Manchester United on this date in the 2016 FA Cup Final.

Unfortunately for the London set, Juan Mata had an answer and the Red Devils overcame a Chris Smalling red card in extra time to score a 2-1 win on a picture-perfect volley from Jesse Lingard.

The win was United’s 12th in the FA Cup, bringing it level with Arsenal before the Gunners beat Chelsea the following year.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The Eagles scored in the 78th minute. Puncheon’s corner kick was cleared away from the box but picked up by Joel Ward, who spotted the forward at the back post.

Puncheon took a touch and beat David De Gea high from close range. It was 1-0, and ‘Pards’ was loving it.

The lead lasted three minutes, as Wayne Rooney led a dribble through the Palace team and was forced to cross from the right side of the box. Marouane Fellaini’s chest trap fell to Mata, who made no mistake.

The match went to extra time, and United went down a man in the 105th minute when Chris Smalling added a second yellow card to the one he collected in the 18th minute.

Again, the joy for Palace was short-lived. Antonio Valencia drove the right flank to send in a cross that was blocked into the path of Lingard.

The technique was marvelous, and United completed its dozen of FA Cup trophies.

Herrera, Valencia, Welbeck all released, Mata offered extension

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With the end of the season comes the expiration of contracts, and as Premier League teams begin the offseason and the end of June nears, more and more clubs are working to pin down their rosters and make room for imminent transfer arrivals.

Manchester United announced the release of 15 players on Friday, including captain Antonio Valencia and midfielder Ander Herrera, while Arsenal confirmed the departure of striker Danny Welbeck.

The Red Devils have cleaned house, although most of the departures are youth players who never made an impact on the first team squad. The most notable names are Valencia and Herrera, with the former ending a 10-year career at Old Trafford that saw the Ecuadorian international rack up 339 appearances and score 25 goals while assisting 62 more. Valencia hoisted two Premier League championship trophies and won domestic cup competitions three times, also winning the Europa League once.

At 33 years old, Valencia made just six Premier League appearances for the club this past season, and his time at Old Trafford was clearly coming to an end. It will be interesting to see where Valencia lands should he decide to continue playing.

Herrera, meanwhile, is leaving Manchester United still in the prime of his career. At 29 years old, Herrera made 28 appearances last season and was an integral part of the Red Devils midfield. Still, with his contract expiring and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaving Herrera out of the squad a number of times down the stretch, the Red Devils decided not to extend the Spaniard and he moves on from the club after five years at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata was not on the released list despite his contract ending this summer, instead appearing on the retained list, and reports in England indicate that he has been offered a new contract which the club is hopeful he will sign. At 31 years old, Mata has been with the Red Devils since joining from Chelsea in 2014, and while he was not a regular starter for the club this season, he is still an important squad player racking up over 1,700 minutes across all competitions.

Welbeck sees a five-year Arsenal career come to a close as he departs the Emirates on the expiration of his contract. The 28-year-old England international made 126 appearances for the Gunners but was hampered by consistent injury problems, with his knee, ankle, hip, and groin all troubling him at some stage or another. He began this season as a consistent option off the bench for Unai Emery but suffered a broken ankle in early November and never returned to action. Still in the prime of his career, Welbeck could be an important free transfer for a club that is willing to take the risk brought on by his injury history, and if he can find some luck and stay healthy, he could still have an impact wherever he should land.

PST’s Top Ten Premier League defenders and goalkeepers

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ProSoccerTalk quizzed its staff on the best players of the 2017-18 Premier League season, broken up into eight categories.

Goalkeepers, left backs, center backs, right backs, center mids, attacking mids, wingers, and center forwards/strikers were slotted 1-10 (with wing backs lumped in with the fullbacks).

[ MORE: The Premier League season in statistics ]

In this first of two posts, we handle the goalkeepers and backs. First-place votes are in parenthesis.

Goalkeeper

10. Mat Ryan, Brighton and Hove Albion

9. Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City

8. Martin Dubravka, Newcastle United

7. Jack Butland, Stoke City

6. Jordan Pickford, Everton

5. Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur

4. Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea

3. Nick Pope, Burnley

2. Ederson, Manchester City (1)

  1. David De Gea, Manchester United (3)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Left backs/left wing backs

10. Patrick Van Aanholt, Crystal Palace

9. Charlie Daniels, Bournemouth

8. Leighton Baines, Everton

7. Ryan Bertrand, Southampton

6. Nacho Monreal, Arsenal

5. Andy Robertson, Liverpool

4. Fabian Delph, Manchester City

3. Ben Davies, Tottenham Hotspur

2. Marcos Alonso, Chelsea (2)

  1. Ashley Young, Manchester United (2)
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Right backs / right wing backs

10. Seamus Coleman, Everton

9. DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United

8. Hector Bellerin, Arsenal

7. Matthew Lowton, Burnley

6. Cedric Soares, Southampton

5. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

4. Victor Moses, Chelsea

3. Kieran Trippier, Tottenham Hotspur

2. Antonio Valencia, Manchester United (1)

  1. Kyle Walker, Manchester City (3)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Center backs

10. Jamaal Lascelles, Newcastle United

9. Vincent Kompany, Manchester City

8. Lewis Dunk, Brighton and Hove Albion

7. Harry Maguire, Leicester City

6. Toby Alderweireld, Tottenham Hotspur

5. Nicolas Otamendi, Manchester City

4. Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

3. Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool

2. James Tarkowski, Burnley

  1. Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham Hotspur (4)

Man United 3-0 Stoke City: Clinical Red Devils drops Potters

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  • Antonio Valencia scored on return from injury
  • David De Gea made an important save before halftime
  • United collected three goals on nine shots on target

Manchester United was clinical as they dispatched Stoke City with ease at Old Trafford 3-0 on Monday. Antonio Valencia started things less than 10 minutes in, while Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku were the men to see the scoreline out.

The Red Devils opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Valencia received the ball at the top of the box on a square pass from Paul Pogba, and he cut into the box and to his left to create space, and when the incoming defender over-committed, he belted a curler inside the far post, leaving Jack Butland with no chance. The goal is Valencia’s first since December 2nd, coming on his return to action from a hamstring injury suffered against West Brom in mid-December.

[ MORE: What to do with the emaciated Arsenal squad ]

Xherdan Shaqiri tried an audacious overhead effort minutes later hoping to get Stoke City back on level terms, but his shot was weak and straight at David de Gea from a tight angle. Steven Ireland came inches from tying things back up on 21 minutes, but as he unleashed his effort from the penalty spot with space to shoot, he slipped on the wet surface and yanked it wide left.

After Ireland’s miss, Stoke became the more attacking team, and it put Manchester United on its heels for a period of time as they were sloppy in possession. They failed to capitalize, and by the 35-minute mark, the hosts were back on top, and profited.

In the 38th minute, Romelu Lukaku used his strength on the right edge to get the ball centrally for Pogba, who cut left for Anthony Martial. The 22-year-old hit the ball first-time, and ripped it into the top corner just past the fingertips of a diving Butland.

On the stroke of halftime Shaqiri forced an important save from David de Gea down to his left off a volley, but the Spaniard was there to keep the two-goal lead intact. In the second half, United had a few half-chances early on. Martial nearly had a second just before the hour mark, but Butland smothered the chance on the doorstep. Juan Mata pulled the trigger two minutes later and fired just wide of the far post, and then again rifled over soon after.

Lukaku put the game away with 18 minutes to go as he received the ball from Martial with his back to goal and turned past two defenders and slid the ball into the bottom corner for a 3-0 lead. The win puts Manchester United clear into second place, three points above Liverpool and twelve behind Manchester City, who lost for the first time this season last time out. Stoke City, meanwhile, will hand the reigns to Paul Lambert who was in attendance for today’s game, taking over for the fired Mark Hughes.

Lingard, De Gea lead Man Utd past Arsenal

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  • Valencia, Lingard put United up 2-0 early
  • Arsenal has 71 percent first half possession
  • Lacazette makes it 2-1 after break
  • Pogba sets up Lingard for 3-1, then sent off
  • Arsenal out-attempts United 33-8

Jesse Lingard bagged a brace as Manchester United took its chances in a 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Antonio Valencia also scored for the Red Devils, who moved to within five points of Manchester City before the Premier League leaders play Sunday.

Arsenal got its goal from Alexandre Lacazette, and sits fifth with 28 points.

Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Hector Bellerin with just over a quarter hour to play in North London.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Valencia looked to have been denied by his extra touch off a Paul Pogba through ball, but spun the ball through Petr Cech‘s legs to make it 1-0.

It was off a bad giveaway, and Arsenal had a second one moments later. United clinically finished again, with Anthony Martial‘s incredibly deft flick meeting Lingard’s impressive side-footed finish inside the far post.

Arsenal liked to attack down the right, and Chris Smalling defended well earn a goal kick in the 20th.

The Gunners were thwarted in a chance to pull one back when David De Gea stopped Alexandre Lacazette at close range before Granit Xhaka laced the rebound wide of the frame.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Lacazette hit on a 49th minute rebound to make it 2-1, with both playmaker Aaron Ramsey and the goal scorer in acres of space.

United saw a ball hit the far post moments later in a bid to restore the two-goal lead.

De Gea made an amazing pair of stops on Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez in the 56th minute.

It was 3-1 after the hour mark thanks to another Arsenal giveaway, with Pogba turning Laurent Koscielny inside out before passing through the six for Lingard to tap home.

But the smiles turned to frowns when Pogba went studs up into Bellerin’s ankle, an easy red card and a huge obstacle for Jose Mourinho in the Manchester Derby.