Clattenburg appointment for FA Cup final a good omen for Man Utd?

SoccerBy Sunday World
Clattenburg given FA Cup final assignment
Clattenburg given FA Cup final assignment

Manchester United may view the appointment of Mark Clattenburg to take charge of their FA Cup final against Crystal Palace at Wembley next months as a good omen.

In what has been an indifferent season for United, Clattenburg has been present for two of their finest moments as they picked up a 3-2 win against Southampton in October and also when they beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield in January.

Clattenburg was also in charge for United's big victories against Tottenham and Manchester City in the first half of 2015, with those wins vital in securing a top four finish for Louis van Gaal's side last season.

The experienced referee is has been officiating in the Premier League for over a decade but this will be his first time in charge of the Wembley showpiece event.

Clattenburg - who was in charge of Atletico Madrid's Champions League semi-final first-leg victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday - has previously refereed at Wembley.

He took charge of the 2012 League Cup final and men's Olympic final as well as the 2013 Community Shield - in which Man United beat Wigan 2-0 in David Moyes' first game in charge.

Clattenburg, from County Durham, will be aided at Wembley by assistant referees John Brooks and Andrew Halliday, while Neil Swarbrick will be the fourth official and Michael Salisbury fills the role of reserve assistant referee.

Clattenburg said it would be an honour to take charge of the final, and recalled the last meeting between the two sides 26 years ago.

"I think every referee who hasn't refereed the Cup final works hard every season to hopefully referee one of the most prestigious and important cup finals in the world," he said.

"You set yourself goals at the start of the season, and mine was to referee in The FA Cup final. It's an honour and a massive achievement.

"It came out of the blue. These days you get told of what games you're doing by text, but when you see a call coming in from The FA referees' department you know it's important.

"I remember watching Manchester United and Crystal Palace and the tradition of these two teams 26 years ago and that famous game - it's amazing how these games relive.

"Hopefully it will be as good as it was all those years ago."

Clattenburg has officiated 27 Premier League games so far this season, showing 81 yellow cards and six reds.