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United deserved FA Cup triumph, admits Palace defender Dann

Published 22/05/2016

Crystal Palace's Scott Dann came off with an ankle injury during the FA Cup final.
Crystal Palace's Scott Dann came off with an ankle injury during the FA Cup final.

Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann believes Manchester United deserved to win the FA Cup.

Palace looked on course for a surprise victory at Wembley when Jason Puncheon scored with 12 minutes left, but Juan Mata equalised soon after before Jesse Lingard's stunning extra-time strike completed the turnaround.

Chris Smalling was sent off in extra-time, but Palace were unable to capitalise, leaving United to lift the trophy for a record-equalling 12th time.

"We're disappointed with the result, gutted," Dann said.

"It's a great occasion to be involved in, but when you're on the losing side it doesn't make for a great day.

"In the first half we probably didn't play as well as we liked, but we got ourselves in front so to lose from there is disappointing, but Manchester United deserved to lift the trophy.

"We'll be looking to move forward, it's the only way we can go. We can't feel sorry for ourselves, we've done really well to get into this position, we took it to extra-time but it wasn't to be. We have to take the positives and move on to next season."

United's triumph was overshadowed by speculation surrounding Louis van Gaal's future, but Palace boss Alan Pardew was in the spotlight too, after he performed a celebratory dance following Puncheon's opener.

Pardew's touchline jig proved premature and Dann admits the Eagles changing room was a quiet place after the game.

"There's nothing the manager could say," he said. "We grafted for 120 minutes and left everything out there. I don't think any words can make it any better."

Dann was taken off with an ankle injury and was later seen leaving Wembley on crutches with a protective boot around his right foot.

"I'm not too sure how it is or what I've done," he said. "I landed awkwardly and tried to shake it off, but it doesn't feel great."

The defeat means Palace miss out on qualification for next season's Europa League, with the final spot instead going to seventh-placed West Ham.

The Eagles' cup run coincided with a poor run of form in the league and midfielder James McArthur says the club can improve on their 15th-place finish next term.

"Obviously it's devastating to lose," McArthur said.

"It's more gutting the fact we went 1-0 up and conceded straight after. In extra-time we regrouped and went again and had opportunities. Everyone's so gutted, but we feel this club is going places.

"We had a good cup run and need to take that into the league next season. We had a good start to this season and want to carry that on."

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