United's Wembley wonders
Many Manchester United players have happy memories of playing at Wembley ahead of another visit to the national stadium to take on Tottenham this Sunday.
The Reds have enjoyed some fabulous days out in the capital in recent years and we are focusing on five stars who have more reason than most to relish another opportunity to shine on the hallowed turf.
The midfielder is something of a specialist when it comes to the iconic venue and managed three goals in successive outings there, starting with his sensational winner against Crystal Palace in the 2016 Emirates FA Cup final. He followed it up with a solo effort in the Community Shield victory over Leicester City and struck again in the 3-2 League Cup success versus Southampton. Lingard also helped United beat this weekend's opponents in last year's FA Cup semi-final and has scored for England in his last two appearances at Wembley, against USA and in the 2-1 defeat of Croatia in November. Let's hope he can make it another run of three in three this weekend!
The Chilean had an outstanding record for Arsenal and his country at the Twin Towers and has already built on that during his short time with the Reds. The forward has bagged eight goals in nine outings at Wembley, including a header past Spurs in last year's semi-final win for United. Alexis was unfortunately unable to score in a third final in the competition (after netting in 2015 against Aston Villa and 2017 against Chelsea during his days with the Gunners) when Chelsea won 1-0 last May but his exploits for the north Londoners were legendary. He also supplied both goals when Chile beat England 2-0 in November 2013, emulating compatriot Marcelo Salas's feat in 1998.
The club captain made his Wembley bow for United back in 2009, when coming off the bench in a 2-2 draw with Chelsea in the Community Shield. Later that season, he provided the cross for Wayne Rooney to nod in the winner in the League Cup final success against Aston Villa, as Sir Alex Ferguson's men retained the trophy. The Ecuadorian found the net himself in his next appearance at the ground, scoring against Chelsea in the 2010 Community Shield defeat. All in all, he has played 13 times at the venue for the Reds, more than anybody else in the squad, including the Champions League final versus Barcelona in 2011 and a substitute outing against his former club Wigan Athletic in the 2013 Community Shield. Let's not forget the defender also helped set up Lingard's volley against Palace in 2016 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's winner past Leicester in the Community Shield later that same year.
The popular Spaniard enjoyed some great times with Chelsea at Wembley, cementing a reputation as a man for the big occasion. He was instrumental in the Blues' 2012 FA Cup victory, scoring a controversial goal and assisting others for Ramires and Florent Malouda in a 5-1 last-four thumping of Spurs, before returning to the national stadium to set up another strike by Ramires and earning the Man-of-the-Match award in the final win over Liverpool. Mata scored on his first visit to the venue for United, bagging the crucial late equaliser against Crystal Palace to keep our trophy hopes alive and force extra-time. The 30-year-old also started the League Cup final triumph against Southampton but will be hoping to erase memories of his last appearance at the ground - a substitute showing in the narrow defeat to his former club Chelsea last season.
Another Spanish favourite who deserves a place on our list for his contribution to some key moments in recent campaigns. With the 2016 FA Cup semi-final against Everton on a knife-edge, he proved his worth as a substitute by prodding the ball into the path of Anthony Martial, who coolly knocked the Merseysiders out. Another of his memorable assists came in the League Cup triumph over Southampton when, again late in the match, he produced the most inviting of crosses for Ibrahimovic to nod in a dramatic winner. Another of our big-game players, the busy midfielder was in the right place at the right time to rifle the decisive goal past Spurs keeper Michel Vorm in last season's FA Cup semi-final. Of course, the stadium will always be special to Herrera for another reason - he made his long-awaited full international debut there in a 2-2 draw with England in November 2016.Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.