Having been convincingly dismantled by Brighton at Old Trafford two weeks ago, Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United would look to return to winning ways at home in the Premier League against Crystal Palace. The Red Devils had faced Palace just five days earlier, cruising to a comfortable 3-0 win at the Theatre of Dreams.
MUN: Onana; Amrabat, Lindelöf, Varane, Dalot; Mount, Casemiro; Rashford, Fernandes, Pellistri; Højlund
CRY: Johnstone; Mitchell, Guéhi, Andersen, Ward; Hughes, Doucouré; Schlupp, Eze, Ayew; Mateta
Much had been made of United’s home performance in midweek – though that had come against a heavily rotated Palace side, and with Roy Hodgson naming a full-strength lineup for Saturday’s clash, a closer affair was to be expected.
The hosts sought to take the lead through Rasmus Højlund in the opening stages, although a crucial goal-line clearance from Tyrick Mitchell ensured the match remained goalless.
That was until Joachim Andersen nested a stunning effort into the top corner, latching onto Eberechi Eze’s free-kick delivery from the right flank. From ten yards out, the defender’s strike was simply unstoppable – leaving André Onana rooted to the spot.Embed from Getty Images
And while United continued to flood forwards in a desperate bid to restore parity, they struggled to find the killer pass to split the Palace defence. They did manage to test Sam Johnstone on a few occasions – though the visiting shotstopper was in fine form, equal to everything thrown his way.
Notably, Johnstone would be called upon in the second half to deny a dipping strike from Bruno Fernandes – and a thunderous headed attempt from Højlund.
Saturday’s result moves Palace ahead of United in the Premier League table – and the Red Devils must fast find a way to return to form ahead of Tuesday night’s clash with Galatasaray. Crystal Palace will seek to continue this momentum next Saturday, as they host Nottingham Forest in a teatime kickoff.