Manchester United have enjoyed a special relationship with the oldest club cup competition down the years that goes back to their first win back in 1909. Since then they have lifted the trophy eleven times but hadn't tasted success since 2004.
So, here was an ideal opportunity at the end of a poor league season to equal Arsenal's record by beating Crystal Palace and lift their first piece of silverware in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Louis van Gaal and his players made a point of saying that this one was for the long-suffering fans who have had to endure yet another campaign in which United have failed to deliver on the promises of a squad that unfortunately didn't materialise.
In what many believe, and the majority hope will be van Gaal's last match as the manager he chose a starting XI that didn't hold any surprises: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Carrick, Fellaini, Rooney, Mata, Martial and Rashford.
There are always players who will be left disappointed in not starting a match of such importance among those must have been Lingard who was left on the bench in favour of Mata.
However, the one United player who must have felt devastated to be left out of the squad all together had to be Memphis who has endured a season in which his confidence seemed to have taken a battering and his omission won't help him in any way.
Right from the off it became abundantly clear that Crystal Palace's tactics involved getting all the players behind the ball and use their pace on the counter-attack.
United played the majority of the first half around the edge of the opposition area but failed to take advantage of the chances that came up. Too many times they attempted to play through the middle with Rooney without the use of the wings.
Referee Mark Clattenburg didn't exactly endear himself to the Palace fans as not once but twice he didn't allow the advantage to be played following fouls by United. On the first occasion, they actually had the ball in the net but the play was called back and the second would have seen Ward through on goal but again Clattenburg blew his whistle much to the despair of an animated Palace manager Pardew on the touchline.
The first half ended, not for the first time in United's season, goaless, as they laboured in a pedestrian fashion at times. The match needed an injection of pace and imagination if goals were to come.
Van Gaal made no changes at the start of the second half. The match didn't take long to spring into life as first Fellaini crashed an effort against the bar after great approach play from Rashford. Then Martial saw his headed effort come back off the post. It was looking as if it could be one of those days.
Rojo's final came to an end on the hour mark when he was caught by a late lunge from Delaney that on closer inspection warranted more than the yellow he received. The Argentinian did try to carry on but was replaced by Darmian at left back.
Ashley young replaced Rashford and immediately slotted in at centre forward with Martial on the left. A positional tactic that not for the first time baffled the fans.
All of Palace's plans came to fruition in the 78th minute when they took the lead through substitute Puncheon who managed to beat De Gea from the tightest of angles. Not a mean feat. 1-0 to the Eagles and boy did their fans celebrate.
United levelled when Rooney decided the only way past the tight Palace defence was to run at them with the ball which he did with fantastic effect. Eventually, he sent over a cross which Fellaini chested down into the path of Mata who dispatched a shot that found the net after a slight deflection.
The game had come to life and with extra time looming van Gaal introduced Lingard for scorer Mata.
The Red Devils looked to have the upper hand at the start of the first period of extra time as the Palace players looked shattered both physically and mentally. Only former red Zaha continued to be a thorn in United's defence and it took heroic defending from Blind to prevent a goal.
Then as is always the case with United they made it harder for themselves when Smalling was sent off for a second yellow card after he had brought down Bolasie. To be honest, it was a harsh booking for Smalling but he was deceived by the forward's pace.
United's player of the season came to the rescue in the second period as De Gea managed to get a boot to deny an effort by Gayle.
Then a chance for Carrick to write his name in United history as he found himself unmarked in the Palace area only to send his header wide of the goal when it looked certain he would become the match hero.
There was still time for De Gea to thwart Zaha as he dived bravely at the wingers feet and received a knock on his head for his troubles.
In all reality, it wasn't the greatest of finals but a lot of that was down to the way Palace had set out their stall. United were left frustrated many times but to their credit, they never gave up even when they had fallen behind and a player short.
With the cup victory United have finally ended their drought with the first major trophy in three years. The big question has to be whether it is enough to save van Gaal's tenuous position as manager? No sooner had the final whistle blown the media vultures circled the Dutchman looking for answers. At least let the man celebrate the victory before writing his obituary. There will be plenty of time for that.
Thanks for reading.