Ian Wright has admitted that it was a dream come true for him to play and score twice in the FA Cup final for Crystal Palace. right netted twice in the 1990 FA Cup final against Manchester United, having come off the bench at Wembley with Palace 2-1 down. He scored within three minutes of coming on, evading Manchester United defenders Mike Phelan and Gary Pallister before slotting the ball past goalkeepers Jim Leighton.
Wright went on to score a second goal in extra time to put Palace 3-2 ahead, with the Eagles seven minutes away from lifting the trophy for the first time, only for United to equalise as the game finished 3-3. United then won the replay 1-0 as Palace were left still waiting for their first domestic cup success. But Wright has spoken of how much it meant to him to be involved and to score in the final.
Ian Wright said “The thing is, I can’t emphasise enough how important it was for me to play in the cup final, There were a few games arranged for me to play in before and in two games before I wasn’t really committing myself, and after the second game when I had hardly done anything, he [Coppell] pulled me after the game and said, ‘I will put on one more and if you play like you did in the last two, you won’t even be on the bench’. The FA Cup is my whole world, so I literally just went for it, flying into the tackles, and then I am only on the bench, that’s where the anger and that vexed feeling comes from. I started to dagger Steve Coppell with my eyes. All that stuff, I was warming up to the side of him, and trying to catch his eye. I said I was born for this day, so when the goalkeeper kicks it, [Richard] Shaw and [Brian] McClair go up for it, and then I just remember Mark Bright giving me the ball and I just thought, ‘I have got to get past them and score’. I remember [Gary] Pallister was going miles too quick, so I cut it, and all I remember is seeing a lot of goal, and it doesn’t even register to me that it was the cup final. I aimed it there, got it under Jim Leighton and I had an explosion of adrenaline. The only thing that got me out of it was I don’t like being bundled and everyone came and bundled on top of me! But then when you come out of that, you realise you are at Wembley, with the fans, and it was the dream come true.”
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