The sense of elation that swept across one end of Wembley when Jason Puncheon fired us into a 79th minute lead yesterday will live long in the memory, with the below video capturing the madness better than any other.
Having watched on in stress-ridden anguish for the first three quarters of the match, Joel Ward’s looped ball into the Manchester United box found the substitute Puncheon in a surprising amount of space with just De Gea to beat. Determined not to let the moment pass him by, the Croydon native took a touch to control the ball before hammering a volley into the back of the net.
The immediate aftermath of the goal is probably best described as sheer bedlam. Overwhelmed with the emotion of the moment, Puncheon himself ran behind the goal, mobbed by his teammates, in front of 26,000 fans who had exploded with joy as a consequence of his left-footed stunner.
The video attached at the top of the article shows Jason’s goal from amongst the supporters situated behind David De Gea’s net, encapsulating the uncontrollable surge of jubilant energy which swept throughout our support for a minute or two.
The greatest shame in all of this, comes from the fact that we were only granted 180 seconds or so to bask in the glory of the moment, with fans across the Palace end looking on with a sense of shock in their eyes. We had been seven minutes away from glory in 1990 and here we were again, just 10 minutes from the same achievement.
Despite the fleeting nature of the celebrations, I have no doubt that those two minutes were the happiest I’ve ever had as a Palace fan. We’ve needed to win games for more important reasons than yesterday in years gone by, but the sense of joy that Jason Puncheon provoked with one swing of his left boot will take some beating at any point in the future.